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by: Eric Koshinsky
This is a really simple question to answer – you need to use antivirus software to protect your own computer, and to prevent your computer from being used to pass on infections to other machines without your knowledge. If you use the internet and you don't take precautions, you're going to get infected. And you'll infect others, including those you care about most like your friends, family, and business contacts because their information is in your email address book and other files on your computer.
If you don't care about infecting others, let's look at the economic argument for a moment. You have a computer that must have cost at least $600, and perhaps as much as $4,000. On top of that you'll have a monitor for which you paid between $250 and $1000, and you're running software costing at least $500 dollars. If you have business or specialist packages installed then I'm guessing you may have invested $5000 in software alone. You will probably pay upwards of 25 dollars a month for your internet connection. And if you store personal data on your PC, it is probably worth more than money to you.
So you've got equipment worth something like $1400 if you're computing on the cheap, right up to (and beyond) $10,000 if you flex your wallet a little. Think of this as being the same in price as an acceptable older used car right up to the pretty good used car you could buy for ten thousand dollars.
Now imagine that the car had all the locks removed and could be started without a key – and of course you could paint "STEAL ME" on it for good measure. That makes a lot of sense..yea right!
Having a computer that does not have up-to-date antivirus and firewall protection is pretty much exactly the same. You are simply asking for trouble!
This kind of trouble doesn't need to be invited twice, because viruses, worms, Trojans and all the rest, are designed to find unprotected computers and attack them. They don't seek out protected computers! If they find one, they simply move on.
NOTE: Firewalls are one good way to keep the net-nasties moving on, you can learn more about them at: http://www.antivirus-report.com/freeware-firewall.html
Remember, computer viruses are designed, they don't just happen by accident. Because human intelligence is behind the viruses they develop quickly, use surprising and unexpected tactics, and they hit us where we are weakest.
So if you can afford over $1500 on a computer and $300 a year on internet connections, you can definitely afford another $50 to make your computer safe (and prevent it from being used to spread viruses and Trojan horses behind your back).
If you're not convinced about the cost argument, consider the case of David L. Smith - the self-confessed author of the infamous Melissa worm. When he was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment and a fine of $5,000 in New Jersey, the court adjudged Smith's worm to have caused more than £55 million pounds worth of damage!
Against the cost we stand to lose, the risk of losing our priceless personal files, and being blamed by friends and relatives for infecting their machines, the top antivirus software programs cost as little as 2 months internet connection. They all include constant and unlimited automatic updates that keep your system safe and clean.
And if you weren't convinced by the good citizen argument that you should protect your computer to stop others getting infected, then it might be worth mentioning that there is a movement to make people not using antivirus software legally responsible should their machine be used as part of an attack (even if they did not know about it). (Note: I'm not personally a part of such a movement, but it does have its merits!)
So, be a good citizen whilst protecting your wallet and your sanity by installing good antivirus software and keeping it up to date.
To learn more about effective, easy to afford and use PC protection tools, visit http://www.antivirus-report.com
By: Eric Koshinsky
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About The Author
Eric Koshinsky created the layman's guide to antivirus and PC protection after helping too many people deal with simple PC problems. Find out exactly how to protect your computer from harmful internet attacks at http://www.antivirus-report.com. The comprehensive antivirus report is available at no cost. Find out how to block trojan horses, spyware, computer viruses, and other malicious software quickly and easily in one place.