A virus is software that is intended by its creator to cause disruptive behavior in a computer. The disruption can range from annoying pop-up windows while browsing to loss of data or inoperability of the Operating System. There are several ways in which you can protect yourself from such attacks.
1. Virus scanner – This software scans your system for signs of any viruses and informs you of their presence. Thereafter you can choose to quarantine, clean or delete the infected file. Most virus scanners these days have an option called “Real time scanning” and this enables the virus scanner to scan each file as it is accessed or when it is downloaded/copied on to your system. Although most of the big name virus scanners have to be purchased, there are several vendors who offer free scanners for home users.
2. Malware scanner – These are typically used to seek out software that activates whenever an internet connection is detected. They can launch pop-ups, re-direct your browser to a designated website or even steal your personal/credit card details. Having a malware scanner is essential if you are connected to the internet. These programs also feature a real-time scanner and come in paid and free versions.
3. Firewall – Using a firewall requires a little bit of experience, but it offers more control to the user in terms of what gets into and out of the system. If you wish to experiment with one, choose an easy to use, simple and free firewall that can be found online before you decide to purchase a more advanced one.