09 April 2014
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Q. Is it ok to use free antivirus software for the practice computer system?

A. Use of free antivirus software to protect mission critical electronic patient records is not a good idea. Free software can often slow down computers as it hogs CPU (central processing unit) time. Virus definitions from free systems are often not up to date, so a new virus may hit you before your free software can recognise it. Free antivirus software may not be working at all, although you may think it is installed and working away.

If a virus or hacker hits you, you need to be able to show that you took reasonable measures to protect your patient records. So get yourself a commercial antivirus system. Talk to your hardware or software support company for recommendations and installation. Personally I use ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

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