Although this might seem like a silly question, "How to prevent a virus?", some people really have no clue how and why we should protect against malware and other technological parasites.

Why Protect?

Let us assume "malware" is an all-inclusive term that includes, but is not limited to, worms, viruses, grayware, riskware, scareware, and trojans. Why on Earth would we protect our computers from these little bits of code that could possibly have no adverse effect on our systems? Well, you always must think to yourself, "what if?"

What if you did visit a website or opened an email attachment and you did get malware from this malicious website or email attachment. What if this malware took over your computer and copied itself into hundreds of directories and was secretly logging every keystroke you made on your computer. This malware could potentially have banking usernames and passwords, credit card information, or other personal information that is sent over the internet.

What if malware took over your computer and began deleting critical system files and folders? It would be annoying to have to reinstall your operating system because malware hijacked your computer. But this doesn't happen with ever infection; we need to weigh the pros and cons of both sides.

Pros Cons
Protects system against malware Reduction of system performance
Peace of mind Expensive anti-virus programs
Less chance of becoming infected Doesn't always catch everything
An extra set of eyes always watching out for your system I don't need it because I don't visit malicious websites

As wonderful as these arguments are, it is still better to have anti-virus than to not have it. When surfing the world wide web, you never know what your system might catch. Even if you visit a website that you know is malware-free, it still could give you malware. Malicious code writes are always coming up with better ways to infect systems and steal information or cause a nuisance.

What Programs to Use

It is a well know fact that there are a billion different anti-viral, anti-adware,and anti-malware programs. Not to mention email filters, spam filters, and popup blockers.

This begs the question, "What program should I use?" In my opinion, the best option is always the free option. This will save you money and will suffice in most cases. Great free programs are the following:

There are other paid options, however. According to CNET ( a widely respected and well known technology-based website), the top paid anti-viral programs were the following:

http://us.trendmicro.com/us/home/

To see the full list the CNET's reviews, check out this link for the full list.

Personally, my favorite antivirus is free and it worked wonderfully. Download Microsoft Security Essentials for free and be protected from viruses and other malware. This software works very well and AomicPages strongly recommends this program.

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