Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Top 10 Tips to protect yourself against computer viruses

When your computer gets infected with a virus it can be a devastating experience. A virus can consume your precious computer files and even damage your computer hardware. Is this worth ignoring? I don’t think so! Anything you can do to avoid a computer virus has to be a good thing and is well worth spending your time on. We all know prevention is better than a cure so I am going to share my top 10 tips on how to protect yourself against computer viruses.

1. The first thing that I recommend is to research and become knowledgeable about viruses. How can you protect your computer from viruses if you don’t even know what they are. Here are some previous tutorials I have written about viruses. See What is a Virus and how do I know if I have one? and What’s the difference between a virus, spyware, Malware, and adware?
2. Arm yourself with the best Antivirus software to suit your needs. Not everyone can get away with using free antivirus software because it depends what you do on your computer. It depends on factors such as if you download files or not, if you open email attachments, and if you surf suspicious websites. See my reviews for the best Virus Removal Software. Lets face it, if you do not have protection against viruses installed on your computer, you will without a doubt, get a virus within the first hour of surfing the internet. It is that easy.
3. Having a great Antivirus program installed on your computer to protect you against viruses is great, however if you do not regularly update the virus definitions, then the program is useless. New viruses are produced daily and this is why we constantly have to update the viruses definitions and stay ahead of the bad guys. See my virus removal software reviews.
4. When surfing the internet avoid websites that contain illegal software downloads, sexual references, free screensavers, cracks or serials, etc. I am sure you get the picture. If you go near these sites you are immediately asking for trouble.
5. Always update Windows. These updates contain security updates that will help in your fight against viruses. If you do not perform regular Windows updates you are leaving your computer in a vulnerable state.
6. Be careful when opening emails. There are obvious emails that you know you shouldn’t open, however what about the ones you get from people you know? What if your friend has a virus and it is spreading itself through emails? An email cannot be important enough to risk getting a virus. Delete the email and send a fresh email to your friend asking them if they actually did send you the email.
7. If you are really serious about protecting your computer you can change your email settings and receive text emails only. You can also disable the ability to open email attachments. Virus travel in HTML enabled emails and file attachments. They cannot travel in text email messages.
8. Do not use peer to peer (p2p) file sharing programs. These include programs such as Limewire, Bearshare, Gnutella, Morpheus, Torrents, etc. These program let you download files from other computer users connected to their program network. You have no way of knowing what you are actually downloading until it is on your computer. Even if you share files from a cd from a friend, it may have a virus.
9. Do not download files from websites. Again, there is no way of knowing what you are downloading. The file can appear to be named like the file you want, however it could be anything. Most of the time, this is how a virus is unleashed, it usually seems like a harmless, familiar object.
10. Make sure you have a firewall enabled on your computer. Windows comes with an inbuilt firewall or you can use a third party firewall program like Zone Alarm. Either way, make sure the firewall is on…To check the Windows Firewall go to the security settings in your control panel.

If you are careful and are serious about protecting your computer from invading viruses, it is possible to stay safe. My top 10 tips will help you keep your computer running smoothly, and virus free.

If you want to have more tips regarding viruses please visit this article on how to
Protect your computer from Viruses.

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