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Irene Blackett
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Irene Blackett   My Press Releases

Do You Know If Your Virus Software Really Works?

Published on 6/15/2016
For additional information  Click Here

As a member of SFI I have access to 'Expert Reports'. The following information contains excerpts from one such expert Leo Notenboom.

Do You Know If Your Virus Software Really Works? You know you've got a virus because your computer is acting up but your virus software says that you don't. So how do you get the virus off of your system?

You have somehow correctly determined that you have a virus either by its symptoms or by some other means and yet the anti-virus program you're running fails to detect the virus or perhaps detects it but fails to repair it. It's a race and sometimes the anti virus packages aren't in the lead.

The fact is new viruses are being discovered every single day. Anti virus (AV) programs are constantly having to update the list of viruses that they know to look for. The AV software firms are always racing to catch up with the new discoveries. Each time a new virus is found they update their information, typically called "signatures" or "virus definitions database", which then must be downloaded by users of their software.

And that's why we must be running up-to-date virus software. And that means both the latest version of the AV program as well as the virus definitions. We need to be regularly downloading the new virus definitions to stay up-to-date and protected against all the new viruses found every day. 

How often is "regularly downloading"? Going much longer than a week without getting the latest download for anti-virus software is recommended.

It doesn't have to be a burden. In fact you can configure your anti-virus software to automatically download new virus definitions in the middle of the night when no one is using the computer. It'll just happen and you'll rarely have to think about it.

All that having been said ... unfortunately AV programs aren't perfect. In fact it's turning out to be not uncommon for one AV program to catch infections that another will miss. It shouldn't be that way but it's a reality. That's why when you know you have a virus and your (up-to-date!) AV software doesn't catch it running another package is recommended. Many AV software vendors have free trials or free on-line demos that serve wonderfully as a second-line check. 

Finally on occasion a virus will be detected by an AV program but cannot be removed by it. Certainly the first thing to try again is another AV program. However sometimes there are technical reasons why removing a virus takes additional work. In such cases you should visit the web site of your AV software publisher and search for specific instructions or occasionally a downloadable tool to remove that specific virus. Most of the major AV software publishers provide this service.


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