You don’t have what? No Antivirus?

Twice in the past couple of weeks I’ve had people come up to me with strange pop-ups on their computers. When I ask if their antivirus programs were up-to-date, their response was, “I don’t know if I have an antivirus program.” Sure enough, when looking at their computers, there was nothing installed.

The belief of some is that the computer came with an antivirus program, so it must be there. Reasonable enough. What’s not is that the program that came preinstalled on the computer is usually only valid for 60 to 90 days and then it stops updating.Ā  At that point, you either need to pay the vendor to continue with the updates, or you need to install a different antivirus program.

There are several very good free antivirus programs, such as Avira, AVG and Avast. These continue to get very good reviews and being that they are free, there’s no excuse not to have one.

What I recommend, after a user gets these strange pop-ups, is to go to, download their anti-malware program, run it to clean your system. Then, go to an online antivirus scanner, such as Panda Software’s Free Online Scan or Trend Micro’s HouseCall. One other tool to run at the Trend Micro site is RUBotted to see if your computer has been hacked and is now a Bot. After that, install one of the free antivirus programs above and make sure it is set to automatically update.

Even with all that, there’s no guarantee you won’t be infected when a virus comes out, but it’s a whole lot better than having no protection at all.


3 Responses

  1. Finding computers with no active Anti-virus installed always reminds me of two things:

    1. Cars that have never had their oil changed.
    2. Home owners that have never changed their furnace filters.

    The difference as you point out though is that AV is available for Free as are many other PC Security programs.

  2. […] Ignore pop-up messages. Set your browser to block pop-up messages. If you do receive one, click on the ā€œXā€ at the top right corner of the title bar to close the pop-up message. If that doesn’t work, close your browser. Never accept a pop-up window’s notice that your computer is infected. That should only come from your installed and updated anti-virus program. What? You say you don’t have an anti-virus program? Read my previous post on that here. […]

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