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Eliminate virus risk of download software

A computer virus is a maliciously written software program which attempts to replicate and spread itself to other systems such as computers operated by your employees, colleagues, clients or partners.

With the continuous rise in popularity of the internet as an inexpensive global transport tool for electronic messages and file transfer, computer viruses have spread like wildfire.

The malcontented, computer virus authors of the world seem to employ every trick in the book; changing their tactics along the way to fool the unsuspecting public into downloading their payload.

Once the payload has been delivered, the unsuspecting virus-infected target has his very own resources employed against him. The virus writer leverages the internet as a vehicle for pushing forth an agenda.

It is all rather twisted as the battle never seems to end. While viruses proliferate, they are by no means the only concern. More and more internet worms, spyware, trojan files and adware are being discovered every day as well.

How to Lower Virus Risk

To lower virus risk, the experts typically recommend:

  • installing and maintaining the latest virus scanning software;
  • resisting the temptation to open an email file attachment “from a friend”; and
  • avoiding download software from sites that you do not “trust”

The last piece of advice about “trustworthy sources” is a bit misleading, because the most successful virus transmissions happen to be from “trustworthy sources”.

This is because the virus writers attempt to masquerade as a trustworthy source in order to lure a target into dropping defenses.

If you have spent any time using email or surfing the web, you are certain to have had a bad virus experience.

No download software allowed

In an attempt to eliminate virus risk altogether, many corporate computer security departments now issue mandates to reduce virus risk by banning the installation of download software.

Because the virus risk of download software remains high, more and more mid to large corporate users are not allowed to download software on company computers and networks.

And given the current virus threats via the internet, this makes sense completely.

This also makes sense to experienced computer users who have accidentally downloaded a computer virus and are looking for ways to eliminate future virus risks.

Accidentally downloading a virus, could very easily cost a whole day’s worth of productivity or more. Computer downtime is a reality as the victim of the latest virus is required to wipe hard-disks of all data and reinstall a backup configuration.

Virus cleanup is expensive and truly painful.

To avoid these costs, here are three steps that mid to large corporate users and other savvy individuals are taking to eliminate the virus risk of download software:

1. Contract services with an Application Services Provider (ASP).
* The ASP software model is far superior to the design-then-distribute model used by the publishers of download software.
2. Prefer open source software which by its very nature is typically immune to virus threats.
* Collective wisdom and public review are a strong deterrent to even the most determined virus writer.
* DOWNSIDE: This option is rarely feasible because the search for enterprise class “open source” solutions often comes up empty due to the lack of developer sophistication or the absence of financial incentives.
3. Require the source code for download software prior to installation of any new releases and/or updates.
* Submitting download software to code inspection grants piece of mind for not only reducing virus threats, but also in avoiding system stability issues.
* DOWNSIDE: This is a potentially expensive proposition, because not only will the initial release have to be code inspected, but to do it right your organization must also commit to a review of all subsequent patches and updates. This is not to mention the download software supplier’s probable reluctance at being involved in a third-party review process.

Web-based services for content change monitoring

ChangeDetect is the 100% web based service for content change monitoring.

ChangeDetect members include mid to large corporations, sophisticated users and others who can not, or will not, install download software on their systems or networks.

And unlike downloadable software, ChangeDetect will not busy your computer system while it monitors hundreds or even thousands of interesting content sources for changes.

This is because ChangeDetect is a hosted solution that runs in a secure data center.
Download Software Web-based Application
Download software is risky because you never really know what you are downloading onto your computer.

Download software is usually delivered as an executable, exe file. It is always best to exercise extreme caution when downloading executable files.

Many organizations will not allow dot-exe files through the corporate firewall, because .exe files can contain viruses, ad-ware and other malicious payload.

For these reasons, download software should be double-checked for viruses and validated to be ad-ware free.
ChangeDetect is different, because ChangeDetect is entirely web-based.

There is nothing to download and it is technically impossible to install a virus from simply using a web-based service like ChangeDetect.

ChangeDetect will not crash your computer, hog your computer memory or in any way slow down or busy your system.

Due to security concerns, the market for 100% web-based services like ChangeDetect is growing much more rapidly than the market for download software.

When you become a ChangeDetect member, you leverage a powerful, web-based content change monitoring solution while at the same time avoid the virus risk associated with download software, patches and updates.

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