News about computer viruses has been popping everywhere, from your computer screen to the nightly news. As hackers become more sophisticated, computer users need to know how to protect themselves from the latest onslaught of viruses. Use these tips to keep your computer virus-free.
Virus Prevention Tips:
1. Do not open e-mail attachments from strangers. If you do not recognize the e-mail address or subject line, delete the e-mail. Also check the file extension of attachments. Beware of suspicious extensions, such as .pif and .scr.
2. Only open e-mail attachments if you know what they are, even if they come from a reputable source. Some viruses attack address books, sending themselves out to every e-mail address they find. It’s better to check with the person who sent the e-mail, rather than opening it blindly.
3. Be careful when downloading files from the Internet. Make sure that the download source is legitimate and reputable. Most sites run virus checks on software before opening for you. For extra safety, download the file to a floppy disk and then check it with your own anti-virus software before installing it your hard drive.
4. Update your anti-virus software on a regular basis. Most software has an area where you can download the latest virus updates.
5. Back-up important files to a portable storage unit. This could be a CD, DVD, zip disk, floppy disk or host of other media storage devices. This way, if your computer is harmed by a virus, your important files can still be safely reloaded.
Some companies offer free online virus scans for those without virus scan software. One such company is Panda Software. Their online scan can be found here: http://www.pandasoftware.com