10 Tips To Prevent Computer Viruses
Tip 1: Install reliable anti-virus software. Anti-virus software scans files regularly for unusual changes in file size, programs that match the software’s database of known viruses, suspicious email attachments, and other warning signs. It’s the most important step you can take towards keeping your computer clean of infections.
Tip 2: Do not open emails or attachments from unknown sources. Unless you know what it is, even if it appears to come from a friend or someone you know do not open files attached to emails. Some viruses can replicate themselves and spread through email. Confirm that your contact really sent an attachment.
Tip 3: Share your e-mail address with only trusted sources. Only your family, friends, and trusted business contacts should have your personal e-mail address. Do not post your e-mail address on Web sites, forums, or in chat rooms. If you post your e-mail address, you are vulnerable to receiving spam or having your e-mail passed on to others. If you would like to subscribe to a newsletter or Web site and receive confirmation e-mail for online transactions, consider using a generic e-mail address that is not linked to any of your personal information. An example of a generic e-mail address is email@example.com.
Tip 4: Delete junk email. Do not open, forward nor reply to any to them. These types of email are considered spam – unsolicited, intrusive messages that clog up the inboxes and networks.
Tip 5: Don’t download unknown programs from the Web. Unreliable sources such as Internet newsgroups or Web sites that you haven’t heard of may be willing providers of viruses for your computer. Avoid downloading files you can’t be sure are safe. This includes freeware, screensavers, games, and any other executable program – any files with an “.exe” or “.com” extension, such as “coolgame.exe.”.
Tip 6: Create smart and strong passwords. Make it difficult for hackers to crack your password. You can create a smart password by incorporating capital letters, numbers, special characters and using more than six characters. An example of a strong password is: Envi$ion34.
Tip 7: Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent e-mails and fake Web sites, masquerading as legitimate businesses, to lure unsuspecting users into revealing private account or login information. To be safe, if you receive an e-mail from a business that includes a link to a Web site, make certain that the Web site you visit is legitimate. Instead of clicking through to the Web site from within the e-mail, open a separate Web browser and visit the business’ Web site directly to perform the necessary actions. You can also verify that an e-mail is in fact from a legitimate business by calling the business or agency directly.
Tip 8: Update your anti-virus software regularly. Either manually download anti-virus program updates or make sure your anti-virus program is set to update your anti-virus program automatically.
Tip 9: Never enter your personal information into a pop-up screen. Sometimes a phisher will direct you to a real organization’s Web site, but then an unauthorized pop-up screen created by the scammer will appear, with blanks in which to provide your personal information. If you fill it in, your information will go to the phisher. Install pop-up blocking software to help prevent this type of phishing attack.
Tip 10: When in doubt, always err on the side of caution. Do not open, download, or execute any files or email attachments. Not executing is the more important of these caveats. Check with your product vendors for updates for your operating system, web browser, and email.