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But wait, if you have your antivirus program running won't it catch and stop any viruses that you happen to open? Yes it will, but you could still copy it to someone else, or another person could grab it over network (if you are in a company, for example). Or perhaps for some reason you turn off your antivirus program, then you could accidentally open it up and destroy your system.
Scanning for viruses in scripts on web pages
Believe it or not, you can catch a virus from a web page. All you have to do is view page and bang, you are infected. There are not many of these yet, but you can bet there will be in near future. These are particularly nasty because, well, you don't have a choice about executing virus.
These are not like email viruses, which require you to actually open an attachment. They are not like other viruses, which require you to execute a file. These simply require you to view them. Pretty scary, if you ask me.
Thus, as you can see, it's very important to keep this feature enabled at all times. That way you will catch and destroy these things before you get hurt.
Be sure to subscribe to and use regular virus updates. You see, new viruses are found all of time, and if you don't update your definitions you will be vulnerable. In fact, after a few months of no updates your antivirus software becomes virtually worthless.
The features of your antivirus software are put there for a reason. My advice is to enable everything. Turn it all on. These days you cannot be too careful - or, if you prefer, you can disable something and perhaps lose your data. It's your choice.
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