Anti Virus Protection
Worried about getting a computer virus?
Protect your computer with these simple steps!
Does your computer have adequate virus protection? Nowadays it is dangerous to surf the Net, download files or open email attachments without the latest anti virus protection. There are more than 67,000 known viruses, with around 300 new ones discovered each month.
The internet has made it very easy for computer viruses to be spread across the world in a matter of days, sometime just hours. It is important to protect your PC from getting a computer virus otherwise you could lose everthing on your PC! I have set this site up to share some of the basic virus protection tips that I have discovered (often the hard way) over the last few years.
In layman's terms a virus is a computer program that has been created to run automatically on your computer without it being under your direct control. Some computer virus programs are designed to execute (run) straight away, others will hide on your computer and wait for a certain event (e.g. a particular date) and then run.
They are dangerous simply because most are designed to something malicious when they do run, such as erase or corrupt important files from your computer, or log all your passwords and credit card details and send them to the person who wrote the virus so they can then use these details.
So how do you get a virus on your computer?
A virus will normally find it's way on to your computer through a file you have downloaded from the internet somewhere (e.g. a graphic or mp3 file) or as an attachment to an email you receive.
Computer virus files are often disguised as a different type of file to fool you in to thinking they are safe to open (e.g. a .jpg extension to make it look like an image when it isn't).
Simple free anti virus protection
So how do you protect your computer from getting a virus? Here are some simple steps you can take for free to help protect your computer from a virus attack: -1. Switch off the preview feature in your email browser
Most email systems have the option to "Preview" email attachments, for example to show you what an image is without you having to double click on it to open it. This gives some computer virus programs all the help they need to go ahead and execute.
So if you currently have the preview feature switched on, go to your "options" or "settings" and switch it off.2. Do not open attachments if you are not expecting them
As mentioned above the most common way of a computer virus getting on to your hard disk is for you to receive it as an attachment, so do not open any attachments you are not specifically expecting. The email may even be from someone you know and trust, but they may have a virus and not realized. It can be well worth taking the time to send a quick email to the sender just to check that the deliberately sent you the email with the attachment.3. Set-up a contact called !0 without an email address
One of the common tricks of a computer virus is to attempt to propagate itself by sending itself out to all the contacts in your address book (e.g. Sircam). You can often catch this simply by having a contact in your address book that is called "!0" that does not have an email address.
If you have a virus that tries to propagate itself using your address book, the email system should pop up with a warning message to say you are trying to send out an email to a contact without an email address. As "!0" should (unless you have contacts with unusual names) be the first contact in your address book, you will realize that there is something untoward going on before any email actually get sent out. This was how I realized I had got Sircam when I had it last year.
You should then have the chance to close down your email software, log off the internet and run an anti virus scanner to clean your system, providing you have such a system installed...4. Backup critical data on a regular basis
I now this seems obvious and everybody should backup up their important data as a matter of course, but think for a moment, when was the last time you backed up all of your essential data?
It can be a pain to do, depending how much you use your computer and how much data you need to back up, but if you suffer an attack from a serious virus, you will be very glad you took the time to ensure the safety of your data.
Set-up a regular routine for backing up, even if it is only once a month, or do small back up's more regularly and a big one once a month. however you decide to schedule it, make sure you do it.
Oh, and don't forget to check that the backup up is actually valid (i.e. check the tape, CD, spare HD whatever is actually working and the data has been stored correctly).
If you have a lot to back up then get a dvd re-writer and use some dvd burner software, check out the dvd burner software reviews site for more info.
If you haven't already got an anti virus scanning program, take the time to do so now. They are not expensive, especially when you think about how much time, money and effort a virus could cost you.