The Norman Transcript

Local news

May 5, 2013

The rules of digital engagement

NORMAN — Few computer users remain who don’t know their computer should have some sort of antivirus protection. Whether it’s a Windows PC or a once-thought-to-be-immune Apple Mac, good antivirus protection is a must-have.

Like most things related to computer safety and security, antivirus programs are not magic, hands-off, no-thought-required products. You will still have to do a few things, answer a few questions and make a few decisions. Your effort will be rewarded, provided you follow a few basic rules.

You should have no more than one antivirus program installed and actively running at a time; the key word here is “running.” Some antivirus programs can be installed, but not constantly running in the background. In other words, they can be run “on demand” to give your computer a checkup at your discretion, but they don’t start running as soon as you turn on your computer.

You do want to have an antivirus program that starts up and actively runs in the background as soon as you turn on your computer. This is called “real-time protection,” and it is something you absolutely must have. However, there should be only one product that provides this vital function. If you have two antivirus programs installed and providing real-time protection at the same time, they will fight each other, and the result can be worse than not having anything at all.

Choosing which antivirus product to use can be a challenging quest. Naturally, every antivirus company claims to be the best, and truly objective online reviews of antivirus programs can be hard to come by. As such, I have chosen to trust the evaluations and test results of, shall we say, the leading consumer reporting magazine of our times.

My reasons for this are simple: they have a million-dollar laboratory to test antivirus products, and I do not. I also do not have a team of technicians to do my bidding, but they do. This “leading consumer reporting magazine” is renowned for its impartiality and thoroughness, so I have adopted their antivirus opinions as my own.

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