Ever since owning my first computer I’ve used anti-virus software. This morning I was extremely pleased that both my computers are running anti-virus software (Avast on the desktop and AVG on the laptop). Prior to leaving for work I quickly checked my email. Spotting a message from a relative I opened the email and clicked on the link contained therein. Thank goodness for AVG free edition which generated a virus warning and prevented the link from opening. Had I not been running an anti-virus programme I would, in all probability not be writing this now as my PC would have been rendered totally useless owing to a computer virus. Alternatively I might be merrily emailing all and sundry passing on the malware which (had it not been for AVG) could have compromised my machine and that of others.
I think that what had happened is that some kind of malicious programme had hijacked my aunt’s PC and was sending out infected emails (without her knowledge) to everyone in her contact list. The moral of this story, always run a good anti-virus programme together with anti-spyware software to minimise the risk of having your PC compromised. It isn’t merely the inconvenience of not being able to use your computer which should concern you but just as importantly (if not more so) the fact that failure to take precautions could cause spyware to become installed and your financial or other data stolen by criminals.
I’ve never paid for PC protection and have always found the free versions of programmes such as Avast and AVG very effective in countering threats. As regards anti-spyware software, Spybot Search and Destroy is very good as is the free version of Zonealarm. So do yourself a favour and download some protection if you haven’t already got it.