Antivirus software helps protect your computer from known viruses.
Your most important defense against viruses is antivirus software. Install it, use it, and keep it up to date. If your computer is on a network, your network administrator is probably looking after this for you. This software is essential as a defense against viruses.
Antivirus software is designed to detect known viruses. Because new viruses are always being written, it's essential to keep your antivirus software up to date. When a new virus hits the world, the antivirus software manufacturers normally have an update available for download on their Web sites within hours.
Antivirus software uses two basic screening methods: it scans for viruses when you download a file, or it scans when you open a file. You should check your antivirus software to find out whether it scans all files automatically or whether you need to do something to trigger it to scan before you download files. If you are downloading files without scanning them first, you could have infected files stored on your computer.
For more antivirus resources, see the Quick Reference Card at the end of the course.