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For an antivirus program to be effective, you must upgrade, update, and scan in a specific order:


1.    Upgrade the antivirus engine.


2.    Update the definition files.


3.    Create an antivirus emergency boot disk.


4.    Configure and run a full on-demand scan.


5.    Schedule monthly full on-demand scans.


6.    Configure and activate on-access scans.


7.    Update the definition files monthly.


8.    Make a new antivirus emergency boot disk monthly.


9.    Get the latest update when fighting a virus outbreak.


10. Repeat all steps when you get a new engine.


If you think this is a lot of work, you are right. However, not doing it can be a lot more work and a lot more trouble.

Upgrading an Antivirus Engine


An antivirus engine is the core program that runs the scanning process; virus definitions are keyed to an engine version number. For example, a 3.x engine will not work with 4.x definition files. When the manufacturer releases a new engine, consider both the cost to upgrade and the added benefits.


Before installing new or upgraded software, back up your entire computer system, including all data.


Updating Definition Files


Every month you need to update your list of known viruses—called the virus definition files. You can do this manually or automatically through the manufacturer’s website. You can use a staging server within your company to download and then distribute the updates, or you can set up each computer to download updates.

Scanning for Viruses


An antivirus scan is the process in which an antivirus program examines the computer suspected of having a virus and eradicates any viruses it finds. There are two types of antivirus scans:

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