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Technical Tips - Viruses

General Info

Computer virus' are basically self replicating programs written by ill-intentioned programmers. They are most commonly transmitted from computer to computer by floppy disks, networks, e-mail and the internet. Some don't cause any real damage, but seem to merely be a test of the programmers replicating technique. Others can destroy the data on your computer systems hard drive causing the computer to malfunction in a variety of ways.

There are virus scanners available that can prevent, detect and remove computer virus' . However, for reliable protection they must be updated regularly with the latest known 'virus signatures', because new virus' are created and released into the 'wild' every day.

Virus Software

Symantec's Norton Antivirus is probably one of the best Antivirus programs on the market today. With its live update feature it is easy to keep your virus signatures up to date and protect your PC against all the latest known virus'. New updates are available weekly, free of charge, and are automatically downloaded and installed with the click of a button, provided you have internet access.

Please Note: Because of the ever changing computer hardware and software available today many programs have some issues associated with them. I am currently aware of a problem with the Norton Antivirus 5.0 and Windows 98. After installing the Norton Antivirus 5.0 in Windows 98 many people are experiencing Shut Down problems. Symantec does have some articles describing the problem and some possible solutions on their website. Norton Antivirus 4.0 does not seem to cause this problem.

Virus Hoax's

There are also Virus Hoaxes. These virus' don't even exist, but the idea is to scare unsuspecting users. A virus hoax is usually circulated through a mass e-mailing, encouraging the recipients to send the message to everyone they know. A complete list of known virus hoaxes is available online at: .

If you receive an e-mail message warning you of a newley discovered virus and you suspect it may be a hoax check it out at the address above. Forwarding the message to your friends if it is a hoax only adds to the problem and creates unnecessary concern.

To learn more about computer virus' visit Symantec Corporation's Norton Antivirus website. Also, the Symantec Antivirus Research Center SARC, provides an excellent resource for most any virus related questions! For an extensive Encyclopedia of known virus' visit

* For more Tech Tips see the Tech Tip Archives!


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