Making your PC secure: a responsibility

Friday, 15 August 2003, 11:50 AM EST

I am a "Technologist", a Technology enthusiast that is usually the one that is called should a major catastrophe strike an end user. My saga of computer rescues becomes a plot that is ever so thickening, if not only for the fact that's it's becoming incredibly easy for hackers and malicious code writers these days to invade personal property to find, seek, and destroy. Each year, virus and hacker threats increase, and in addition the damage trail left behind is something of a problem. Not to forget, a majority of "PC Panic" cases I've come across are often times the same common, "major" problem.

Educating the casual computer users is often the hardest. (Hopefully with this article, at least one person out there will take my advice seriously and avoid a major problem). Casual PC users often times see my views of the importance of anti-virus software and firewalls as being somewhat "paranoid", but it's often those same people who come to me weeks later wishing they had heed my words.

As I'm writing this, a new worm has been found, dubbed "MSBlast". In just one short day, a vast majority of users at a message board I am a member of were inflicted with the virus almost instantaneously. For this, I cannot stress enough the absolute importance of Antivirus software. Sure, none of it is foolproof, but it's an additional weapon that may protect you should a download be of the most unlikely. Even so, a great deal of cases that have been brought to me, were those of virus infected computers of those that did have antivirus software, yet had not updated the virus definitions.

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