with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

File Downloading – Avoiding the Bug and Viruses

Over 90% of all viruses today enter your computer through email. The odds of you getting a virus through email in the USA as of 2001 was 1 in 1200. Today, your file virus checking software probably caught at least two in the past month. Currently, you cannot get a virus by exploring on the Internet or visiting a web page. You can get a virus from a file you download from a web page, but not from the web page itself, though this may change in the future.

Whether you use a virus scanning program for your email and email attachments or for your safety on the Internet, get a good one. One virus can destroy your entire computer and wipe out all the information on it, wasting your time and money, not to mention all your hard work and research. Many people will spend USD $25 to $100 on a surge protector for your computer to protect it from power fluctuations, and not spend USD $30 for a virus program? Be wiser than that.

Norton Utilities and McAffee have two top of the line virus scanning programs. I’ve tried others and gone back to these two, and I stick now almost exclusively with McAffee. Their program and customer service continues to be excellent, so I’m a big fan. You can download their program right off the internet, saving you money from buying the package off the computer store shelf. As of June 2002, the cost for the basic package is about USD $29.00. That comes to about $2.40 a month for virus protection. Not bad. Download and install the program and it will remind you to update daily or whenever you tell it to. This keeps you up-to-date with the latest protection. New viruses are coming out every day and you want to be ready for each one.


The Internet is a great resource for files and software. You can get games, software updates, and all kinds of utilities and programs. You can even find a lot of fun and games to download.

A great resource for software programs is called www.tucows.com (In Israel try www.tucows.co.il ). This site offers a wide range of “shareware”. This is software you can “try before you buy”. It’s great to be able to test drive the software to see if it is really what you need. After 15 – 90 days, if you are happy with it, you can pay for the program and the manufacturers will send a registration code to enable full use of the program. You bought it, you just got to try it on first.

Shareware is available for all kinds of interests and activities on your computer. They have games, utilities to speed up or mess with your computer, graphics programs to make blah photographs into artistic wonders, entertainment and music software for creating your own CD albums or writing a song on the computer, and so many different things, the list is very long.

Some shareware software programs I have used for many years, some even for decades, include:

A file compression program that allows you to take files and shrink them down for transfer to another computer, via email, to a CD or floppy disk, or just to make more space on your computer.
Another file compression program. Some find this one’s advanced features better than WinZip. We use both of them for their differences and similarities.
This is a freeware (no charge) program that changes your Windows taskbar clock into something useful. Instead of just the time, it shows you the day of the week, the day and month and the year. I have used this or similar programs for many years as knowing the time is nice, but I need to know what day it is.
PaintShop Pro
Probably one of the best graphic design and manipulating software programs available, and at such a great price, this program runs right up there with Adobe PhotoShop for many of its features. If you like to mess with graphics or photographs, get this program.
HotDog Pro
THE single best program I’ve ever worked with for putting together web pages and web sites. Truly powerful and worth more than its modest fee. I can’t imagine designing web pages without its powerful advanced features.


To download a file, click on the file name. A window called “Save As” will pop up and you instruct it on where to save it on your computer. Put it somewhere where you can find it. I recommend creating a Download folder where all downloaded files are kept. You can move them somewhere else later. I usually keep the name of the file, but you can rename it to help find it in the future.

Another option is to RIGHT CLICK, and click SAVE TARGET AS. This will bring up the File, Save As window.

Once downloaded, follow the instructions on your virus scanning program to scan the file for viruses, and the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer.

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