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Computer Viruses – A Risk Worth Taking

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If youve never been the victim of a computer virus, you may think that all of the uproar over these nasty little programs is making much ado out of nothing. You may even be thinking that computer security experts and anti-virus companies are using scare tactics to sell anti-virus software. After all, the bigger the problem, the more software people buy. Today, the anti-virus business is worth several billion dollars and it shows no sign of slowing down.

So, with all of this money at risk, you are certainly justified in wondering whether computer viruses really are as big a problem as the industry says they are.

Unfortunately, the answer is that they absolutely are. If you get a virus, you could actually lose your money, your identity and your computers hard drive. With new viruses being developed constantly, the problem continues to grow. While many viruses are more annoying than destructive, even a 'harmless' virus can use up valuable resources. The worst viruses can spread worldwide in a few days and wreak unbelievable havoc. The damage from one infamous virus can mean billions of dollars in lost business opportunities and damaged equipment.

With all of this bad news, is there any good news for computer users? Take this quick risk quiz:

1. Does your computer have antivirus software installed on it?

If you can say yes, you are much less a risk than people that dont have antivirus software. If you say no, than it is only a matter of time until you find out about viruses personally.

2. Does your computer have a firewall installed on it? If your response is yes again, you can relax a bit. Youre doing all you can do software wise to keep your computer safe from a deadly virus. If you say no again, you are leaving your computer wide open for an attack.

Despite all of the media attention paid to antivirus software, people still have the 'It cant happen to me.' mentality. They laugh off warnings to protect their computers and say that they are working just fine. They think that because they never actually initiate a file download or send and receive files with friends, they are safe. A few months go by and suddenly they cant get their computers to boot up forever and then when they finally do start, they plod along at a snails pace.

To make things worse, quite a few of these computer users who leave their computers unprotected are actually taking classes for computer related careers. They are completely at sea when they have to try to repair the damage caused by a virus filled computer. Perhaps a basic class on computer care and repair is in order!

You are probably wondering how viruses develop anyway. Hackers are the people creating these nasty bugs, right? Actually, while some hackers may decide to create computer viruses, most of them spend all of their waking hours attempting to break in to the most secure and top secret systems they can find. People who write viruses are people with an ax to grind. They want to send a wake up message or show people that they are superior to them. Today, many people are concerned that computer viruses could be used as a terrorist weapon.

If you do get a computer virus, will you lose everything on your hard drive? It actually is rare for this type of virus to spread very fast or far. Annoying viruses that stop you from starting your computer or using windows or those that mail spoof emails to your entire email address book are much more common. The hard drive is usually recoverable when the computer has one of these viruses.

What about your financial and personal information? Are viruses really likely to swipe them from the computer. Absolutely. This is a common reason that viruses are created and spread.

Is there any way to keep your computer virus free? While no anti-virus software is foolproof, installing one of these programs can provide some protection. While there are anti-virus software programs that provide better protection, any of them will help somewhat. Even free anti-virus programs are actually able to ward off at least some viruses.

After reading this information on viruses and anti-virus software, you have probably resolved to get protection for your computer right away. If so, you wont be sorry. Dealing with viruses after you are infected is frustrating and time consuming. It is so much easier to keep a disaster from happening instead of trying to reconstruct a ton of missing data and worry about identity or financial thefts after the fact.

Author Niall Roche asks - If you're not using computer virus protection? Why not? Are you aware of the risks youre taking? Learn more about computer viruses and how you can fight back against them by clicking over to www.cpusecurity.com. Laptop repair.

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Best Bang For the Buck Computer Upgrades- Memory

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One of the very best upgrades you can make for your computer is to install more memory. Usually it's more cost-effective than almost any other upgrade you might look at. And isn't that the purpose? To get the most bang for your upgrade buck.

The fact is that upgrading the memory on your computer is one of the cheapest, most effective upgrades you can do. It generally provides for faster processing of all essential tasks. Swifter and more efficient multi-tasking. You can do more than one thing at a time without the computer grinding down to a halt.

The amount of memory you'll need depends on what you use the computer for. So called power users who are playing games, creating videos and DVDs aren't going to be happy with less than a few gigabytes of memory. But, at the very least, you should shoot for at least 512MB of memory, and 1GB if you plan on using Microsoft Vista.

The problem is not all computers are made equally. You can't just run down to your neighborhood computer store, and buy any old memory and expect that you're going to be able to get it to work with your computer.

When you have a laptop the problem is especially apparent. Laptops are notorious for not having much space for memory, and being picky about the memory that will run in them. Usually the users manual or the website of the computer company can help you determine what type of memory you need to upgrade.

So, once you have the right size figured out, you have to go one step extra. You have to find out if you have the room to install more memory in your computer. Each computer has a limited amount of physical space to install the memory, and a limit to how much memory can be used. So, you'll have to find out how much physical space is available, and what the impact will be if you have to switch smaller chips with bigger chips. For instance if your computer has two slots filled with 256MB chips for a total of 512MB, and you bought two 512MB chips. You would only have 1GB of memory, and the old 256MB chips will not be able to be used. It's a little complicated, but worth the trouble to figure out.

A fantastic resource for looking up what kind of memory you should use is www.crucial.com. They have many of the makes and models of all major manufacturers, and provide guidelines for purchasing and installing more memory.

Dollar for dollar, buck for buck upgrading the computer memory is the most efficient upgrade path for most computers. And rather than going out and buying a new computer every few years, a good defrag and an increase in memory is often enough to do the trick.

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