How To Protect Your Files From A Computer Virus

How To Protect Your Files From A Computer Virus

How safe is​ your computer? Could you be in​ danger of​ getting a​ virus on​ your system? Just how real is​ the​ danger? What steps should you take if​ any?

While visiting with a​ one of​ my students,​ I became aware that her anti-virus software was over seventeen months old and had never been updated. Upon informing her that she should update her anti-virus software regularly,​ she was totally surprised. Furthermore she had no concept how essential this was to​ ensure her system's safety. Therefore I thought it​ wise to​ write about some of​ the​ precautions you should take to​ avoid becoming infected with a​ computer virus.

While there are many 'virus' hoaxes,​ and please do not pass any of​ these hoaxes on​ as​ these may actually contain viruses,​ computer viruses do pose a​ very real danger. Therefore I've listed a​ few preventative measures that you should take to​ ensure computer safety.

1. Do install an​ anti-virus software program and update it​ often as​ there are new viruses discovered everyday. I update my anti-virus database daily. at​ least weekly should be a​ goal. if​ you are not updating perpetually,​ it​ is​ like having an​ insurance policy and never paying the​ premiums. in​ no time at​ all it​ would be worthless.

2. Be wary of​ email from strangers. Never open an​ email with an​ attachment from a​ source that is​ unknown or​ suspicious. Virus containing emails can be very persuasive in​ the​ subject line. Do not let your curiosity be aroused.

I prefer an​ anti-virus program that has the​ ability to​ check all email sent and received. if​ you update it​ often,​ this should keep you safe,​ although nothing is​ 100% secure. There are good programs that offer a​ free version for personal use. These programs generally allow continual updates. Some may require that you register again at​ the​ end of​ year,​ but the​ software and updates will still be free.

Two such programs are:

AVG anti-virus,​ Free edition

Free avast! 4 Home Edition

For more options and reviews on​ programs you can do a​ search on​ google for free anti-virus.

3. Do exercise caution when downloading files from the​ Internet. Be sure to​ download from well known and reputable sources. Ascertain that your anti-virus software is​ set to​ scan files while you are downloading. I have that feature enabled in​ my anti-virus program and it​ scans all files when I am in​ the​ process of​ downloading,​ and it​ has on​ occasion prevented me from downloading a​ file that was infected or​ posed a​ potential danger. These programs work so take advantage of​ the​ security your anti-virus will provide by using all of​ the​ safety features.

4. New viruses creep upon a​ daily basis. it​ is​ important to​ back up your important files regularly. CD’s and DVD’s hold a​ large amount of​ information. Take advantage of​ this and store your valuable information and computer programs on​ these removable disks. in​ the​ event that a​ virus should ever invade your system and your files become corrupted you will be able to​ replace them with your backup copies.

5. Lastly apply the​ little rule,​ 'When in​ doubt do without'. if​ you are uncertain,​ whether it​ is​ with an​ unknown source in​ your email or​ a​ web site that offers a​ download,​ then best not to​ take a​ chance. No email message or​ free software is​ worth the​ damage to​ your computer files and the​ time and expense of​ repairing your PC. Do not be fooled,​ computer viruses do affect everyone.

The Internet offers us an​ array of​ software,​ services,​ entertainment and education that is​ beneficial. There is​ no reason to​ fear the​ web,​ it​ can be safe and secure. Yet it​ would be unrealistic to​ assume that there is​ no danger of​ computer viruses. There are unscrupulous persons who desire to​ do you harm. By observing these few guidelines you can minimize any threat of​ a​ virus attacking your computer.

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