Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fight the viruses

Protecting your computer from a virus is getting harder and harder each day. While it may border on the paranoid, it goes without saying that you can’t leave your guard down for one second. Even corporate giant Microsoft has found its own systems compromised on more than one occasion.

Remember the “good old days”, before the advent of the Internet and downloadable programs? Life was simple then in terms of computer viruses. With the primary way in which a virus could be transmitted being limited to floppy disks, the ability to catch and eradicate the virus was a lot easier. By today’s standards, it used to take quite a while before a virus was able to infect a computer and slow down the system. The antivirus software of that time was typically able to identify and eradicate viruses before they caused too much damage. Additionally, computer users were pretty savvy on how to protect themselves in terms of scanning all floppy disks before copying them to our desktop.

The Internet helped change all that. The Internet provided a conduit by which viruses could move from host to host with lightening speed. No longer could a computer user just worry about floppy disks as points of entry, but they now had to worry about email, email attachments, peer-to-peer file sharing, instant messaging, and software downloads. Today’s viruses can attack through multiple entry points, spread without human intervention, and take full advantage of vulnerabilities within a system or program. With technology advancing everyday, and the convergence of computers with other mobile devices, the potential of new types of threats also increase.

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