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by Ray Carlson

Q: My antivirus program uses a lot of memory on my small computer and slows everything down. Is there a small program that works?

A: The most recommended is Panda Cloud Antivirus. It is available here.  At this site, a small program is downloaded to your computer. That program monitors your computer and compares all files and programs to lists on their website of good and questionable software components and behavior. If the comparison suggests that an item is risky, it is quarantined. The program also evaluates new programs added to the computer.

This program has been widely recognized as being unusually effective in recognizing threats. Secondly, since the information about threats is maintained at their website rather than in your computer, the program is small and makes fewer demands on your computer.

But these positives have their negative side. Since it uses its website to evaluate potential threats, it only works when the computer is connected to the Internet. To keep it less intrusive, this program doesn’t have many extras such as scheduling scans. It also focuses more on preventing threats rather than getting rid of established infections. To be unusually effective, it is more aggressive in identifying possible threats than other programs and therefore is more likely to identify safe files as problematic. When this happens, quarantined items are kept in a Recycle Bin and can be restored.

Most evaluations suggest the positives outweigh the negatives, and the fact that it is free makes it worth trying.

Published: Courier 11/21/10 - Page 7C