From: David Scott
Submit: Post Message
Date: 28 Oct 1996
Virus-checking programs are extremely over-rated. They become outdated very quickly because they are only effective for looking for known viruses, and new ones are popping up every day. Most people who have them on their computers don't know how to install or use them correctly. The result is a lot of false alarms and a good possibility for real infections not being reported or dealt with correctly. All of the anti-virus programs I have seen on the PCs in the on-campus labs are very old (which in computer terms is more than two years past), so old that they do not recognize disks formatted by Windows 95 or PowerMacs and report them as always having viruses.
What you can do to guard against viruses is to only download programs from certified FTP sites. Programs that are copied directly from other computers are much riskier. I also wanted to mention that every program that I installed on the computers at BU was first tested on my home computer, and I have had no signs of a virus.