PC Security - Protecting Computers from Viruses
In 1999, the Melissa Virus brought Internet traffic
to a halt for all intents and purposes. It was originally posted in a newsgroup
as an attachment of a Word document. Once it infected a computer, it would
access the address book, and send itself to the first fifty people listed.
Obviously, it didn't take but just a few hours for the online world to feel
the effects of this famous virus.
The same was true in 2000 when the ILOVEYOU virus presented itself as an
email attachment. Once it was double clicked, it would access the address
book and start sending itself out as well. Viruses are still a big part of
our world, and a security risk that every computer owner combats regularly.
The two ways that we combat viruses is with the use of anti-virus software
and of course by not opening email attachments, or at the very least using
extreme caution, even if the attachment is from someone we know as they may
be infected without realizing it. We can also avoid viruses by not participating
at file exchange websites.
You absolutely must have anti-virus software. Do not depend on free online
virus scan services, as these can only check to see what is presently on
your computer, and can do nothing to prevent nasty viruses from breaking
through your defenses. An online virus check does not protect you. Your
anti-virus software will have it's own virus checker to see if you presently
have any viruses, and will protect you from future viruses as long as you
keep it up to date.
Most of the virus scanners available today will automatically update their
definition files. If yours does not, it is up to you to do this, however,
it is a good idea to look for that automation feature. The actual software
program may need to also be updated to the newest version on a regular basis.
While your anti-virus program will offer you protection, do not become lax
in your efforts to keep your system safe. Sometimes, viruses do sneak past
your defenses! Remember that human beings write anti-virus programs and the
definitions that go along with them. When a new virus emerges, these humans
must first be made aware that it exists, and then rewrite the definitions
for that virus, and then your software must acquire those new definitions.
As you can see, somebody has to get the virus before it can be defended against.
While most viruses come to us by way of downloads, file transfers, and email
attachments, you can also get viruses from floppy disks, CDs, and even from
DVDs. If a friend burns you a copy of a CD that you like on his computer
and brings it over to your house, he may have inadvertently have also copied
a virus that he was not aware of from his computer and brought that to your
house as well!
Use common sense when it comes to computer security, and always be aware
of the risks. Know what you are downloading, and who you are downloading
it from, and always remember that no matter how well protected you are, there
are still risks out there!
PC Security: Index
Stopping Spam Part 1
Stopping Spam Part 2
PC Security: Spam
Email Security and Spam
Protecting Computers From Viruses
Trojan Horse Viruses
Removing a Virus
Cell Phone Viruses
Firewalls Part 1
Firewalls Part 2
Security: Parental Control Software
Malware - Spyware and Adware
Pop Up Windows
Security: Safe Public Computer Use
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