Our computer technician James wrote a blog regarding computer viruses. I thought I'd put it under the help section so that everyone can see it. Have you ever wondered what are all the various ways your computer can get attacked? Or how about software to get rid of those nasty computer pests? Click this article to read more.
1. Email is the most common way of getting infected. While you can safely open any mail, NEVER NEVER NEVER click on a link in email that you are not positive is from a trusted source! Here are two common scenarios:
o You get an email from someone you DON'T know. You open it. It tells you (or, persuades you) to click on a link in the email. You do so. Bingo, that is when you get infected. Frequently, the email appears to be from your bank, a company you know, etc. Don't fall for it! It was actually malicious code executed in your browser that allowed it to look like it is coming from an actual business. A good way to avoid this is to use Mozilla Firefox, it's been known to be more secure. Real businesses (almost) never send unsolicited email.
o You get (what appears to be) an email from someone you DO know. But, unknown to you, a virus or worm generated that email (and not your friend). It could be, your friend's PC is infected. Obviously, the actual email writer doesn't know you and cannot say anything personal to you, so, typically, it says something like "Click on this link for some important information..." etc. Bingo! Infected!
2. Don't click on pop-up windows that announce a sudden disaster in your city! A cracker (Crackers hack people with evil intent, hackers don't do things to damage your property, or steal data on it in any way. To confuse the terms will make many angry). has used your IP (Internet Protocol) address to determine your location. He then display a headline that you will be very tempted to click on, in order to learn more about "the tornado that just struck your city" (or similar). You click...bingo...infected!
3. Be careful about using MS Outlook. Outlook is more susceptible to worms than other e-mail programs, unless you have an efficient Anti-Virus programs running. Use Pegasus or Thunderbird (by Mozilla), or a web-based program such as Hotmail or Yahoo (In Firefox).
4. Install an Anti-Virus program(ex. AVG or Avast) Also available is the free AntiVir virus scanner. Make sure you keep your virus definitions updated (internet needed) and run a full system scan weekly.
5. Install an Anti-Spyware program(ex. Ad Aware SE, Windows Defender), that operates against internet malware and spyware. Just like Anti-Virus, keep it updated, and do a full system scan weekly.
6. If someone sends you an attachment in e-mail or instant messaging, do not open it if you do not know the person who is sending it. If it is a picture, text or sound file (these attachments end in the extensions .txt, .jpeg, .gif, .bmp, .tif, .mp3, .htm, .html, and .avi), you are probably safe, but still do a scan before opening. Many crackers know that people trust documents like those and the go out of there way to make you regret opening them. High risk file extensions include .exe, .bat, and .vbs, for their main purposes are to execute code, so the file openly admits that something will happen. You can negate the risk by preforming scans with your anti-malware AND antivirus programs. If someone you know sends you a Word attachment or other type of file, contact them to ask them if they sent it to you. If they say yes, you can open it, but you might still be at risk if they are not good about running Anti-Virus scans or careful about what they download. Be wary of attachments with a double extension, such as .txt.vb or .jpg.exe, as the system will only recognize the extension to the extreme right, and run the file as such. Double extensions are often a good indicator that the file is malicious.
7. Do not use disks and USB drives that other people gave you, even from work. The disk could be infected with a virus. Of course, you can run a virus scan on it first to check it out, but AV programs are not 100% effective.
8. Do not download and install software from just any website. If it is a reputable site that you trust, you are probably safe.Limewire and downloading software are programs that we cannot trust as they may contain adware, spyware and will connect you to computers that are infected.
9. Set up your Windows Update to automatically download patches and upgrades. This will allow your computer to automatically download any updates to both the operating system (I.E Windows) and Internet Explorer. These updates fix security holes in both pieces of software.
10. Consider switching to a different web browser. Other web browsers (such as Firefox or Opera) are considered to have better security than Internet Explorer; some people also see them as more flexible browsers.
12. Read about the latest virus threats so you are aware of the potential danger. Go to Symantec's page to read about them daily or if you get a virus you can google the virus name to receive information on how to remove it..
13. Try to balance paranoia with common sense. Some people get really weird about viruses, spyware, etc. It's just a computer! Back up your data and follow these steps, and it shouldn't be a big problem. Some people would suggest that you make sure you have a firewall and run anti-spyware programs as well. I'm not sure either of those will protect you from viruses, but they will protect you from cracking and from spyware. Microsoft's Windows Defender and Ad-Aware are the best anti-spyware/virus programs I have found. Also, note that too many cleaning tools on a computer can prevent each other from working properly. Good luck!
14. Scan things you download! Be a total nut with this. Scanning new files is cheap, fast, and easy. Even if the file came from a trusted source, their computer might have been compromised without their knowledge. Anything you get from P2P (Limewire) software you should scan, as you are getting it from a stranger. Just right click any file or folder and choose "Scan with Antivirus".
15. DO NOT download kazaa, kazaa lite, limewire, or frostwire or any other p2p program and do not download torrents from any torrent site, for most torrents are illeagel. Thanks
(Remember if you get a virus it is not covered under your computer donation agreement)
JAMES SDBI TECHNICAL SUPPORT