There’s another trending virus circulating cyber space that’s already claimed over a dozen victims per panicked Facebook status update. The virus interferes with your operating system and prevents you from accessing any program outside of Microsoft Word and Excel. This means from internet pages to useless accessory applications, a virus stricken computer is essentially useless…meaning your anti-virus and malware software is rendered useless.

The quick and simple cure in this case is to boot your computer in safe mode and choose a system operating date prior to the date you started having the problem. If your specific problem continues, you’ve got a more menacing virus on your hands and your next step is to contact a professional.

The problem with a professional is that they’re expensive and they take their own sweet time to fix your computer and get it back to you. Small business owners don’t have that kind of time to waste – especially when most of us rely on our hardware to do business.

It’s only a matter of time before you’re the victim of a virus. And viruses these days are so refined that just avoiding suspicious emails doesn’t render you safe. Well-coded viruses are now also embedded in social media platforms through hacking user accounts. The goal of most viruses is to have you inadvertently visit a site that’s prepped for click-through returns, which generates a lot of money when you consider that a forced pay-per-click campaign is underway through a crafty virus.

What Is ESET?

Your best strategy is investing in the best virus protection software, one that meets your budget and your business needs. I’d heard of Norton and McAfee, but surprisingly my PC guru recommended ESET.

ESET Smart Security 4 is an antivirus, antispyware, antispam and personal firewall software that protects your computer against cybercrime, junk mail and hackers. The security software features a smart scanner that inspects communication channels to scan for compressed virus files that other antivirus software misses. It also offers a time-saving firewall that adapts to the way you use your network; it learns from you and customizes a firewall based on your web use/browsing trends. ESET also identifies trusted network zones and handles spam through a quicker-than-most spam filter. Most relevant to the virus that crippled my own PC earlier last week, ESET has built-in technology that prevents viruses from corrupting and disabling it.

One year rates for one PC is set at just under $60 – which is significantly more cost effective than the standard $95 an hour for a computer guru or its “geek squad” equivalent.

NOD32 Keeps the Gloves Up

A step up from ESET alone, the company also offers NOD 32 antivirus software, which boasts the features of ESET but also reduces image, file and web download time by 30 percent. NOD32 also scans just about any email server imaginable, including Outlook, Mozilla, Windows Live Mail and POP3/IMAP mail servers.

Definitely a smarter antivirus, NOD32 detects threats that enter your computer from removable USB drives. The minute a virus-infect file is unwittingly inserted into your system, NOD32 will catch it and eliminate it through an automatic media scan. NOD32 starts at just $40/year for 1 PC.

Small business owners spend so much time and money on developing their businesses that they simply cannot afford to not protect themselves. And protecting starts with backing up files and securing systems with the right antivirus software. ESET meets the mark by going above and beyond traditional antivirus scanning systems to an intelligent self defense unit that fortifies your system, acting intelligently to not only eliminate threats but to seek them out through all means possible.