Top 10 Ways To Avoid Viruses

Viruses are an inescapable part of the Internet experience. Depending on the virus, the effect can range from amusing to devastating. When it comes to dealing with the hazards posed by viruses, prevention is much easier than a cure. The following tips will prevent most viruses from ever affecting your computer or computer system.

1. Beware of unexpected or unsolicited email attachments
Because email is one of the primary ways to exchange information among Internet users, it is also a key method for spreading viruses. A basic plain text email is unable to transmit most viruses. It is the attachment to the email that contains the potential hazard. If the attachment is unexpected or unsolicited and from an unknown sender, the wisest decision would be to delete the email without opening the attachment. If the email is from a known and trusted source, but you did not expect an attached file from that source, you may want to contact the sender to confirm that the attachment is legitimate.

2. Use an anti-virus program to regularly scan your hard drive
Even when you exercise reasonable caution, you may still be infected by a virus. An anti-virus program can be set up to regularly check your computer or even your incoming email attachments for viruses. This kind of program may even be able to constantly run in the background as you go about your work. Because viruses are being constantly created or changed, it is important to use a program that provides regular updates.

3. Use an anti-virus program to scan all incoming email attachments and all files or programs that came from someone else’s computer
Whenever someone puts a file or a program on their computer, there is always some risk that some virus may infect that file or program and remain undetected. By scanning all incoming files and programs, you may uncover a virus that the other person may have overlooked.

4. Update your anti-virus program regularly
New or improved viruses are being regularly unleashed on the Internet. Updating your anti-virus software so that it contains the latest virus definitions will decrease the likelihood that you are affected by a new type of virus.

5. Back up your data files on a regular basis
In a worst case scenario, a virus may corrupt or destroy data on one or more files. Regular backups will allow you to recover more easily in the event that a virus damages your files.

6. Purchase or obtain files or software only from trusted sources
When a retailer offers new software at a price that is much lower compared to the manufacturer’s prices or prices charged by most retailers, that software is likely not an authorized copy. This kind of software poses many risks, including a higher risk of having one or more viruses. This tip is relevant to software or files that are downloaded over the Internet, that come as attachments to email, or that is purchased at a store.

7. Avoid forwarding email attachments unless you first scan the attachment for viruses
If you have an anti-virus program that scans all incoming email attachments, or if you scan the attachment after it arrives, then it is probably safe to forward the attachment. Otherwise, do not forward the attachment.

8. Look for an unexpected file extension on any attachment
If the subject line or the body of an email states that the attachment is a certain type of file or if the file icon implies a certain type of file and the file extension does not match, delete the file. If you trust the sender, contact that person to determine what you were supposed to have received.

9. Data files will not carry viruses
A file that contains only data will not carry a virus since a virus has to have some kind of executable code. For example, files ending with the extension .txt, .csv, .gif, .jpg, .mp3, .wav are common data files that would not have executable code. Files ending in .doc, .xls, .exe, and even .htm may have executable code and could potentially carry a virus.

10. Write-protect floppy disks that will be used in a read only mode
If you are sharing data that resides on disks or other portable storage media, use the write-protect tab to prevent an accidental insertion of a virus.

More information, written after having our own experience with a Trojan (A deadly PC Virus):

We’ve now scanned it several times, and these are the file names we’ve come up with (you can use this for reference if you get a Trojan. These are the file names you want to delete. If you find anymore names that are not listed here, please notify us through a comment so we can add it):

Virus Name: Puper

Virus type: Malware, level 10 (max)

Filenames:

  • iebtm
  • iebtmm
  • iebtu
  • iebu
  • wcm
  • wcs /!\ (this is what creates the alert messages)
  • wcu
  • Warning Center
  • Windows Safety Alert

We suggest that you DO NOT download any of the anti-spyware things that they want you to. That is the virus, and it is hard to get rid of. Also, while the virus is still on your computer, do not type in any passwords, or access your emails. Also, do not download any anti-spyware that says unknown publisher. Lastly, here are two ways you can tell if a virus is on your computer (if either of these come out true, scan your computer ASAP):

  • If somehow an internet toolbar was downloaded, without you doing it.
  • If your homepage has been changed and you’re the only one who has access to your computer, that is a sure sign that you have a virus.
  • Read This Post > (Posted on 11/12/08)

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    2 Responses to “Avoiding Viruses”


    1. February 14, 2009 at 7:52 am

      Hello, I can’t understand how to add your blog ( parapro.wordpress.com ) in my rss reader

    2. February 14, 2009 at 1:29 pm

      Hmm….you’re right. It won’t work. I’ll see what’s wrong and correct it. For now, you can use the below link to sign up.

      Sign up (RSS)

      Hope that fixes your problems! If that doesn’t work, try using this link: Feed Page That should bring you to the feed signup page, and there (if you have IE) look up on your top right toolbar on your browser and hit the RSS icon. That should sign you up. (or just hit the link below that says, “Subscribe to this feed”)

      Best Regards,
      -Para Pro


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