Americans spend over Six Billion dollars per year on virus removal and protection. The total cost of cyber crime per year exceeds Twenty One Billion, and is increasing everyday. The only way to keep your computer 100% safe, is to never turn it on.
Anti-virus software is like the locks on your car and house. The locks on your car and house will keep out honest people and thieves that are not too smart. However if a good thief wants to break into your car or house, they will.
There is no such thing as a 100% effective anti-virus, and if anyone claims otherwise they are not telling the truth.
The first law concerning computer safety was in 1984. It was revised in 1986, and again in 1996. It has been 22 years since any major update. The law is very vague, and the virus designers are protected by the first amendment.
Some good news, California recently passed a law attempting to stop a very well known browser, search engine, and email company from collecting (stealing) your private information and selling it. Hopelully more states will follow.
The laws are primarily based around national security. Most states have their own laws on consumer safety. However it's only a felony if damage is over $5000. So the real truth is, when it comes to computer safety we are on our own.
Keeping your anti-virus software up to date is a good start. GWB Computer Systems periodically publishes a news letter pertaining to computer safety. If you would like suggestions on anti-virus software, or have any questions please call us, or visit our Free Advice Forum on the home page. Below you will find some search terms to read the laws for yourself.
1) Comprehensive Crime Control Act
2) Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
3) "your state" Computer Laws