Afi-Odelia Scruggs

Protect Your PC: Prevent Viruses, Malware, and Spyware from Ruining Your Computer

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Three of saddest words in English are “If I’d only…” As in, “If I’d only invested in blue-chip stocks,” or “If I’d only saved some money…”

But those words become more tragic when applied to your PC. “If I’d only backed up my PC, I wouldn’t have lost all my files,” or, “if I’d only updated my anti-virus software, I wouldn’t have to buy a new computer” are thoughts that must confronted all too often. Just thinking about those disasters can make one cry.

Having a damaged PC is a tragedy, because many problems are preventable. You just need the right strategies and tools. Arming your PC doesn’t require lots of money or time. Just follow these basic steps


Afi is a content creator who has more than 20 years experience as a journalist and author. Her work has appeared in Essence magazine, The Washington Post Outlook section and on She is a former columnist for the Plain Dealer in Cleveland and has worked at newspapers in Mississippi, Ohio and greater Washington D.C. Afi has written three books: a picture book for children, a memoir, and a collection of essays on knitting. Presently, she is producing audio stories and blogging on journalism, writing and content creation at


When you get the flu, viruses use your body to reproduce and spread. A computer virus uses your PC in a similar way. The virus embeds itself in a legitimate program, but it can’t execute or open by itself. Opening the infected program executes the virus, and trouble starts.

The effect can more devastating if the malware is a worm. A worm is a type of virus that spreads throughout networks. It’s more dangerous because it can replicate itself. In 2000, the “I Love You” worm infected more than 50 million computers. Its victims included the British Parliament, the CIA, and the Pentagon.

Anti-virus software can keep viral programs from turning your PC into an incubator. If the software detects a virus, it can remove or quarantine it. However, viruses are created constantly, so anti-viral software requires regular updates to be effective. You can configure the program to update automatically and you can also schedule regular scans of your entire system.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get decent software. Here are the top 3 free antivirus programs, courtesy of PC World magazine:

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