After Vacation – Update Antivirus Software Before Checking Email

by Mike McEvoy on June 14, 2010

Whenever your computer is turned off for more than 2-3 days be sure to let your antivirus software update itself before checking email or getting online. The longer your computer is turned off the bigger the potential security gap.

A Common Post-Vacation Computer Scenario:

You have been on vacation for 2-3 weeks (lucky you) and your computer has been turned off the entire time.  When you return home you are eager to check your email and get caught up. Here are some things to know before you fire up your browser or email program for the first time after your vacation:

  • You should NOT check email or surf the web until you have updated your internet security and antivirus software. Your antivirus and Internet security software has not been automatically updated when your computer was turned off while you were away.
  • Dozens of new forms of malicious software have been released on the Internet every day while you were on vacation.
  • Your computer is susceptible to the most recent viruses and other forms of malware until you update your internet security and antivirus software.
  • Once your computer is turned on again it may take a bit of time for your security software to update so that it can protect you from the most recent malicious items. The update timeframe can vary depending on the type of software you use.
  • Many Internet security and antivirus programs will notify you when they are out of date. This normally occurs relatively soon after your computer is turned on and fully booted up.
  • If you don’t want to wait for the automatic update process you can manually tell most Internet security and antivirus software to begin the update process without waiting for the automatic process to occur.

Having a bit of patience as you return from vacation and making sure your security software is up to date will help you avoid finishing your vacation with an infected computer. Also be sure to see our other summertime computer tip: “Summertime Computer Maintenance – Cleaning Vents, Improving Airflow“.



TechJaws June 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm


Sound advice for sure and I would also backup my data before I left for vacation just in case.

Mike McEvoy June 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm

@TechJaws — Excellent point, Frank. Having a complete backup and storing it somewhere away from your computer when you are gone is another solid vacation tip.


Rohit Sane June 26, 2010 at 4:08 am

Great piece of advice buddy. We never know which viruses or trojans would have been made in the 2 weeks we get out on a vacation. Its better to be patient and then update the antivirus product before getting into anything else..

Camiguin Resorts July 5, 2010 at 7:42 pm

thanks for reminding me, i well do that as soon as im home.
right now i cant do it. im with my family, the well be jealous if i do so.

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