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Jeff Gibson

The other day I received a direct comment from a reader and wanted to post my response to the comment. I have included the reader's comment too.

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I'm glad that this blog post helped you. I hate to hear stories of innocent people being affected by viruses or malware.

You mentioned that you didn't know the difference between anti-virus and personal firewall software. Well, let me try to give you the short version.

Anti-virus software looks for certain known patterns (viruses) in files and data flowing between your computer and other computers. When it gets a match, it tries to either delete it, or quarantine (isolate) it so it cannot infect anything else on your computer or anyone else's.

Personal firewall software concerns itself with applications talking in and out of your computer. This is to protect you from a bad program that gets installed to your computer (usually unknowingly) and attempts to make a connection back to a hackers machine to give them access to your computer. Typically, the FW software will popup a box and ask you if this traffic is OK which gives you the heads up if there is an unknown application running.

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I'm one of "those" people that do not have anti virus software or maybe I do and just don't know it. My reason - I'm a computer idiot and wouldn't know how to install and use it. But I read your article linked to the News to Use and have decided to take your advice. I figure no one wants to steal "my" identity - I have enough trouble being me - why would someone else want to ! But seriously - I am going to take my computer to an expert so I can make sure it is checked over thoroughly and the correct sw is installed. I'm confused though - never could figure out the difference between anti-virus and firewall sw, but I'm going to find out.

Just wanted to say thanks for the kick in the backside !

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