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Guarding Against Viruses

Viruses are nasty little programs that live for the sheer thrill of trashing your valuable data. They're crafted in dank basements by pale, Jolt-cola–fueled miscreants—programming wizards who've succumbed to the dark side of The Force. These amoral hackers like to muddy the waters by describing their wicked offspring as “self-propagating, autonomous computer programs” and giving them innocent-sounding names such as Michelangelo and Christmas. But don't be fooled: These small slices of evil can do irreparable harm to your files. (Just so you know, many viruses have names that more directly reflect their intentions. These include Armageddon, Beast, Black Monday, Dark Avenger, and Darth Vader.)

Viruses comes in three basic flavors:


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