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I’ve Got Anti-Virus Software, Why Do I Still Get Viruses?

You are paying for computer support. You have anti-virus software. And yet you're STILL getting viruses that slow down (or crash!) your computer, impede you from getting your work done, and create a HUGE pain in the you-know-what situation. Why?
Written Jul 07, 2011, read 3228 times since then.
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Here are 5 possible reasons why you are still getting viruses even though you have an anti-virus program:

1.  You are on the Internet. Yes, I know you HAVE to be online to run your business. But the reality is that NOTHING is 100% perfect in completely blocking every single harmful virus, hacker, worm, Trojan, malware, or spyware that tries to meander onto your system while you are online. So since running an “offline” business is not an option for 99.9% of us check out the next several reasons…

2.  Your firewall isn’t strong enough. Most computers and servers have some type of firewall inherently built into the operating system and then a basic hardware firewall (a physical box that allows Internet traffic in and out of your network) to block the evil-doers from entering. But take note: All firewalls ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL. Some firewalls can lock your network down tighter than Fort Knox. Others act more like a screen and keep out only the REALLY BIG bugs. In general, the higher quality (and, yes, MORE expensive) firewalls protect you better. (As a side note: Our clients with these firewalls have less viruses and other malware issues than the ones who don’t!).

3.  Wireless Card or Home Internet Usage. Most people don’t realize that even if you have a firewall at work, you are pretty vulnerable at home. If you use a wireless card (3G/4G card) or download files onto your computer at home and use your home Internet connect (aka…NO FIREWALL) you are more likely to get nasty intruders like viruses messing with your system.

4.  Inadequate Anti-Virus Software. Believe it or not, on some levels a firewall is MORE important than virus software. Why? Because for virus software to do its job, the virus has to ALREADY BE ON THE MACHINE. Then, the software can quarantine the malicious item, clean it, and repair the system if necessary. If you have a FREE anti-virus software, or don’t have a product that automatically updates at least weekly, your protection from threats on your machine is minimal.

5.  Human error & interaction. While some anti-virus protection adds a level of security, it is still dependent upon the computer user to watch for vulnerabilities and not to allow viruses to bypass the anti-virus protection. This bypassing of anti virus software typically occurs when users are surfing the internet and click something they shouldn’t and then click “Allow” or “OK.”  Doing this allows the malware or virus to install onto their PC system. Follow the guidelines below to help prevent a virus:

  • Do not download from questionable sites.
  • If you get an error message or alert, be sure to read what it says before you click “OK.” If you are unsure, click “Cancel.”  This is always a safe alternative.
  • If your anti-virus software gives you an alert, be sure to read the full message before clicking a choice. If you are unfamiliar with the alert, click “Block,” “No,” or “Cancel.”

None of the substantial number of available anti-virus suites are 100% effective. The software cannot prevent viral infection caused by human error. Even with anti-virus software, the user must remain vigilant and not fall for tricks that could lead to a virus.

Any of these topics lacking at your business? If you want more information on how you can remedy these vulnerabilities at your business, contact a local IT Service Consultant in your area.  Many reputable computer consultants will offer a free computer analysis.

Marketing Specialist 
Everett, Washington 
Julie Rice

Julie brings 15+ years experience in marketing and sales operations focused on executing aggressive business growth plans. She has a strong track-record in developing effective sales development programs and campaigns by leveraging strategic marketing.

Learn more about the author, Julie Rice.

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