Basic Steps To Protect Your PC From Viruses
A few minutes of prevention is better than several hours of frustration and lost data.
Today, a worm or virus can arrive on anyone's machine through e-mail. Before you lose a day's work to the latest malicious virus, follow these precautions.
- Get protected. If you don't already have virus protection software on your machine, you should. If you're a home or individual user, it's as easy as downloading any of these five star programs then following the installation instructions. If you're on a network, check with your network administrator first.
- Update your anti-virus software. Now that you have virus protection software installed, make sure it's up-to-date. Some anti-virus protection programs have a feature that will automatically link to the Internet and add new virus detection code whenever the software vendor discovers a new threat. You can also download updates from ZDNet Updates.
- Scan your system regularly. If you're just loading anti-virus software for the first time, it's a good idea to let it scan your entire system. It's better to start your PC clean and free of virus problems. Often the anti-virus program can be set to scan each time the computer is rebooted or on a periodic schedule. Some will scan in the background while you are connected to the Internet. Make it a regular habit to scan for viruses.
- Be suspicious of e-mail attachments. Even if the e-mail is from a known source, be careful. A few viruses take the mailing lists from an infected computer and send out new messages with its destructive payload attached. Always scan the attached files first for viruses. Unless it's a file or an image you are expecting, delete it.
- Stay informed. Did you know that there are virus and security alerts almost every day? Keep up-to-date on breaking viruses and solutions by bookmarking our Viruses, Bugs, Security Alerts page.
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