One of the most important measures you can take to prevent viruses from infecting your computer is to install anti-virus software. Anti-virus software is a program designed specifically to detect and remove viruses, making it an essential application to install. Once you install anti-virus software, it scans your computer and cleans any viruses it finds.

Since Vista does not include anti-virus software, you need to purchase your own. Some of the more popular anti-virus software programs are listed below.

  • Trend Micro
  • McAfee
  • F-secure
  • Symantec
  • Computer Associates
  • Panda Software

Note: Before purchasing anti-virus software, make sure that it is supported by Vista.

Since new viruses are constantly being created, the makers of anti-virus software have to constantly update their database with new fixes for detecting and removing them. So installing anti-virus software does not necessarily mean your system is secure. You have to make sure you update the signature files for the anti-virus software so it can detect and remove new viruses. Generally you can update the signature files over the Internet.
Signature files contain the latest virus updates. Therefore its important to keep the signature files up-to-date. This can be done by downloading the latest files from the vendor’s Web site. Not keeping the signature files up-to-date defeats the purpose of installing anti-virus software as your computer will not be protected against the latest viruses.

Spyware is almost as undesirable as viruses because it can monitor our actions on the Internet. Some companies have been known to use spyware to gather data about customers. Even though it is not illegal, the spyware running on your computer may be tracking and sending data from your computer to another server on the Internet.

Vista includes its own spyware protection. Windows Defender is a spyware scanning application that looks for potential threats and shuts them down and alerts you when applications engage in suspicious activities. It is enabled by default and requires little to no configuration. You can verify that it is enabled through the Security Center within the Control Panel.

[tags]Windows, Vista, OS, Microsoft, install, installation, Windows upgrade[/tags]