How You Can Avoid Computer Viruses

Posted on January 8, 2009 @ 2:50 am
by Mary Bush

Today, there are many different viruses that can attack your computer – the Internet is rife with them, and they can be easily contracted if you don’t know how to avoid them. Let’s look at how you can protect your computer from viruses simply and easily.

Don’t download anything online if you aren’t sure of the source. Even for file sharing between companies, you should ensure that the sharing client has a stable system that is free from viruses before beginning to transfer files or open a direct link.

Don’t download email attachments if you’re not sure about the sender. The best way to start this is to turn off the automatic launching of your email client. It’s best to read your email online where you aren’t downloading anything, including graphics from emails, onto your computer. You shouldn’t open any attachments or allow graphics until you are sure the file is safe for your computer. Check the file attachment extension – if it’s a .pif or .scr extension on the end, chances are it is a virus. Watch out for .exe files, which are executable files as well, that extension is another common outlet for viruses.

Don’t just trust your anti virus program. They are only good for known viruses, but if you are attacked with an unknown virus then your computer could be at risk. Make sure that you update your antivirus often to keep abreast of new viruses and protected against them. However, if you aren’t sure if something is a virus or not, scan it anyway – it’s worth the extra time to check the file before opening it on your computer. Use a quality anti-spyware program to help rid your computer of programs that send personal data to the Internet that could potentially be opening holes in your system that you are unaware of.

Be aware of your settings. Set up your computer so that it doesn’t launch files, download updates, do security checks, load HTML pages or save cookies without your permission for each instance.

Install a firewall on your computer and on your LAN. If you don’t have one, switch operating systems to the most recent which will come with a built in fire wall. Also include a hardware firewall on your computer as well – a router that is easy to set up and helps to protect your computer.

Take some time to learn about how viruses and worms can attack your computer. When you are armed with knowledge, you can protect your computer even further. A simple search on the Internet for information on how viruses work will result in enough information to give you a basic understanding.

Watch the kids on the Internet. Don’t let them utilize it carte blanche – this can open up holes in your computer as kids have a tendency to click on advertisements without thinking about the ramifications of clicking “ok” on a webpage.

Protecting your computer is something that only you can do – no one else is going to do it for you. It’s important to arm yourself with knowledge to protect your computer on your own to ensure that your computer is as solidly protected as possible.

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