The applications of the Internet continue to expand every day. Big businesses and small businesses, home businesses and other types are beginning to become dependent on their web connections in order to stay afloat and profitable in the competitive world. One glitch in the system in the form of a computer viruses can end up costing any type of business incredible amounts of money in downtime, repairs, and lost opportunities.
The first rule of defense in keeping out harmful computer viruses is to avoid opening attachments from unfamiliar e-mail addresses. This is the most common way that a virus developing miscreant will lull the unsuspecting into downloading a computer-crashing program onto their personal system. These viruses seem able to get into any e-mail server and you must avoid opening the attachment, tempting as it may sound. It is unlikely that anyone has sent you a chance to win a million by finding out your e-mail, so remember that some of the rules of real life apply to cyber space as well: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The second major step is to obtain some kind of anti-virus software. These programs are available everywhere, and can be obtained for free through reputable companies like Microsoft or McAfee. All of the computer techs I have ever talked to say that the AVG system available for free is just as good as any other software out there when it comes to virus detection and removal. Another good program is the Norton Anti-Virus. Any software you choose should have a tool which allows you to scan your computer in general, specific programs in particular, and any suspicious documents. It should also allow you to isolate, contain, and remove any viruses found in the scanning.
Scan your entire computer with your software every couple of days, especially if you are a heavy Internet user. New viruses with more cleverly hidden infiltration abilities are appearing every day, and it is imperative to know if you have been affected. Similarly, most anti-virus software will have updates available constantly, and you must take the time to update your program.
Finally, with the amount of software available for other people to damage your computer, you need to be aware when things begin to run in a way they just shouldn’t. When your computer shuts off for no reason, is very slow in responding, or experiences other hiccups, it is time to take it in to the pros to get it checked out. Doing so will not only remove any undetected viruses (and even with the best software, there still are some that slip through the cracks), it will also stop the spread to any other people you may contact.