Virus Protection

Finding a virus on your system may not be easy; they often don’t cooperate. Using anti-virus tools is important for your protection.

A virus may or may not present itself. Viruses attempt to spread before activating whatever malicious activity they may have been programmed to deliver. So, viruses will often try to hide themselves. Sometimes there are symptoms that can be observed by a trained casual observer who knows what to look for (but, don’t count on it).

Virus authors often place a wide variety of indicators into their viruses (e.g., messages, music, graphic displays). These, however, typically only show up when the virus payload activates. With DOS systems, the unaccounted for reduction of the amount of RAM known to be in the computer is an important indicator resident viruses have a hard time getting around. But, under Windows, there is no clear indicator like that. The bottom line is that one must use anti-virus software to detect (and fix) most viruses once they are on your system.

Your main defense and protection is to detect and identify specific virus attacks to your computer. There are three methods in general use. Each has pros and cons and are discussed via these links. Often, a given anti-virus software program will use some combination of the three techniques for maximum possibility of detection.

In a more general sense, check here for some ideas about using the above-referenced methods and other useful information:

Another line of defense is continuing education. Click below to see some sources of on-going information.


  • Viruses, by design, are hard to find using standard tools. SCANDISK and MEM can help, but don’t rely on them to find viruses and never rely on DOS commands to eliminate a virus.
  • Anti-virus software helps using techniques of:
    • Scanning
    • Interception
    • Integrity Checking
  • You can help by taking some common sense precautions and keeping educated.
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