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How to Avoid Getting a Computer Virus or Worm on Your Windows PC

Email is one way infections can enter your computer from the internet. Below are some tips on stopping viruses or spyware from attacking your system through e-mail.

  1. Never click on a link or attachment in an email that you are not positive is from a trusted source. If you think the e-mail looks suspicious, it probably is. It never hurts to send an email to verify that this is legitimate.
  2. Be careful about using Microsoft Outlook. Outlook is more susceptible to Virus and Spyware infections than other e-mail programs, unless you have efficient Anti-Virus programs running. There are many other free e-mail programs available that you can use, or a web-based program such as Hotmail or Yahoo to avoid these problems. You may also try Outlook anti-spam addons freely available on Microsoft's Web site.
  3. Install an Anti-Virus program (ex. Norton, F-Secure, Sophos, McAfee, or AVG). Also available is the free AntiVir virus scanner. Make sure you keep your virus definitions updated and run a full system scan weekly.
  4. Install an Anti-Spyware program (ex. Ad Aware SE, Windows Defender, Malwarebytes, spybot), that operates against internet malware and spyware. Just like Anti-Virus, keep it updated, and do a full system scan weekly. Often these anti-spyware programs will find problems that anti-virus programs overlook.
  5. If someone sends you an attachment in e-mail or instant messaging, do not open it unless you know who it is from and you were expecting it. If someone you know very well sends you a Word attachment or other type of file, e-mail them to ask them if they meant to send it to you. If they say yes, then you should be ok open it. 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 exploit an option in Windows to hide known file extensions thus hiding the second dangerous extension and showing only the first safe extension.
  6. Another way a virus can infect your computer is through a random pop up that comes to you while browsing the internet. If you see a pop up that looks like anti-virus software and tells you that your computer has problems it may be a scam. There have been many such programs in the past that have warned of false errors and then offered to fix them if you purchase their software. If you see a new type of anti-virus pop up that you have not seen before, or if it appears to be from an anti-virus program that you did not install then it is fake. Close the pop up, update your anti-virus program, and run a full scan. Many of these browser related apps keep temporary files on your computer and can store a virus there. To keep this risk low, make sure you delete your temporary internet files daily.
  7. Set up your Windows Update to automatically download patches and upgrades. This will allow your computer to automatically download any updates to both Windows and Internet Explorer. These updates fix security problems and block many spyware programs and viruses.
  8. Consider switching to a different web browser. Other web browsers (such as Firefox or Opera or Chrome are considered to have better security than Internet Explorer; some people also see them as more flexible and faster browsers.
  9. Be careful when surfing. You can get a malicious script from a webpage and not know it. If you ever get a window asking if you want to allow an automatic install, say "No" unless you know the site requesting the install.
  10. Make sure your windows firewall is turned on, or install a free firewall program to help block unwanted internet traffic which can cause problems
  11. 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 to avoid getting a virus. If you have a good backup you know that your personal data is always safe no matter what happens.


  • PC World and other online or print computer magazines will help you keep aware of the latest info about viruses and other things going on the Internet.

  • Remember, if it seems suspicious, it probably is.

  • Keep a recent backup of your personal files. This will come in handy should you get infected with a program that deletes your files, or prevents you from accessing them. 

  • Delete your browser's temporary internet files every day.


  • If you don't keep a good backup of your files you risk losing everything when a virus or spyware hits. 

  • Computer repair shops will charge you for removing a virus so it saves you money to be safe and avoid a virus or spyware problem.

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5 komentar:

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[ Reply ] | August 28, 2012 at 9:33 PM
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