Thursday, December 11, 2008

Anti-virus software

From an IT consultant's point of view, the anti-virus software market is a hard market to recommend to client. No software will fully protect a client, and the leading software sold by many retail stores, is not software I would suggest. Every anti-virus software I've tested or come across with clients, and that is most of the commonly available software, has not protected one or more computers, resulting in infected computers.

At this stage the software I suggest subject to people using coming sense with their emails, and in particular emails with attachments, is the Computers Associates software.

The software above is the anti-virus software, but I prefer getting the anti-virus plus spyware version as having both in the one packages makes things easier. Purchasing the three user version represents good value for money.

For overseas buyers one interesting quirk I found is the cost of the software if purchasing in America in US dollars, is the same amount as Australian dollars. With the exchange rate that means Americans can possibly save 20-30% by purchasing from the Australian site. The same may apply to other countries. Of course it probably does mean support may be an issue, but we've found over the years we haven't used CA support. The other anti-virus companies we have used have not been very good, so we tend to solve our own problems, as I'm sure most people do.

If you have a bad infection on your computer, often the most cost effective thing to do is to save all your data to external media and then reload the operating system.

I and my clients also use OzEfilter which is software I wrote. OzEfilter enables me to delete unwanted emails at the mail server and this approach stops infected emails getting near my computer.

Using an anti-virus plus spyware program, OzEfilter, and good old fashioned common sense, I've found to be the best protection against malicious software like viruses and spyware.

Interestingly I've found quite a few people who don't even realise their computer is infected. Pop-up messages when not browsing the Internet, keyboard or mouse not working, and the lights on their ADSL modem indicating constant traffic, are some of the symptoms of an infected computer which people don't realise. Downloading the trial version of CA anti-virus is a good way to check a computer. It won't fix the problem, but it may let you know you have a problem.

- Kelvin Eldridge

PS. The Computer Associates anti-virus software above is 29.99 GBP/39.99 EURO when purchased from the UK site. According to Google's exchange rates 29.99 GBP is 67.37 AUD and 39.99 EURO is 78.91 AUD. The current price purchasing from the Australian site for Computer Associates is 39.99 Australian dollars. That's up to a massive 50% saving over the EURO price. The price on the US site is 39.99 USD which is 60.64 AUD. If you are in the United States of Europe buying from the Australian site could save you 30-50%. You should be aware banks and credit card companies will charge for the exchange rate, but there are still good savings to be made by buying from Australia.

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