Anti-virus software offers free top-notch protection

Feb. 11, 2001



If you frequently share data disks with another computer user or send or receive e-mail regularly, chances are you've encountered a virus.

"Virus" is the rather generic term given to a wide range of computer coding that is mischevious and annoying at best, and destructive in its worst forms.

The best -- and only real -- protection computer users have against a computer virus is up-to-date anti-virus software.

And buying a name-brand anti-virus program isn't sufficient. So many new viruses are discovered each week that most anti-virus software companies update their virus data lists nearly every day. And the only way to keep your virus protection current is to download these updates regularly.

One of the best deals going in anti-virus software is InoculateIT Personal Edition, a full-featured software package offered by Computer Associates.

The software was recently given the coveted Editor's Pick award by PC World for its ability to detect and eradicate the "I Love You" worm last year. InoculateIT PE was also selected last year by Windows NT Systmes magazine as one of its "Products of the Year."

InoculateIT PE is the home version of the company's InoculateIT software it sells to businesses and corporations and designed for large networks of users.

The best part is the cost of InoculateIT PE -- it's free. Unlimited updates are also free.

InoculateIT PE works with Windows 95/98/ME operating systems, as well as Windows NT Workstation and Windows 2000 Professional. It automatically detects and cleans conventional file and boot sector viruses, as well as macro viruses that can be sent to you as part of an Office 95, Office 98 or Office 2000 Word, Excel, Powerpoint or Access database files.

In addition to free updates, Computer Associates offers a free e-mail newsletter that can help you stay up-to-date on the latest virus threats. This is especially handy in light of the frequent hoax e-mail virus warnings that circulate constantly on the Internet.

To download your free anti-virus software, visit

SAINT DOT-COM? The Roman Catholic Church has long had its patron saints -- saints chosen as special protectors or guardians over areas of life. These areas can include occupations, illnesses, churches, countries, causes, etc.

But Pope John Paul II is rumored to be ready to name the patron saint of Internet users and computer programmers.

The Vatican reports the Pope will soon name St. Isidore of Seville, nominated two years ago, as the saint devoted to protecting those venturing into cyberspace.

St. Isidore never owned a computer, but wrote what is called the world's first encyclopedia, known as Etymologia.

The work was written more than 1,400 years ago, and was a 20-volume collection of writings on subjects ranging from art and medicine to literature and agriculture.

Spanish Catholics designated St. Isidore as "protector" of World Wide Web in 1999.

There are other candidates in the field being consideres as the Internet's patron saint -- including St. Paul, the Archangel Gabriel and St. Anthony of Padua.

St. Anthony of Padua is already patron saint of the poor and also the finder of lost articles.

The Archangel Gabriel is the patron saint of telecommunications, Argentinian ambassodors, broadcasters, communication workers, postal workers and stamp collectors .

The faithful believe that patron saints can be called upon for intercessory prayers to God.

For more information on patron saints, visit Catholic Saints Online at

CHAT IS TOPS. The most popular use of the Internet has long been electronic mail -- but a new report says that's no longer the case.

People who use chat rooms are now the heaviest users of the Internet, according to a report by NetValue.

Users going online to chat were found to use the Internet twice as much as non-chatters.

NetValue's research found that those who use chat and messaging go online more than 17 days a month, and are heavy users of other Internet protocols, like audio-video streaming and instant messaging.

The research also found that chatters send and receive more than twice as many e-mail messages as average users. Male chatters sent more than three times as many e-mails as the general male Internet users, ValueNet found.

More than half of female chatters were under age 35. Female chatters also spent on average two days more per month online than males.

The survey found that AOL Instant Messenger was the leading messaging software, followed closely by MSN Messenger and ICQ.

FAST ACCESS GAINING. The number of Americans with high-speed Internet access at home grew by 140 percent, according to the Nielsen/NetRatings survey released recently.

Both cable modems and digital subscriber line access subscribers total nearly 12 million subscribers, the study found.

Despite the increase, nearly 2/3 of Amercians still have standard dial-up access, with connections of 56k.

While DSL shows promise, a swelling number of installation horror stories are proof that it needs to mature before it becomes as simple to use as a 56k modem. While high-speed access gets attention, in many areas it will be a long time in coming.

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