Friday, November 25, 2005

McAfee Virus-Scan Home Edition

As a robust yet user-friendly piece of software, McAfee Virus-Scan Home Edition makes the process of protecting a system from computer malware nearly invisible to the user. You install the program, and from then on, it automatically monitors all files that try to enter or leave your PC.
“For the average mainstream consumer, the most important part of the software is the automatic file protection,” says Lisa Smith, senior product manager of McAfee security consumer division. “What the consumer cares most about is that the on-access scanner, VShield, is automatically enabled so that it runs a check every time you access a file. When it finds and cleans an infection, it’s doing its part.”
The VShield scanning tool starts when you boot your computer, and it stays in memory until you shut down your system. It monitors hard drive files and scans diskettes, discs, messages, and attachments. It compares your files to a database of known computer malware, and when it finds a threat, it alerts you via a default message, custom display message, or audible signal.
Microsoft Outlook users can configure what type of alert VShield uses for its email-scanning component. Open the McAfee Virus-Scan Home Edition software and click Configure Automatic Protection Settings from the Tasks menu (in the main window of the user interface). Then, click the Advanced button and the E-Mail Scan icon. Doing so changes the name of the dialog box from its default name, System Scan Properties, to E-Mail Scan Properties.
Next, choose the Detection tab, make sure there’s a check mark in the checkbox next to Enable Scanning of E-Mail Attachments, and click Apply. Choose the Action tab, select Prompt for User Action from the drop-down menu, and click Apply. (If you want the program to automatically move, clean, or delete infected files, you can choose other options from the drop-down menu instead.) Choose the Alert tab and select the checkbox next to either Sound Audible Alert or Display Custom Message. If you select the latter, you can delete the message from the text box and type one of your own. Click Apply. Click OK to save your changes and close the dialog box.
Each day via your Internet connection and the Instant Updater feature, Virus-Scan checks with McAfee’s online service for virus definition updates, virus scanning engine updates, and product updates. The Instant Updater default value is Auto Update, so you might use the software for months without realizing that Instant Updater is communicating regularly with McAfee’s online service. If you want to decide when Instant Updater communicates with McAfee’s service, however, you can configure it to work manually.
From the main window, click Configure Instant Updater from the Advanced Tasks menu. Next, click Configure Automatic Updates, select the radio button next to Manual Update, and click Apply. Or, if you prefer that the program check for updates automatically but notify you before downloading and installing them, select the radio button next to Auto Inquiry and click Apply. Click the Home icon at the top of the user interface to return to the main window.


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