Windows Conficker worm continues to hound PC antivirus experts

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Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking a lot about Apple’s poor response to the notorious Flashback virus, which infected over half a million Mac OSX computers in order to create a massive botnet. However, Apple’s chief competitor – Microsoft – is also not immune to virus problems.

A recent PC security report suggests that a virus called the Conficker worm has been detected nearly 220 million times over the last two and a half years, which makes it a massive threat to businesses and individuals around the world.

Conficker works just like any other worm or virus: it takes advantage of weak or stolen passwords before exploiting computer security holes. It also replicates itself to spread to other computers.

Unfortunately, Conficker isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Quarterly detections of the worm have increased by about 225% over the last three years, wreaking havoc on companies and individuals around the world.

There is good news: Conficker is one of the easiest computer viruses to defend yourself against. By creating a strong password (choose a random mix of lower case and capital letters, special characters, and numbers) and downloading essential security updates, you can virtually guarantee protection from the virus.

In fact, 92% of all Conficker infections are a result of weak or stolen passwords, while 8% took advantage of Windows system vulnerabilities for which a free security update exists. In that sense, Conficker is one of the most preventable viruses on the internet today.

While a strong password and an updated operating system may prevent you from 90% of all viruses on the internet, it’s going to take good antivirus software to push you closer to 100% antivirus effectiveness. Check out our top 10 favorite antivirus programs listed above and read some antivirus reviews in order to figure out which program will work best for your needs.

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