Earlier viruses meant an ailment which had no definition and worked its way out of the human system in 3-5 days. Today when one talks of viruses it largely means those that harm computers. Techies work round the clock to create defenses to new viruses. A virus can slow down the computer, prevent functions, damage software, steal files, introduce spyware, and more. They are thieves and murders of technology
As a computer user you can take a few simple and practical measures to protect yourself.
1. Instant messaging is useful and harmless if you use the latest version, and never ever download a file from a person you don’t know or a friend who is a known prankster. It is attachments that carry viruses.
2. Keep abreast of new developments and update your computer software and hardware. If you are using Windows you can go to Microsoft Update and get your computer scanned and get patches as well as high priority updates.
3. Use the latest versions of antivirus software, a firewall, and anti-spyware / adware programs.
4. Help prevent spamming. Learn about dos and don’ts of spamming and report spams.
5. Protect your work by introducing a password as well as taking all steps to ensure that only you can access administrator functions.
6. Keep your peace of mind by creating a “back up” schedule for the computer.
7. Never give in to phishing even if it seems like real.
8. Prevent invaders who tempt you with goodies by using Cyberhawk, AVGantivirus, or Avast. These are efficient and free.
9. Use wireless connections and broadband connections to the internet with care. Thieves can steal your IP address and much more.
10. Learn about which files are likely virus carriers. Mostly files with only data do not carry a virus and end with extensions like .txt, .csv, .gif, .jpg, .mp3 and so on. Files that have extensions like .doc, .exe , or.htm can carry viruses.
What you need to know about and watch out for are: viruses, worms, Trojan horses, adware, spyware, and phising. Don’t install applications just because they are in vogue. Only install those you are likely to use. Never install file transfer or file sharing services or remote access to your systems. Further more always shut down when your computer is not in use. Be sure to log off from your internet connection. Try and store important documents on CDs, DVDs, or pen drives. Please store back ups in a safe place away from your computers. Never download files from unknown sources. Many offer temptations like flash games, music, movies, or videos free. Nothing in life is free and that is an established norm. Freebies always come at a price.
Look after your computer and your peace of mind and work will be undisturbed.