Running anti-virus software on your computer is an absolute necessity, especially if you are accessing the internet. These programs will prevent your computer from being infected by viruses, worms, Trojans, and other malware that can do a wide range of damage. These viruses exist almost everywhere in cyberspace, and without protection, you are always at risk from picking them up through email, popup ads or by visiting a malicious website.
Some damage is not that serious, but the most notorious viruses can access your address book, use your computer to send viruses to others, and do damage to your computer. There are viruses that cause your PC to shut down or to perform all sorts of illegal actions. Others can access your documents and steal your information. In the worst case, they can render your machine unusable.
Most Antivirus programs also include anti-spyware as well. Spyware applications can install programs that track keystrokes in an attempt to collect credit cards numbers, bank account numbers and passwords. Others can do damage by corrupting files and documents, or installing programs that perform a destructive action, for example, shutting down a computer whenever a word document is opened.
Even if you do not access the internet, itâ€™s still possible to be infected. Documents can be infected with viruses or harmful macros. If you access these documents from an external drive, the viruses can replicate when they document is opened. You do not even need to be online for this to happen.
If you are fond of watching online movies and web streams, then you must use the media players and video codecs that are packed with security features. Codecs like xvid and divx are constantly updated with security related fixes and are bug free.
While the source of most viruses can be traced to an email, many people suddenly find they have a virus and have no idea where it came from. Virus creators are increasingly creative in developing ways to spread infections, usually without you ever knowing. A reliable antivirus program is a must for every computer user. The cost of the program far outweighs the cost of professional virus removal.