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James Serra's Blog

James is currently a Senior Business Intelligence Architect/Developer and has over 20 years of IT experience. James started his career as a software developer, then became a DBA 12 years ago, and for the last five years he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS). James has been at times a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences along with continuous learning has helped James to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. James has earned the MCITP Business Developer 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2008, and MCITP Database Developer 2008, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. His blog is at .

Antivirus solutions that are free

So my sister called me the other day to tell me she has a message on her laptop that said she has a virus.  Those of us working in the IT industry know we are the one’s all our friends and relatives turn to when they have a computer issue.  She was using a McAfee product that came with her laptop and had expired.  They wanted $50 to renew the software to clean the virus.  I see no reason to purchase antivirus software anymore.  What I told her to do helped her clean her computer and should prevent, or at least catch, future viruses, spyware, and other malicious software:

Install Microsoft Security Essentials.  It’s free, easy to use, and works with any version of Windows.  It has a realtime protection feature that kills viruses on the fly.  Then install Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.  It’s also free and can detect and remove viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, dialers, spyware, and malware.  Set it up to do a full scan of your computer at least once a week.  Don’t bother turning on the realtime protection module, as that is what Microsoft Security Essentials is for.  This one-two punch will keep your computer clean and the cost is zero.

I used to buy Norton Anti-virus every year, since the late 80′s (remember the DOS version of Peter Norton Utilities?), but have used Microsoft Security Essentials for about the last two years on multiple computers and have never been infected by any kind of malicious software.


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