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Anti-Virus Resources

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FREE Online Virus Scanner

Have you received a Virus Lately?

If not consider yourself lucky.  Many of the e-mails containing viruses come as an attachment to e-mail disguised as

  • Something you requested
  • A Security Update (most commonly from Microsoft)

Generally, you shouldn't run any attachments to e-mail.  You can't depend on the fact that it "came from a stranger", as many times come from someone you know who is infected and has your e-mail address in their address book.

See a Global Map of Virus Infestation

Did you get an e-mail about a new virus?

This happens to me at least once a week, and sometimes several times in one day (usually the same "warning" from several different people).  Most of these "warnings" are hoaxes, and before I forward anything, I search one of these resources:

Need to update your Anti-Virus Software?

There are several popular anti-virus programs available, but regardless of how popular, they are only as good as the virus definition file on your computer.  Personally, I use the retail version of McAfee VirusScan and I check my system for updates every day.  

If you have McAfee, Symantec, or PC-cillin software, you can check for updates here:

But I read it on the Internet!

The Internet contains a wealth of information from many sources.  Some people think that "if they read it on the Internet, it must be true" - wrong!  E-mail hoaxes depend on this attitude to perpetuate themselves.  

Most of the warnings I receive are from "new surfers", but after you have been surfin' a while, you learn. Here are some general guidelines to help spot a hoax:

  • ALL CAPS to emphasize a warning
  • Claims of dire consequences if you don't forward it to 14 friends
  • Bad grammar and/or misspellings
  • Lack of verifiable documentation

If you are still not sure, here's some online resources to help bust hoaxes:

Keep your Windows Updates up to date

If you are using any version of Microsoft's Windows O/S, you should check for updates regularly, and pay attention to those "Critical update Notifications" that pop up on your screen.  

I know they can be annoying, and you don't have to stop what you are doing and download the update, but you should try to remember to get it installed as soon as possible.  

Microsoft sends these notifications because they have found a "hole" somewhere that can allow a virus to possibly penetrate your system, and more often than not, these holes appear as a result of a new found virus.

To check your Windows system for available updates, you can click

Start | Windows Update

After Windows analyzes the list of available updates and compares them to what is installed on your system, you will see a categorized list of available updates.  All critical updates will be noted in the top section.  You can also check for Windows Updates here.