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Computer Viruses: 5 Tips to Avoid the Problem

Published on 07 October 14
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Computer viruses have been around nearly as long as computers themselves. According to Cheeky Munkey the first appeared in 1974, and since then the malicious programs have grown exponentially in number. Today, there are millions of computer viruses in circulation, and itâs more critical than ever to make sure youâre adequately protected. Just like you take precautions during flu season to avoid illness to your body, you should make an effort to be safe and secure while browsing the web. Letâs take a look at some simple steps you can take to help your computer stay healthy.
Computer Viruses: 5 Tips to Avoid the Problem - Image 1

1. Use Antivirus Software

The importance of this cannot be overstated. There are so many viruses out there today that sheer probability dictates that youâll probably run into one sooner or later. You canât avoid them just by using common sense anymore (although that certainly helps, as weâll see later), and thereâs a lot of software specifically designed to catch viruses before they can infect your equipment. Some quality programs are even available for free, like Avast Free Antivirus and AVG Free Antivirus. Certain people, however, prefer to take protection to the next level by paying for more powerful software. It all depends on how often you use your computer and what youâre willing to spend to keep it performing at its peak.

2. Be Careful What You Click

Many people make the mistake of thinking you can only catch a virus by downloading something. However, itâs actually possible to catch a computer virus simply by visiting certain web pages. Because of this, always read the URLs of links that youâre sent. If one looks suspicious (like itâs just random letters and numbers) or if the message sounds spammy (OMG I just got a free iPad, you can too!) make sure to double-check with the person who âsentâ it to you before you open it. They may have had their account hijacked.

3. Do Not Trust Popups

There are some incredibly clever popups out there, so be hyper-vigilant about staying skeptical. Some will even mimic anti-virus software, giving you an alert that says something like Danger! Threat detected! Run virus scan now! to scare you into clicking it, and others will say things like 3 new messages. Read now? Simply put⦠donât fall for it.

4. Download from Trusted Sources Only

The more things you download, the greater the likelihood of downloading something malicious. Downloaded viruses can be some of the worst and hardest to get rid of. If you want a program, head straight to the developerâs site instead of some risky free downloads website that could be run by anyone. Remember, people can name files whatever they want to; they may not be what they say they are!

5. Keep Your Computer Updated

Your computer probably prompts you to install updates once in a while. This could be very much to your advantage when it comes to virus protection, as many virus creators will look for holes in current software that they can exploit. Often, upgrades will include fixes to whatever weak spots were noticed in the initial version.
Protect yourself and be smart, and youâll have no trouble navigating the digital age with your technology intact!
Computer viruses have been around nearly as long as computers themselves. According to Cheeky Munkey the first appeared in 1974, and since then the malicious programs have grown exponentially in number. Today, there are millions of computer viruses in circulation, and itâs more critical than ever to make sure youâre adequately protected. Just like you take precautions during flu season to avoid illness to your body, you should make an effort to be safe and secure while browsing the web. Letâs take a look at some simple steps you can take to help your computer stay healthy.

Computer Viruses: 5 Tips to Avoid the Problem - Image 1

1. Use Antivirus Software



The importance of this cannot be overstated. There are so many viruses out there today that sheer probability dictates that youâll probably run into one sooner or later. You canât avoid them just by using common sense anymore (although that certainly helps, as weâll see later), and thereâs a lot of software specifically designed to catch viruses before they can infect your equipment. Some quality programs are even available for free, like Avast Free Antivirus and AVG Free Antivirus. Certain people, however, prefer to take protection to the next level by paying for more powerful software. It all depends on how often you use your computer and what youâre willing to spend to keep it performing at its peak.

2. Be Careful What You Click



Many people make the mistake of thinking you can only catch a virus by downloading something. However, itâs actually possible to catch a computer virus simply by visiting certain web pages. Because of this, always read the URLs of links that youâre sent. If one looks suspicious (like itâs just random letters and numbers) or if the message sounds spammy (OMG I just got a free iPad, you can too!) make sure to double-check with the person who âsentâ it to you before you open it. They may have had their account hijacked.

3. Do Not Trust Popups



There are some incredibly clever popups out there, so be hyper-vigilant about staying skeptical. Some will even mimic anti-virus software, giving you an alert that says something like Danger! Threat detected! Run virus scan now! to scare you into clicking it, and others will say things like 3 new messages. Read now? Simply put⦠donât fall for it.

4. Download from Trusted Sources Only



The more things you download, the greater the likelihood of downloading something malicious. Downloaded viruses can be some of the worst and hardest to get rid of. If you want a program, head straight to the developerâs site instead of some risky free downloads website that could be run by anyone. Remember, people can name files whatever they want to; they may not be what they say they are!

5. Keep Your Computer Updated



Your computer probably prompts you to install updates once in a while. This could be very much to your advantage when it comes to virus protection, as many virus creators will look for holes in current software that they can exploit. Often, upgrades will include fixes to whatever weak spots were noticed in the initial version.

Protect yourself and be smart, and youâll have no trouble navigating the digital age with your technology intact!

This blog is listed under IT Security & Architecture Community

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  1. 12 October 14
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    Thanks James. Good points you shared.

    We are depending upon the antivirus software so much and sometimes, these softwares can create other problems. I have noticed sometimes, that Outlook keep crashing or whole system performance comes down significantly. Once the antivirus software is disabled, everything works fine !! The updates from antivirus software and updates from Microsoft do not coincide sometimes it seems.

    And I wonder, what about if antivirus software company has given access to government intelligence agencies like NSA?

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