There are a couple of things you can do to help prevent a virus attack from happening to your computer. Will they provide you with 100% guaranteed security? No, unfortunately they are not capable of performing such a function. They will provide you with the latest and best amount of protection currently available; however completely securing a computer system that operates on the Internet is virtually impossible. Some large companies actually hire an entire team of qualified professionals known as Information Technology Technicians to provide the best possible security solution for all of the internal computers on a single network.
These computer wizards normally operate behind the scenes, in offices people don't normally visit. They monitor current computer trends and establish security guidelines for the networked computers to follow. They are also responsible for ensuring that all incoming traffic is coming from an authentic and certified website as well as ensuring that outgoing traffic is monitored and directed to websites that have been approved. Any suspicious information or data in the form of an attachment is scanned, and any unapproved information is forbidden from being opened or accessed by the computers on that network.
The problem with containing computer viruses is that once a virus has been found, and it's malicious code definition has been registered with an anti-virus software company that information will be passed along to all customers using that product in the form of an update. This method of detection is commonly called blacklisting because it adds the virus definition to an existing database of other known viruses and when it is detected attempting to infiltrate a system it is isolated or quarantined and kept from performing it's hazardous acts. Hackers that create malicious computer codes for viruses are well-aware of the process by which anti-virus software is produced and that eventually their viruses will be found and added to a data bank, making it harder for them to penetrate computer systems. This means that they are always coming up with new malicious codes to make viruses out of, and once they are launched they have a limited amount of time before they are eventually detected and registered as harmful and subsequently added to a virus list.
This unfortunately means for the end user, namely you and I the amount of protection our computers have relies solely on how we use them. I strongly recommend developing stringent Internet habits. Come up with a list of things you are allowed to do and things you should avoid doing, and determine what practices will help you protect your computer. Be aware of what viruses are out there; learn about the different ways they are distributed. Find out what suggestions are recommended and which ones are completely avoided at all costs.
Probably the biggest thing you should remember about browsing the Internet is that it is the new playground for criminals. If you keep that in mind when making your decisions online, you will help yourself immensely. Do not be naive about false information. Pop-up alerts and floating banner advertisements are avenues of delivery for detrimental devices like spyware and adware, they will often inform you that your computer has been infected and that immediate action is required. Don't buy into this type of scam. Not only will clicking on this link cause you more problems with your computer then you have ever had before, but you will also pay for fake anti-virus software that is actually a trap set by a hacker to put the virus on your computer in the first place. Always use good judgment and remember cybercriminals are always out there and they may not be targeting you specifically, but if you're not exercising extreme caution they will eventually find you. Stay a step ahead of the game and keep yourself educated on the latest available technology, especially involving anti-virus software.