Article: Dirty Little Computer Viruses and How To Protect Yourself

by Dan Preston

Whether you have learned your lesson from a past experience
with a nasty computer virus or have been pressing your luck
by surfing the web and downloading various files or opening
those email messages sent to you by people you dont know
without any real understanding of just how vulnerable you
really are each time you log onto your computer, you now have
the opportunity to discover what steps you can take to avoid
such an annoying and many times destructive infestation.

Listed below are some of the guidelines you can follow in
order to keep those nasty viruses from making a mess out of
your computer and your life.

Purchase and install a well respected antivirus software
program and be sure to set it up so that it automatically
runs when the computer starts up each time.

Make sure to keep your antivirus software up to date by
either using the automatic update feature that many come
with or make it a habit to manually check at least once or
twice a week for updates on your own.

Set your antivirus program to scan for potential viruses
each time you open a wordprocessing document like the ones
that get sent through email. Viruses found in
wordprocessing documents are called Macro Viruses.

When purchasing software make sure to only buy from
vendors that are well known and from ones you trust.

Resist swapping data with the use of floppy disks or other
mobile storage devices between various computers. If
exchanging programs between computers is unavoidable just
make sure to scan the storage device(s) for viruses before
transferring data from one computer to the next.

If using floppy disks to transfer data make sure to format
them before using them for the first time.

Never use pirated software. This is both illegal and a
very good way to invite an unwanted computer virus.

When downloading software from the internet do so as
little as possible. There are many neat programs available
on the internet, but unfortunately there are many viruses
that go along with them also.

If you must download programs from the internet ALWAYS
scan them for viruses BEFORE opening them up to install on
your computer.

Probably the most important and neglected method of
disaster recovery are periodic backups of all important
files found on your computer. Should a virus happen to get
through your lines of defense you may need to replace the
virus corrupted files with fresh ones that have been kept
for such an occasion.

Finally, it is not guaranteed that if you follow the above
steps that you will not be the victim of a computer virus,
but you can sure bet that if followed you will greatly
reduce the chance of being an unsuspecting recipient of such
an unwanted program.

About the Author

Dan Preston is the webmaster of a site called InfoHeaven Digital
Books and The Online Book Store where you can find useful and Fr'ee
information along with many howto digital books that cover a large
variety of interesting topics. and

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