Q: The one year free version of McAfee antivirus just got over. What do i do now.?
I have a dell laptop which came preinstalled with McAfee. Now that its over. What do i do. Do i have to buy a new one?.. I’ve got a lot of virus on my computer.
A: Things you might want to read: In my humble personal opinion. There is no perfect solution for handling viruses. You cannot install a particular software and say that you are fully protected now. Although thats what people advertise. I do not believe it. As far as i am concerned in order to have a virus free laptop/pc you should have good ‘digital’ habits, if you will. I will get to what they are soon.
But first, What did i do when i was in a similar situation. Well I was sure how to NOT have virus in my pc so what i needed was minimum protection. I have always relied on freeware for protection. At one point, I was with Avira and i liked it then because of the number of notifications Avast threw on me, which obviously annoyed me. But recently i guess avast has grown up and I use Avast now on my Desktop and it runs smoothly.
Your Solution: Since you have the genuine windows that came with your laptop you are entitled to use Windows Security Essentials from the Microsoft website which other people do not have access to. This is your best bet according to me when it comes to free protection. This is what i did with my laptop too. Although if you really want to pay for protection, then you have a whole list of other options that requires another post to discuss about. From the top of my head. Nod32, Bit Defender and Kaspersky come to mind. All three are good but, Nod32 pulled lot less resources (CPU Power) compared to the rest.
Good Digital Habits?
Well i made that up myself, the name, so its fair that there is a chance you havent come across that. When you have good digital habits, your electronic equipment lasts longer and obviously in this case with the pc, it does not get infected with virus hopefully.
Lets list some of them shall we
1. Do not insert your pendrive in every pc you see that has a movie or some photos you need in it. Make sure the owner of the pc has a good sense of how to maintain his pc virus free. Do not be tempted to get everything.
2. Use pendrive for transfer of data rather than STORAGE unless you use it only on your pc. You might never know when you will lose everything. When ever i have to take a print of a document somewhere in the college printer or in a photocopy shop i load only those documents in it and use it for the purpose. I do a quick format there itself in the shop and when i come back and plug it in on my pc i do a quick format again. But you only have to do it once at home and thats enough. Else i plug it in on my Linux system which brings us to the third point. LINUX!
3. Use Linux. When it comes to viruses. Linux is your best bet. None of the virus created for windows affects linux. First of all, you do not have to worry about viruses being inside your pen drives as they are just like any other files which you can absolutely ignore because it will not affect the system. Secondly, it is very easy to remove viruses on a linux system. Why format your pendrive everytime while you can just spot and delete the viruses. To spot and delete a virus it would take either some good experience with the computer or it would require you to remember what you already had in your pen drive. In both cases you can just click and delete these files.
So why can’t i do this on a windows system Joy? The answer is simple. People who create viruses are not idiots. They hide it and make sure that it is not visible (easily). Apparently there are small loopholes in the windows operating system that allows you to do that. Off to point number four and we will stop with that.
4. Be careful with zip files or cracked software. Zip files and Setup files (.exe files) are main sources of viruses. Do not be tempted when someone sends you a mail with a zipfile containing the stuff you need. If you find it suspicious, don’t open it. If its worth that much, then you wouldnt probably worry about your computer getting infected anyways.
There are many other pointers but i do not want to crowd this post with a lot of information. Maybe i’ll write another one that accurately points out and lists the things you should avoid.
The ideas suggested are personal opinions of mine and may contradict with many other sources. I share what i learn and what i’ve learnt from personal experiences to tell you what I would do if i were you.
Thanks for reading.