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Get the bugs out

Kaspersky Anti Virus Personal Pro 4.0.

Get the bugs out

Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab produces data-security technologies and related Windows-based software, such as Kaspersky Anti Virus Personal Pro 4.0. Why only for Microsoft Windows? As Willie Sutton might have said, “That’s where the viruses are.”

All of Kaspersky’s new antivirus software (they also offer Personal and Lite versions) supports Windows XP, which was pre-installed on my eMachines T4155 computer. The packaging left no doubt that security was important to Kaspersky Lab; just opening the box and extracting the CD and user’s manual was a challenge. Installing the package, on the other hand, was simple.

Kaspersky uses a modular approach, with every part of the package serving a distinct and important function. Each module’s interface is clean and functional. I immediately used the Updater module to download the latest inoculations. Kaspersky claims the size of the daily updates varies from three to 20Kb, so you won’t be online long at update time.

My next step was to run the Inspector module to check my hard drive for viruses. The Monitor function checks for viruses in files while they are being launched, created, or copied. It turned out that I was clean, and the total check-up happened much faster than expected. The Inspector module is an integrity checker that looks for changes in your files. It supports the most commonly used executable file formats and checks for CRC (cyclic redundancy check) modifications against its database.

The Kaspersky Anti Virus Control Center lets you control the frequency of updates as well as the regularity of viral scans. This is an attractive control panel that shows the overall state of your computer’s health. You can check it from time to time or let everything run in the background with the Monitor module keeping guard. In the meantime, if you want to know what’s happening right now, run the Scanner module, which provides a comprehensive check of content on local and network drives on demand.

Most common viruses enter your system as e-mail attachments and downloads. Kaspersky automatically checks all incoming and outgoing messages in real time to prevent a sneak attack. It supports many different e-mail formats including Outlook, Outlook Express, Exchange, Eudora, Microsoft Mail, Pegasus Mail, Netscape Mail, JSMail, MIME, and SMTP/POP3.

The program’s Office Guard module protects against the dreaded Macro viruses, which don’t seem to be as popular as they once were (but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch one). Not all antivirus programs protect against script-based viruses operating within RAM, but the aptly named Script Checker module integrates itself as a filter between a script virus and the processor, enabling you to check for infection before the virus is executed. The package also includes a Rescue Kit that creates a set of start-up disks based on the Linux kernel, which allows for a clean boot and helps you restore data for Windows 95/98, NT/2000, OS/2, DOS, and EXT (Linux).

Kaspersky Anti Virus Personal Pro costs less than $100 and is indispensable software for any Windows computer user. A demo can be downloaded from Kapersky’s Web site.

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