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May 2002

Fighting viruses: Seven things you should know about antivirus tools

Have you seen that cute screen saver of the Budweiser Frogs? If you do, be careful, 'cause if you download it, you'll lose everything! Your hard drive will crash, and someone from the Internet will get your screen name and password! This is one of the hundreds of computer virus myths, hoaxes and urban legends I've dispelled on my Web site, vmyths.com. Seems like every day, there's a new hoax circulating on the 'Net, duping users into spamming their friends and relatives with bogus alerts that advise them to "SEND THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW IMMEDITATELY!!!" While most IT security managers recognize the tell-tale signs of a virus hoax, many of them operate under mistaken assumptions about the best ways to fight viruses -- including what their AV software should and shouldn't do to help. 1. We're addicted to antivirus updates -- and shouldn't be. We used to inject our PCs with an AV update every quarter, and it felt great. Then we needed a monthly "fix." Next, experts recommended AV updates on a weekly basis. In 1999, users were ...

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