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In most situations you therefore will still want to add your own software like
Norton, McAfee or one of the many other commercial packages.
Some ISPs like EarthLink and AOL may in fact offer their own software at no
additional charge that will be very similar in functions and features to Norton
and McAfee – and may in fact be built using licensed components of one of them.
We’re not saying spend money you don’t need to, we’re saying make sure you
have a full-function antivirus package on your PC!
No matter which package you might choose, the most important things are:
1. Turn the antivirus software on and leave it on!
2. Turn on the automatic definitions updating feature and leave it on!
It’s like putting on your seatbelt. You might not need it all time, but just get in
the habit and sooner or later you’ll be glad you did.
The importance of updating “definitions”
Like any “cat and mouse” situation, the smarter the antivirus software gets, the
smarter the makers of the viruses try to be. Whether for the intellectual challenge
of it or for other reasons, new viruses are continually being developed and sent
around the Internet literally, every day, and many of these viruses are
specifically designed to defeat the major antivirus software packages.
The antivirus software, no matter how good, can only look for what it “knows”
to look for and new viruses come out all the time. As new viruses do come out,
the software uses “definitions” that allow it to recognize and deal with them.
Typically definitions will get updated a couple of times per week, which should
keep your software up to date and keep your computer virus-free.
You should set your antivirus software to do a full system scan on a regular
basis, maybe once per week, as well as enabling the various “automatic” scans of
items like email.
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