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Sweet Mercy Save Me From Viruses

This is not just another Anti Virus post… I’m certain that I’m almost as tired of cleaning up viruses as people are of getting them.  Certainly, you are tired of the slow death of your computer from malware, until you finally can’t take it any more and get it fixed.  More alarming, although less obvious at first, is the risk of hacking, stealing (ID and Credit Card), spam etc, etc…

Once in a while we are teased that we must be in “cahoots” with the people who make viruses in order to make a buck. In reality, there are so many other computer related activities we’d rather be doing.  For instance, we get an unnatural excitement form the phrase “let’s setup a new network” or “we need a new software package installed”!  How awesome is it to help a customer install a system that will improve their productivity? Let’s just say, the reason we wear golf shirts all year round is to cool off when a customer utters those phrases.

The problem with Anti-Virus programs

For the most part Anti Virus programs are reactive in nature, meaning they are “updated” in order to be made aware of the latest viruses. The unfortunate part of this, is that means the virus is already active somewhere “out there” and if you are one of the unlucky that gets the virus before the Anti-Virus software companies are aware of it, you are out of luck. Too bad, so sad, you will start the Virus Infected “Green Mile” walk, so to speak. To illustrate:

  1. The link you clicked on for the latest news report takes you to a site that you’d rather wish your mother-in-law or boss was not sitting next to you when it came up (awkward…)
  2. Unbeknown to you the little picture next to your clock that indicates your anti-virus program is working is now gone or worse, has been replaced with some other official, but generic sounding program claiming it needs to clean your system. Which is does “successfully” after you enter your credit card number.
  3. Your computer now takes longer to boot, longer to use and certainly longer to surf the net.
  4. Finally, the computer freezes up or won’t boot at all… time to call the technician.

At this point hopefully the computer can be cleaned without wiping the hard drive and starting from scratch, the difference can mean $100 or more.

No one likes sad endings to blog posts, so what is the other option?

While there is yet to be a reliable method of detecting viruses that are not “known”, there is another tool to reduce the impact of you virus infection.  There is a method to monitor the status of your Anti-Virus (AV) software.  This service is called Managed Anti-Virus (MAV). Using Managed Anti-Virus provides protection just like any other AV program, the difference is in symptom #2, from above. As soon as the Anti-Virus program fails or stops updating your Managed Anti-Virus provider is notified, who in turn notifies you!  Suddenly, what could have been a complex process of virus cleaning and a potential, very involved process of recovering data,  wiping the hard drive, rebuilding windows, copying data and re-installing your software is now likely a straight forward virus removal.

All for around the same price of a standard Anti-Virus program.

Oh wait, there’s more! (does that sound like I’m selling a knife on an info-mercial?) MAV also eliminates the hassle of annual licencing with standard applications. We simply add-on monthly fee to a service contract or create a monthly/quarterly/annual invoice.

Managed Anti-Virus is the next phase of the war on viruses and their creators. The convenience, reliability and flexibility provide the next evolutionary step in virus protection.

Eddie Phillips is the President of REP4 Technologies Inc. in Selkirk, Manitoba. Eddie is a 16 year IT veteran using his experiences from working for  Microsoft, Texas Instruments and HP to grow technological awareness throughout the Interlake. For past articles, visit www.rep4.com or if you have any questions on this Tech Tips article email him at eddie.phillips@rep4.com.

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