Antivirus Software

Why do I need protection from e-mail?

The rise in popularity of e-mail worms has increased the need for everyone to have an antivirus product protecting their system, but many products don't adequately protect PCs from being infected. Often the increasing desire for integration between e-mail programs and office applications has left security holes that are quickly exploited by worms such as Klez and more recently by the Netsky variants. In these cases, e-mail can be structured so just viewing the message is enough to cause infection on a system where the security patches are out of date, which is common.

The problem lies in the way that many e-mail programs work - they download a mail message, and store it in their own database format. Antivirus programs work on scanning file types they understand through the regular file-system (for example, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS), so they don't necessarily have support for understanding the data structures that your e-mail program uses to store mail messages and their attached files. This means that should your PC download an infected e-mail that your software isn't patched for, not only does your PC become infected, but it becomes very difficult to clean your system and not lose all your e-mails (every time you look at the e-mail inbox you re-infect the PC). This caused a lot of people bother with the W32.Klez worm attacking antivirus programs as its first step, and the cleaning tools released by antivirus vendors affected by this attack were not capable of cleaning the contents of mailboxes.

There are two ways around this - either become very good at downloading all the patches for your Web browser and e-mail programs as they are released, or get an antivirus package that will hook into your mail program and browser and keep it up to date.

For the e-mail system to be adequately protected, it is important that the scanning take place before the e-mail is stored anywhere that it might execute or be triggered by the user. In other words, the e-mail system needs to hand off all data to the antivirus scanner as the mail is downloaded and sent from the system (or be talking to the POP3 server via the antivirus program).

Not all e-mail packages are supported for this kind of integration, but scanners exist that integrate tightly with versions of Microsoft Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook, Netscape Messenger, Netscape, Eudora Pro and Becky Internet Mail. Some scanners also claim to integrate with any MAPI or POP3 client.

Why do I need protection from IM?

Instant Messaging is now one of the most popular uses for a computer online and it didn't take long before the IM vendors added support for file-sharing. IM integration for an antivirus product means that it will provide the same kind of protection offered by email support - scanning of files as they are downloaded and before they are made available to the computer user. This protects the computer from either accidental virus transfer from friends or malicious attempts to gain remote control of a computer by sending someone a Trojan or backdoor application and claiming it is something else.

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PC World Staff

PC World




k7 antivirus

i had regular virus problems on my pc like yours. after seeing your comment i purchased this product and used it. I am happy too.

Kevin Linden


I stongly recommend not to buy Norton Antivirus2010, I have had two serious viruses in one month. And forget the free 24/7 customer service, infact forget any customer service! You will past onto a Yogi technician in India, usually they cannot speak coherent English!
They will mess around with your computer for a bout three hours and try to charge you$139 to have a microsoft technician fix the problem. My computer was still under guarantee, so thankfully I had the presence of mind to tell them to get lost!
Hewlett Packard Helped but once again there is that fast speaking Indian Accent problem. Why do these corporations pay fortotally substandard help desk personnel in other countries? It is an insult to their customers!



Often one standalone program is not enough and many experts recommend a teired approach to malware.

I use and recommend Norton Internet Security 2010 and Counterspy. I have never had a problem with malware.
These programs offer top shelf protection. Kaspersky also is good at detecting malware but not my preferred choice.

There were some complaints regarding Norton in the past but the program has matured in recent years and is now one of the best programs available offering solid defence against internet threats. Norton also uses minimal recourses.

I am online almost 24/7 and game, chat, research and shop and never have any issues relating to malware.
I run a second on demand scanner from time to time to check
that my system is clean. And have not found any infections.
Friends that I have recommended Norton to have also been very happy with Norton Internet Security and there systems remain clean and funtioning properly.

Norton is now a great product and highly recommended.



I like Ur Briefing about Virus.
But I don't know that in which way i clear my PC from Virus.
I installed Antivrus.But no working.



id just like to say that working in IT... i think you guys need to understand that a good anti v program will tell you you have viruses. a useless one will say you've got none. 9 times outta 10 theyre lying or don't detect it... if u are regularly being told uv git a virus uv got a good anti virus.... guarenteed plug ur "infection free hdd" upto a norton internet security protected pc... norton will find somethin ur av has missed

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