There’s no substitute for effective antivirus software if you use your computer the way most people do. Most antivirus programs automatically connect to Outlook 2013, scan incoming message for viruses, and automatically block any message that might be infected.
One of the biggest risks for every computer owner is a virus infection. You’ve probably heard news reports about computer viruses that spread across the Internet faster than a wildfire and to much worse effect. Every day new viruses seem to appear, and each new virus gets sneakier about how it wheedles its way into your system.
Many viruses come to you through e-mail, often appearing as e-mail messages that look like they’re from people you know. Others sneak in through your browser when you’re surfing the web. Most viruses only create a mild annoyance, but some are so destructive that they can render your computer permanently useless and destroy all the work you’ve created and left on that machine, then move on to all your friends’ computers and do the same to them.
The tricky thing about antivirus software is that there are fake antivirus programs out there that pretend to protect you, but actually act as viruses themselves, inflicting your machine with alarms and annoyances and forcing you to buy “updates” that only make the problem worse.
If you don’t keep up with the latest developments in antivirus software, your best bet is to buy a well-known brand of antivirus software at your favorite computer store and install it as soon as you can. Some computers come with antivirus software, but those packages sometimes want you to buy annual updates.
If the software is Norton Antivirus from Symantec, McAfee VirusScan, or Kaspersky Internet Security, you know they’re legitimate and you’ll do well to buy the updates. You can also go to an antivirus software manufacturer’s website and buy a downloadable version.
You can get legitimate antivirus titles for free. Microsoft offers a free antivirus program called Microsoft Security Essentials, which looks good and heaven knows the price is right.
Bear in mind, however, that if you rely on free antivirus software, you’ll have nobody to call when something goes wrong, and antivirus software matters most when something goes wrong. If you’re not comfortable dealing with geeky details yourself, the for-fee antivirus programs are worth what you pay.