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How to protect yourself?

Anti-virus software are mostly 'search and destroy' tools that scan your hard drive for viruses and disinfect or remove the infected files.

india Updated: Dec 11, 2003 14:54 IST

No virus, trojan or worm -- no matter how powerful -- can get to your computer if you understand how these malicious programmes work and stop them at the entry point itself.

You can easily beat the virus menace by shifting to a secure operating system like UNIX. But that is not a realistic option for most of us. Somehow, we never hear about viruses for Linux or Mac. That's because the security features in these operating systems keep your hard disk safe from such destructive programmes.

Even if you're using the unsecured Windows operating system, you can guard against viruses and be secure by following these simple steps:

Use an Anti-Virus software

Some popular anti-virus programmes

Norton Antivirus

McAfee VirusScan

AVG (free!)

Anti-virus software is a 'search and destroy' tool that scans the hard drive for viruses and disinfects or removes the infected files. Usually, anti-virus software prevents virus infection by continuously running in the background and keeping a lookout for virus signatures in any files being read from almost any medium, be it the network, the Internet, or a floppy.

On detecting a malicious code, it immediately alerts the user.

The more advanced viruses rely on system repositories like registry entries and configuration files. This calls for the anti-virus software to be able to detect and clean the infections. This becomes essential in the case of new trojans and worms, and advanced script-based viruses.

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First Published: Dec 02, 2003 00:00 IST