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With the many types of anti-virus software, it is helpful to read a brief description of what the different types do and how they can be beneficial to you and your computer.
Symantec's Norton AntiVirus software is perhaps the world's most trusted antivirus solution. It is available for both Windows PC's, and Macintosh (Symantec Antivirus for Macintosh - SAM). Norton AntiVirus is a very reliable and easy-to-use anti-virus product. It's the best anti-virus product for catching viruses in downloaded files and E-mail. Norton AntiVirus is also more expensive than McAfee VirusScan although not by much, and the added capabilities of Norton can easily make up the difference.
Norton AntiVirus includes many tools that can be run in the background, including watching for suspicious PC activity and automatically checking downloaded files for viruses. Norton AntiVirus is also automatically configured to handle E-mail virus scanning for email messages coming into your computer, as well as those you send. This process automatically scans and cleans both incoming and outgoing email, stopping viruses from infecting your computer or spreading to others. It removes viruses automatically, without interfering your work and prevents infections during real-time online chats, and also detects viruses in instant-message attachments. Because so many viruses and internet worms are now spread using email and Instant Message Systems, this is extremely valuable and necessary protection.
Installation is simple. Simply install the CD in your CD drive, and the installer will launch automatically. The installer should ask you if you want to do a pre-install scan of your system for viruses. This is a very good thing to do. Once this is finished, the installation will proceed, and you can accept all the defaults without worry. Once the installation is complete, you'll be prompted to go online and get up-to-date virus definitions. DO NOT skip this step. Having up-to-date virus definitions is essential to the performance of any antivirus software.
Norton is a very hands-off program. Pretty much it is an install and forget program that looks after itself. It will automatically notify you if there is anything that you need to do. If a virus is found, the software will try to automatically repair the file, if it can not, it will place the file in a safe 'quarantine' zone, and let you know. In addition to looking for known viruses, the Norton Antivirus Bloodhound feature tries to spot new viruses and worms by their behavior that is common to such nasty programs.
Checking your system and downloading updates are two things you need to do regularly. Norton Antivirus makes them painless by setting up a full system scan once a week and checking for new updates (both to the software, and virus definitions) whenever you're online. These simple update scans severely slow down your PC down at all.
Overall, Norton Antivirus is an excellent way to guard against viruses. It is the system that I recommend to my clients most often, and that I use personally.