March 23, 2004


by Davis M McCarn

Last year alone, a different form of terrorism cost America over $55 Billion.  That translates to more than $150 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. and it is expected to increase sharply in upcoming years.  The danger is recognized by the Department of Homeland Security as one of our top threats; but it is not bombs, it is not airliners; it is a far more subtle kind of terrorism called computer viruses.  Not all computer viruses are terrorist attacks, but, the security and intelligence agencies have known for years that there are groups of individuals dedicated to writing viruses and they are being funded by both terrorists and terrorist nations.

So, what has this got to do with me, you may ask?  If you have a computer and use the internet; unless you have antivirus software which is running and being updated, there is a very good chance that your system is infected and that you are inadvertently helping viruses to spread; because, if there is one uniform characteristic of almost every computer virus, it is that it first uses your computer to send itself to everyone in your address book and found on your computer.  The worst blackout in American history, last summer, was made far worse because thousands of computers, infected with the Blaster Worm, sent millions of Emails that delayed critical messages to power stations by as much as 45 minutes.  Most of those messages came from home computers, just like yours.

And what can I do about it?  In less than an hour, you can make sure that your computer is protected from viruses and will no longer spread them to others.  For personal use, there are several excellent antiviral packages that are free.  AVG Antivirus (, Avast Home Edition (, and Antivir ( all received high marks in a PC World review, last fall, and they can be obtained by visiting the sites listed.  For dialup users, I heartily suggest AVG, because the updates are very small and are available on a daily basis.  For more information and instructions on how to install AVG, visit

Computer viruses have grown to be far more than just a nuisance and are a very real threat to America.  They could be virtually eliminated if every computer was simply running current, antiviral software and, for many, that software is free.  Please, protect yourself today; tell your friends and neighbors, too, and together we can put an end to one form of terrorism.


Davis McCarn has over 27 years of experience in the computer service, service management, and security fields.  He has done extensive work for almost every federal law enforcement agency, including forensic and data recovery training.  Currently, Mr McCarn is the owner of Computer-Help.Net and provides services to businesses and residences in the Charlotte area.

I can provide references for the figures and statements contained in the article and invite any editorial comment you may have.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me by Email or by phone.


Davis M McCarn
184 Eaglecrest Drive
Matthews, NC 28104Mouse Copyright 2004 Davis M McCarn
(704) 882-7551 or

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