The best offense is a good defense.
-- Sun Tzu (Chapter 4): Tactical Dispositions
Open your email account and usually the first thing you notice
is the large amount of garbage, spam, and other unwanted email.
Some of the email is offensive, abusive, a phishing scheme, or is even an attempt to
scam you into buying an unwanted service or product. Some of the email
will contain viruses, trojans, worms, or other malicious programs
that can wreak havoc on you and others.
So what can you do about it? Do you just mark all the malicious
email for deletion? Buy an anti-spam email program? Buy a new virus
checker? Complain to AOL, Hotmail, or other Internet Service Provider
(ISP)? Or are you hoping that someday there will be a law that stops
Maybe like most people, you have taken several of these approaches,
however you still wish you could do something more to stem the tide
of all that garbage flowing into your inbox.
The first thing you must do to fight back against spam and hackers,
is to secure your computer from malicious Internet attacks of all types.
To do this you absolutely must have a full-time antivirus program
and Internet firewall running on your computer at all times. Programs like PC Tools Internet Security, Panda AntiVirus Pro, and BitDefender Total Security have both firewall and antivirus programs bundled together in one package.
You also need to make sure that you have the latest versions of these
programs which requires that you download updates from the software manufacturer
on a regular basis.
What is an antivirus program? An antivirus program is software
designed to detect and delete computer viruses, worms, trojans, and
other malicious software from your computer's email, random access
memory (RAM), and disk drives.
You need to make sure that all email is checked for viruses before
you open it. Depending on what type of email program you use, your
virus checking software or the email provider will check unopened email
|Note: Most free Web email providers e.g.
Hotmail, check incoming email for viruses. However, those of you
that read their mail with Outlook, Outlook Express, or other mail
programs are typically responsible for providing their own resident
email virus checker.
What kind of antivirus program should you use?
There are two major types of antivirus programs; resident programs
which reside on the user's computer, and free web-based programs that
Most people connected to the Internet, should use a resident virus
checker. Resident virus checkers provide full-time protection to
your computer, however users should ensure that updates from the manufacturers are downloaded to keep
abreast of new viruses. Resident virus checkers should always be on
and checking your computer for viruses and other threats.
Examples of resident virus checkers include: Ad Aware Pro, Panda AntiVirus Pro, BitDefender Total Security, Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus.
Web-based free virus checkers are accessed online from an antivirus
manufacturer's Web site. Online virus checkers are free and always
up-to-date, but will not detect viruses unless you are online and at
the manufacturer's Web site. Web-based virus checkers are best used when you think you have been infected by malware and your virus checker can't seem to get rid of it, or when your virus checker has been defeated by the malware.
Online virus checkers can also be used in conjunction with resident
virus checkers when updates to resident programs have not been obtained.
Examples of free online virus checkers include: HouseCall
and Symantec Security
Next we discuss firewall programs and how they protect your computer
Back to Introduction