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Why do I still get infections when I have Anti-virus?

Very good question, and often in the back of everyone’s mind.  

Many people believe that by having Anti-virus software they are protected. This is correct but the software is somewhat reliant upon the users of the computer it is installed on. 

Malware and virus developers are constantly looking at ways to get around your anti-virus protection. Always trying to find new ways to get into your system and cause havoc.  

The anti-virus manufactures are also constantly trying to keep these nasty developers out and keep your computer safe.  They do this by regularly asking you to update your system, just as Microsoft Windows does when it asks you to restart your computer. However, somewhere along the way you may click on a pop up that the anti-virus software doesn’t override and infects your computer. 

I like to explain it as it being a bit like your home with doors and windows, if you choose to leave the window open or leave the door unlocked, you have left yourself exposed. In computer terms for example, if you open an email attachment that you don’t recognize and run it, you may install a virus before your anti-virus software has a chance to act (you have opened the window). OR when downloading a file or clicking on a link, if you choose to ignore a warning that your anti-virus software displays, you’re telling the software that you know better than it does (not locking your door). 

Things that can assist in protecting you are;  

  • practicing ‘safe internet’ usage 

  • do not open unknown emails and attachments 

  • try to avoid installing unknown software 

  • don’t install toolbars 

  • ensure your firewalls are set up for extra protection 

  • read the message before you click on it 

  • keep your Anti-Virus and Microsoft Windows up-to-date 

So next time you go to click on something, ask yourself am I opening the window or leaving the door unlocked! 

As always, if you need more advice, don’t hesitate to contact your local IT professional. 


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