02 Feb 2016

We Heart Antivirus Software (And Why You Should Too)

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It’s by your side when you need it most. It always supports you, no matter what. It makes your day that much better because you know it’s there. When you have antivirus software installed on your computer, you know you’re covered.

Antivirus works day and night to protect you from having your data attacked by known malware, or malicious software. Not only is it your computer’s best friend, but it should be yours too. Check out some tips to install antivirus software and protect against malware, below!

What is Malware?

“Malware” refers to any software used to attack your computer, obtain your private information, access your private computer systems, or spam you with advertising. It can take many forms, such as computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and more (not exactly what you would call “love bugs!”) Malware is most often used to obtain private information from individuals, such as personal identification numbers or details, bank or credit card numbers, and passwords—which is why it is essential for trustees to have protection in place against it.  If your system gets infected with malware, it can become a real heart-breaker!

What is Antivirus Software?

By contrast, antivirus software is your virtual guardian angel. Installing antivirus software is the most effective way that you can prevent your computer from being attacked by known malware, and also detect and remove malware that gains access to your system before it can activate. What’s not to love?

BMS highly recommends that you have an antivirus program installed on your computer and all others in your office, and also that you have an up-to-date virus signature file as well. From an audit that we previously performed of the leading antivirus software providers, BMS recommends that all clients use ESET Endpoint Antivirus as their antivirus software program. This antivirus software is already pre-loaded on your BMS-issued computers.

To check if you already have antivirus software installed on your Windows computer:

  1. Navigate to the Security Center by going to Start > Control Panel > Security Center.
  2. When you visit the Security Center, you will be able to see if you have anti-virus software installed as well as firewall protection.

While antivirus software protects against known types of malware, it unfortunately cannot protect you from viruses that the software does not know about yet. For this reason it is important to make sure that your antivirus software is regularly updated.

Other Tips to Prevent Malware

BMS recommends that in addition to having antivirus software installed on your computer, you should install security updates to your computer’s operating system, web browsers and software programs such as Java, Silverlight, Flash Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader on a regular basis. The companies that make such software patches on a regular interval to protect you from vulnerabilities which hackers may use to infiltrate your system.

BMS also highly recommends that you back up your data and programs using a cloud-based backup service each night so that you are prepared if your computer does get attacked by malware. An example of a cloud-based backup software that will ensure that your programs are backed up regularly is Carbonite.

In addition, you can prevent a malware attack by never:

  • using software from an unknown source;
  • visiting suspicious websites;
  • executing any attachment in an email or instant messaging client unless you are sure what it is and what it will do;
  • relaxing your file access permissions;
  • or using personal or weak passwords on a public network.