Everyone, and I mean everyone should have anti-virus software installed if they use a computer that is networked in any way, shape, or form. (If you’re reading this you are on the largest network alone- the Internet!) If you don’t, you are not only putting yourself and your data at risk, but pretty much are putting the rest of us at risk as well (especially those you have the most contact with via email or other online communication).

Even if its been a long time since you installed it or updated it -perhaps you bought a computer in 2001 with Windows 2000 (or worse, you may still have Windows 98) on it and you had a ‘trial’ version of some anti-virus software that you’ve never upgraded or updated- you should probably consider one of the new generation anti-virus programs.

My current favorites are from Trend Micro and Computer Associates.

Trend Micro has a place on my recommended list because when some of the other big companies seemed to be just sitting on their laurels, Trend Micro was making great advancements and incorporating new technologies into their products. Plus I have a soft-spot for a company that gives you free tools and good prices. Trend Micro was the first anti-virus to offer a free online scan- with Housecall. Although scanning online will not protect you from viruses, it will let you find and destroy them if you’re already infected. Plus its nice to have a ‘second opinion’ for peace of mind if you do have some sort of outbreak with another anti-virus product.
Anyway, your best bet is to install their PC-cillin Internet Security which gives you all-in-one antivirus, antispam, firewall for your PC and PDA. They are also offering $25 Competitive Upgrade Rebates until the end of 2006, if you need that nudge to upgrade that five year old version of McAfee you are fooling yourself into thinking is protecting you.

The second company I prefer is Computer Associates. They also have Internet Security Software that is effective, easy to use, and affordably priced. They also acquired Pest Patrol and have started incorporating anti-spyware into their products as well as offering FREE Scans. I currently run EZ Armor myself with PestPatrol on the side.