July 12, 2012
Keeping Your Computer Protected From Viruses
By Tom Kelley
No matter what sort of software programs you use, it’s imperative that you make an effort to keep them up-to-date with the latest patches, fixes and upgrades. Most software vendors have some mechanism for keeping you informed of updates, and many even have the means to automatically keep your computer updated via the internet.
Speaking of keeping up-to-date, this is an important aspect of your next line of defense, virus protection. Even the best anti-virus software won’t protect you from viruses that are created after the software is shipped, unless you keep the “virus definitions” regularly updated.
The average computer user will virtually never be vulnerable to a computer virus – IF – they keep their anti-virus software regularly updated. By regular, we mean that you should check your virus program’s website, or more ideally, use the automated update function at least once a day.
Sooner or later, however, the law of averages will catch up with you and you will be sent a virus for which you may not already have an update. This is where the need for common-sense comes in. As long as you’ve configured your patched and updated e-mail software for maximum security (turn off everything that enables an e-mail message to “automatically” do anything), most e-mail viruses will be harmless unless you do something to activate that virus.
Most viruses arrive as some sort of attachment that must be opened or activated for the virus to infect your computer. This brings us to the single most important piece of advice you’ll ever get regarding a computer. If you don’t know exactly what an attachment is and why it’s being sent to you, don’t open it!!!
It doesn’t matter if the file is coming from somebody you know, or how computer savvy you think that person may be. So let me repeat that last bit of advice, If you don’t know exactly what an attachment is and why it’s being set to you, don’t open it!!!