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  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] OT: Re: VIRUS
  • From: "John Bruce" <jbruce1@cinci.rr.com>
  • Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2002 16:44:15 -0500

Rosalie, Patricia --

A very simplified explanation.

Any virus protection you install on your own computer will only scan files on or incoming to your computer.
The server at your isp either will only scan for viruses that can be a danger to their server. Any 
scanning of files that pose no threat to their server that are to a customer destination is icing on the cake. 
A "client" is the program resident on your computer that recieves email, provides a chat conduit, etc. 
"pop3" stands for 'point of presence type 3', the nearly universal protocol for email transmission across
the internet. 

It works this way: Person A, using their email client, (Outlook express for instance) sends a message to 
person B. It first travels to the server of their internet provider (AOL for instance). From there it takes a route 
directly to the server of person B's internet provider. (or it may go thru 25 other servers to get there). Then 
person B downloads the email thru the client on their computer (Netscape Mail, eudora, AOL, etc.)

Person A (sender) needs a virus scanner to ensure there isn't a virus in their email transmission. All 
the internet service providers' servers it passes thru (hopefully) ensure there is nothing in it which
will infect their servers (protecting service to thousands  of their customers). Person B (reciever) needs a virus scanner to make sure their computer and data are safe from anything that comes in. 

The problem lies with the fact that viruses are tilored to look like good things that people want to send and recieve.
Total safety would make it nearly impossible for anyone to use the net. It is sort of like making the wilds of Africa
safe for all....take out the wild animals, dangerous plants, etc. But then there is nothing left to recommend visiting....
As far as virus protection, nothing is foolproof. As soon as you get vaccinatd for one disease, a new one comes 
along. And a few people have to catch it before the new vaccine arrives. 


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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