Anti-virus scanner programs are designed to detect
and innoculate known viruses. These programs must be frequently
updated. While monthly or quarterly updates may be sufficient, often,
new viruses spread very quickly. If you haven't updated your virus
software for several weeks or months, your system may be susceptible to such
a new virus. Thus, we recommend that you update your virus software as
often as once per week, if not more frequently.
Updates are fairly quick and easy, and are typically
done right over the Internet. After a short "free update"
period, most anti-virus programs require a paid subscription, however.
These subscriptions are necessary to allow the software company to research
new viruses and provide software updates. While no one enjoys paying
for this type of software subscription, keep in mind that it is cheap
insurance against a virus causing a disaster on your computer.
Most anti-virus programs
allow you to check for updates on a scheduled basis or to get a virus update
"on demand". So if
you hear about a new virus, you can force your anti-virus
software to obtain an update right then. After you've obtained the
virus "signature" updates, you can scan your computer to be sure
the most recent viruses haven't already infected your system.
Links to Anti-Virus Software company sites, along
with other virus information: