Anti-virus, are you doing it right?

Most of my clients are running anti-virus on their home and work computers, but are they using it right? There are 3 key steps to running anti-Virus software correctly.

  1. Install it. This probably seems obvious, but any computing device you connect to the internet should have anti-virus software installed. If you’re using Microsoft Windows, Microsoft offers Security Essentials for free. This includes portable devices like laptops, tablets and smart phones, and yes, if you’re using an Apple computer, you should also be using anti-virus, otherwise you’ll likely never know if your device has been compromised!
  2. Download the latest definitions, regularly. Every day 100s of new viruses are found in the wild, on the internet. Your anti-virus company will provide you with a chance to download the latest definitions of theses viruses likely every day or two. It doesn’t make sense to move to step 3, without doing this step first. Otherwise, your anti-virus software will only be able to find viruses with the latest definitions file it has.
  3. Scan your device. A lot of people think steps 1 or 2 are all you need to do, but that is incorrect. You need to have your anti-virus do a regular, deep scan of your device, so see if it finds any matches between it’s list of definitions, and files on your computer. If it finds a virus, it will offer you a way to remove or quarantine it.

How often do you scan your devices with the latest definitions?