The chances are very good that if you are reading this, you’re hoping for a perfect antivirus solution to prevent spyware, malware, viruses, Trojans, etc. Let me start by saying no such perfect solution exists. Some people are lucky to go years without an incident, but these people probably don’t possess this “perfect solution” you’d so much like to have.
When someone does get a virus, the most common question we are asked is, “How did I get it?” Our answer is the same to everyone – “There is no good way to tell”. A lot of the antivirus and security technologies that exist today focus more on prevention and curing rather than finding out how the security breach came into being.
The question and the focus should then become, “How can I prevent it happening to me (and my company) as frequently?” To be able to prevent you or your employees from having these issues, there need to be a few items in place. The first of these is a spam filter. A spam filter (like McAfee’s mxLogic suite) is one of the first lines of defense against infections. It scans emails and attempts to clean them. If it cannot clean them, then it denies the email. It also can search for keywords and flag those as well. The second item that needs to be in place is a content filter. You might not care if you or your employees can go to Facebook or Twitter during the workday, but the content filter can scan the code of a website and tell if it believes it is malicious. If it believes so, it stops someone from going to the website. The final line of defense is on the local computer, and that is the antivirus software.
At Infinity, we sell and use an antivirus solution called ESET NOD32, and we have seen it to be very successful. It has the ability to do real-time scanning, notice going-ons that may appear suspicious, scan your email as it comes in, alerts you if there is a problem, and can prevent you from going to websites that have malicious code in them. Is it 100% perfect? Sadly, no. The only way to not get a virus is to turn off your computer, disconnect from the network and never turn it on again. Short of doing that, here are several personal steps someone can take to minimize their exposure to viruses.
- Open only emails from someone you know. If they send an attachment and you are not expecting it, reply back asking if that was for you.
- Go to only sites that you know are safe. Google searching can give you answers, but some of those answers may not be the greatest.
- Make sure your computer stays up to date.
- Backup, backup, backup. Just like people say “Location, location, location” is important in real estate, so are backups to surviving data issues. Always have a backup of your data and a spare computer if possible. If your company is large enough, you will want a few spare computers that have everything pre-installed on them.
- Contact your I.T. department/provider if you have any questions or concerns about anything on your computer.