Are Virus Scanners Essential?

What is a Virus?

A computer virus is a malicious piece of software designed to break your computer. Some viruses do not cause any harm to your computer while others are designed to cause serious damage. Viruses started as hoaxes as soon as computers were invented but have since developed into no laughing matter.

Computer viruses became more common after the internet became available on most computers. This is because the internet makes it very easy for viruses to spread and infect computers.

Do I Really Need A Virus Scanner?

If your computer is connected to the internet then it is imperative that you use an anti-virus scanner. Other security tools are also required to fully protect your computer. These include a spyware scanner and firewall.

If you are not connected to the internet then the risks of becoming infected with viruses are much lower; however you should still protect your computer where possible because viruses can infect your computer if you ever use external media or share data.

You can't possibly be careful enough with your computer. You simply must get yourself a virus scanner. There are no excuses for not installing virus scanners because there are even freeware virus scanners available on the internet.

Downloading A Virus Scanner

When downloading a virus scanner you need to ensure you get one that's reliable and useful. This doesn't only mean making sure that it has all of the features you require but it also means that the virus scanner is safe to use.

This is especially important with freeware virus scanners which can sometimes be infected with viruses themselves. This means that they could actually make your computer much worse.

Protecting Your Computer

Even with a virus scanner your computer isn't completely free from risk. You must still update your virus scanner on a regular basis.

Common sense is also important as this can help you to keep your PC fully protected. Whenever you see files on the internet you need to be very careful whenever you download files. These include downloads from sites and email attachments.

You might not care about your computer, but your computer has access to a number of very sensitive pieces of information. If your computer's security is compromised then your personal information is at risk.

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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.