Tag : it-tips

Importance of Antivirus for the computer

PC with virus

PC with virus

 

 

Today we shall look at why having antivirus for the computer is an essential piece of software to install into your computer. The topic discussed today will be focused on Windows operating system based computers though the logic extends across to Mac based computers as well.

Almost every computer used in the modern day for home or office is connected to the Internet. This is especially when everyone is hooked onto social media and using the internet to search for practically everything. It is almost unimaginable for a computer not to be connected to the internet. Since almost everything can be downloaded, it is also very easy for any computer which is connected to the internet to be infected with virus without the user even taking notice.

Viruses or malware can easily be embedded in the free software downloaded and installed when you least notice it. It can also be installed when you are trying to stream free videos over the internet or even the harmless click on the Ad banner found on the random website. In other words, virus cases strikes when you least expect it.

Certain viruses infect the system just by clicking the email link through spam emails.

Sometimes, even the most careful user gets it through one careless click in the PC.

 

Let’s look at some of the common questions that surrounds antivirus.

 

What does antivirus actually do? Does it slows down my PC?

We hear this a lot. That installing antivirus slows down the computer. In a way, it is true that antivirus running in the background does use a certain amount of ram and processes. But modern computer system have been built with ram that should be able to handle antivirus running at the background , protecting the system. So unless your computer is running very low on resources, it is still recommended to install some form of antivirus program into the computer. With some careful selection, it is still possible to find a antivirus that feels light on the system.

 

How does virus spread and what is the impact?

The behavior of malware or virus is evolving everyday as the hackers seek new ways and means to break the computer system. Generally, malware or virus will spread copies of themselves once they manage to get into the system. It can even go into removable flash drives and goes into another system when plugged into another PC.

They go by many names and types, but the end result is the same.

They harm the PC system by slowing down the system, causing operating system to crash, spreading virus by sending out bogus mails, using internet to spread the virus out to other computers in the network. Some hijack browsers to bring users to designated websites so that every click will earn the hacker money from sponsors. In certain cases, identity and passwords gets stolen by the bots which have been planted into the system, allowing hackers to steal the bank details off computers.

There have also been cases where the hacker software encrypt your computer data and demand money to be paid to them before your data in your computer gets released back to you. Sometimes, you don’t even get your data back, even after you made payment to these people.

The horror stories go on every day with these hackers and virus creators coming up with new ways to break into the ever increasing numbers of computers connected to the internet every day.

 

 

Free vs paid antivirus. What’s the difference?

The obvious answer lies in features and protection.

Antivirus companies spend resources updating virus definitions to prevent computers from being hacked and infected, so they have to earn a living. So for antivirus companies that offer free versions of their software, they always have a paid version that covers more areas.

Free versions of the antivirus always come with pop up ads that urges the users to upgrade to their paid version.

For those of you who are not ready to invest in paid version of the antivirus, the least you can do is to at least install a basic version into your system. Word of caution though, certain virus or malware also advertise or install themselves into your computer and claims to be antivirus too. So you got be careful there. Do a bit of research and install only the popular and legitimate antivirus into your system.

Seriously, if you are doing a lot of online transaction and work on your computer, installed a paid version of antivirus is recommended.

Also paid versions usually comes with more features that protects browsing security, firewall which prevents network intrusion, thus giving the computer overall security than free versions which only protects certain aspects of the system.

 

 

Is my PC down with virus? Symptoms to watch out

Some symptoms of virus infection as guideline:

-Sudden slowness in daily running of computer system

-Internet browser being hijacked with ad pop up

-Internet browser being diverted to other websites

-internet browser being shown with hyper-links that divert you to paid sponsored sites

-files on computers being changed to another icon or shortcuts

-feedback of you sending bogus emails to everyone in your contact list

-some pop up telling you that your computer has been infected by virus

-operating system crashed upon booting up

These are just some of the many symptoms that indicates that the computer system has been infected and should be cleaned up to prevent further damage to your computer system.

 

 

I have antivirus, why is my PC still infected?

Sometimes, it is the user of the computer system that permits the malware to be installed into the computer. Usually, the antivirus software will ask the user if they would like the software to be installed and if the user clicks “yes” without understanding the implication, the end result is that the system will still be infected with the software you have just given your permission. So while the antivirus is in place, sometime the user also have to take time to read through and understand what is being installed into your computer.

Some other times is that even antivirus companies need time to catch up on the latest virus and to update their definitions. So at times, certain antivirus may seemed more effective than the others.

 

So finally, for this article, we just wished to bring across the point that antivirus for the computer system has become an essential part of the software in todays’s environment. The fact is that malware, viruses, spyware etc is very common in today’s internet environment.

Would like to urge everyone to take note and protect your computer and your precious data by installing some form of antivirus software.

My Flashdrive is not a backup

thumbdrive

Many a times we hear people telling us that they use flash drive to store and work on important files and that is the only copy of the data they have to work on . I frowned whenever I hear words like that because that sounds so risky.

Maybe it sounds risky to me because I have seen so many cases of things gone wrong:

-data gets corrupted in the storage device

-data accidentally deleted by someone or even yourself

I will like to take this opportunity to say a few things that will probably save us the agony of having to look for data recovery centre to save our files when bad things happen (corrupted data or hardisk crash) and also save us the heart pain of parting with our precious money. Of course, when bad things really happen despite us having taken all precautions, the data recovery centres are always there to help us.

But I have to make the point here: Most of the data loss cases can be minimise, if only we started with good backup habits at the start.

Bad things happen, at one time or another. Maybe the harddisk in the computer crashed or the pictures in the portable external harddisk suddenly goes corrupted. Imagine all your holiday photos go missing or accidentally gets deleted. What about the fresh new harddisk you just bought one month ago crashed moments ago.

To make matters worse, there is only one copy of these precious memories. Imagine the loss of precious memories that you may risked not ever getting back.

The fact is that we can often reduce such bad things from happening by keeping a few basic habits in practice. One of the things I often advise is: Always backup your files.

Keep 2 copies of the file :

The most basic form of data backup is simply by keeping 2 copies of the important files. The file which you are working on should always have another copy regularly backed up in another location. It can be a portable hardisk or a network drive. So long as the working file is regularly being copied to another storage device. That in itself is a backup.

Many people now keep copies of files on cloud storage. That is also another form of backup. In fact, there are even settings for photos taken in mobile phones to be automatically backed up on to cloud storage and there are plenty of free ones out there for the public to sign up and use.

A copy of the file being worked on and constantly being passed around without any duplicate is not a backup file. If the data is important enough, please make copies of it and keep it in another location.

If you have large files and lots of data being updated frequently, it will indeed be quite a chore to copy all these files and overwriting them everyday.

Using Software to do the work:

The reason why we even use computer is to improve the way we work, hoping that it will help us to save time. So when there is a lot of copying to be done, do not do manual file level copying.

Its not productive and you get bored after doing it for a short time.

So we use software to do the job. There are quite a few softwares in the market ( some are even free) , which does the job of scheduling regular backup for selected folders and files. So long as the computer is powered on during the designated period, the program will do its job dutifully, running the backup task at the backend.

In fact, these days some of the backup programmes comes bundled with the external harddisk purchased off retail shelves. If you are just going to do files level backup ( ie, keeping an additional copy of the files in another storage location), you can also try Microsoft Syntoy ( which is free for download)

Syntoy does not come with scheduler within the program itself, so you have to run it whenever you want to backup the files. Generally, its good for files which you need duplicate copies but not regular backup.

Anyway, the point to drive across today is that there are ample solutions out there to start doing some form of data backup and it is not nearly as hard as you think.