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Protect Your PC from the Latest Virus

by Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

If you are receiving e-mail newsletters, you probably read occasionally about a new computer virus, including a few threatening Y2K damage. Do pay attention to these announcements from trustworthy sources. Consider protecting your own computer, as well as the computers of any associates with whom you exchange e-mail, floppy disks, Zip cartridges, or IRC chats.

There is a hacker underworld hard at work on the next virus and/or viral mutations. It's difficult for non-hackers to understand hacker motivation, since we know that the virus developer does not get to see the anguish he causes. We do know that hackers delight in developing unique ways to bring computers and networks to a screeching halt, sometimes destroying all data at the same time.

In self-defense, we must install and maintain dependable anti-virus software. Happily, the anti-virus software companies make it easy to update the software after we install the basic anti-virus program. Both of the software programs described below can be updated from their company Web sites at no additional charge.

Since the anti-virus software companies scramble to develop "cures" for each new virus, the update files are usually ready to protect computers within days of a new viral discovery. This means that we can and should update our anti-virus software every time we hear about another dangerous virus.

Norton AntiVirus 2000 from Symantec

Go to to purchase Norton AntiVirus 2000 for $39.95. You can purchase the Windows 95/98 program as a file downloadable today, or as a full software package to be shipped to you.

McAfee VirusScan from McAfee

Go to to purchase McAfee VirusScan V4.0. At this writing, the site is offering a $29.95 special for VirusScan and your choice of one additional software utility. This is the price for the downloadable files.


If you prefer not to purchase online, you can usually find both programs at Fry's and large computer stores. It's vital to protect our computers from malicious hacker mischief, so please do install an anti-virus program.

~ Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. Contact her at or visit her Web site at




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