Saturday, February 16, 2008

Antivirus Programs and Web 2.0 Applications

Paden found out the hard way that going without an antivirus program can really throw a spanner into the works. Granted, she did not start out without antivirus protection. Her new computer came with a 6-month trial subscription to one of the most familiar programs on the market. After the program expired, though, the cost of renewing it seemed very high. So, Paden decided to download a version of the same program from the university where she was a student. The university had obtained a license to offer a version to its students. Although it was the same program, it was very slow, and Paden became frustrated with it and decided to take off the program. Within two weeks, her brand new computer had crashed.

"It was a nightmare!" said Paden, as she brushed her dark wavy bangs away from her face and grimaced. "I am taking two online courses, so you can imagine how difficult it was for me."

Without realizing it, Paden had encountered the two most common problems that organizations and individuals encounter in antivirus programs: high costs and big footprints. The reason that the program slowed down her computer was because the "free" antivirus program that her university offered was a clunky version that required a great deal of computing resources in order to run.

After she had her computer back up and running again, Paden decided to not go a single minute without a robust antivirus program.

"I decided to go with AVG Internet Security, version 7.5. It was about half the price of the other antivirus program, and it had everything -- antivirus, firewall -- you name it," she said. She decided to purchase it after reviewing one of AVG's websites at

In reality, the AVG solution that Paden selected had even more functionality, with the ability to remove viruses, spyware, adware, worms, and trojans. It also had a firewall and antispyware capabilities.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect was that AVG 7.5 was specially designed to have a very "light" footprint, which is to say that it does not bog down computing processes as it runs.

Ironically, a month after Paden purchased AVG for her computer, her college switched to AVG. The college purchased enough site licenses to provide a copy of the program to administrators and faculty members which helped protect the school avoid having virus-infected files uploaded into the course management system.

Potential malicious codes and malware embedded in Web 2.0 applications have added to the need for a solid antivirus solution. Wherever there is code, there is the potential for malicious code. AVG recognizes patterns and can eradicate the malware before it has a chance to affect computers.

Two new popular applications are expected to face growing challenges with malware in the future.

Truly Viral Videos: The first, malicious code in flash players and in embedded script for YouTube videos can wreak havoc. In this case, a highly popular and rapidly spreading "viral video" will disseminate bad code instead of the expected good cheer.

Web 2.0 Malware Vectors: The fact that people can embed code into their blogs, MySpace, Facebook, iGoogle, Bebo, or other spaces and enable unique functionalities makes the Web 2.0 environment truly unique. The openness and ability to share also makes it truly scary, since any of the applications could potentially be tainted. If malware is in the embedded code, what is it making your computer do? The possibilities are truly frightening.

AVG is aggressively and proactively addressing Web 2.0 vulnerabilities. While other antivirus programs are doing so as well, the light footprint makes AVG more flexible and nimble.

Another advantage for individuals and organizations is the availability of 24-7 local support. Walling Data Systems, at, the largest distributor of AVG software, makes sure that clients have several ways to obtain support. Clients can call in, send an email, and obtain live online assistance.

While Web 2.0 applications and the newly robust abilities of online courses have led to a more dynamic experience and extreme openness, they are also increasing user vulnerability. No one should stop using the web because of scary applications, but everyone should definitely keep antivirus programs up-to-date.

Visit information about online courses and programs:

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