Q. Why did I get a virus even though I have an antivirus program?

A. Since the dawn of computer viruses there has been an effort to strike a balance between protecting your computer and freeing it to work efficiently. Blocking all external programs is easy. Blocking all bad external programs while letting in all good external programs has proven to be extremely difficult. PC users hate it when an antivirus is so restrictive that they are slowed down or can’t download something. Conversely they get upset when an antivirus allows something in that harms their computer. Antivirus companies have to strike that balance very carefully or lose customers for either reason.

 Q. What is the best antivirus program?

A. Because the structures of operating systems are stable the ways of protecting them from viruses are so similar that there is little real difference in antivirus programs. No antivirus program can protect you from everything. The best protector of your computer from viruses is you. Just as there are things that you avoid in a car like potholes and ice there are things we must avoid that puts our computer at risk.

Q. What can I do to protect my computer?

I hear people say that they turn their computer off when they aren’t using it to stop viruses from infecting it. It implies that if they are sitting in front of their computer it won’t happen. But that is exactly when it does happen. Clicking on unknown links, granting undue access rights during online gaming and opening forwarded emails are just a examples of the numerous ways we make our computer vulnerable although we have state of the art antivirus.

Q. Should I turn my computer off when I’m not using it?

A. This is a question that has been around since computers were the size of a house. In fact the ancient UNIVAC computers that cost millions were left on continuously because whenever it was shut down many of its myriad of vacuum tubes would blow costing thousands. The UNIVAC was a dinosaur before transistors replaced vacuum tubes resolving that nightmare. I have heard every argument imaginable why a person should or should not turn their PC off when not using it. They all have equally reasonable counter arguments. It is a matter of personal choice that has little negative or positive effect on the computer. Experts do agree however that a computer should be restarted regularly as a healthy reset.

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