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Virus Information header image
Viruses are the colds and flus of computer security: ubiquitous, at times impossible to avoid despite the best efforts and often very costly to an organization's productivity.

NIST recommends using a two-tiered approach for detecting and preventing viruses from spreading:

  • On personal computers, install and use anti-virus software capable of scanning disks, attachments to email, files downloaded from the web, and documents generated by word processing and spreadsheet programs.
  • Use anti-virus software at Internet gateways or firewalls to scan email attachments and other downloaded files.

Anti-virus software should be installed when the personal computer is initially configured. The software should be updated weekly with new virus definitions, and your vendor may provide an automated update feature. Organizations may benefit from using several brands of anti-virus software.

For an updated website of virus information, check out the Symantec virus database. The WildList site provides a list of viruses that are currently loose "in the wild," or active and infecting systems at the current moment.

Please see our NIST disclaimer: Any mention of commercial products within NIST web pages is for information only; it does not imply recommendation or endorsement by NIST.

Virus Resources & Other Areas of Interest

Anti-Virus Vendors


Last updated: October 3, 2007
Page created: February 23, 2001

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