Hi everyone – we’ve had a number of requests lately to scan for, remote or secure against viruses and other nasty computer programs like worms and trojans. I wish I could say that there was a fool proof method of preventing it but to be honest, it always has and will always remain an ongoing arms race between the people programming this stuff and those of us that defend against it.
There are a number of best practices that will certainly help keep you safe though and I would recommend you adhere to at least some of them. So how do we prevent computer viruses?
For step-by-step instructions, click here
- Install and keep your anti-virus software up-to-date. Things to remember:
- Some anti-virus programs are better than others, so do your research (or ask us) – this does change from time to time too so always good to ask the experts
- Some nasty programs ‘disguise’ themselves as anti-virus programs or other helpful things so be aware. If you didn’t install or ask for it – and it says it’s ‘looking’ or ‘scanning’ for viruses and you’ve never seen it before, it’s probably a virus so get help!
- There are some combinations of anti-malware and virus programs that can be installed on the same computer at the same time without issues, but normally doing that can cause a lot of problems so make sure you’re managing them correctly if you intend to have more than one. This can be good because 2 heads are better than one and you have a better chance of stopping something going bad with more tools, but the wrong combination can interfere with your computers normal operations and with each other too.
- Run manual scans regularly – I try to do it once a week. Some malicious software lies dormant and undetected until it’s time for it to do something, so a real-time anti-virus protection might not necessarily discover it while it’s not doing anything
- Don’t take the bait
- Some websites can have popups or ads that look like a Windows message or a notification from an anti-virus program – don’t click on them – and maybe stay away from those websites altogether
- Some ‘free’ software can come with stuff that you didn’t ask for, so be careful. Free cheese is usually found in mousetraps
- Don’t open strange attachments or click on links inside of emails, even if it came from an email address you trust unless it’s absolutely clear that it’s safe. Sometimes a virus can use a computer to send itself to your contacts without your knowledge! If you’re not sure, email and ask the person if they sent it.
- Keep your passwords long – with every extra letter or number, it can take years longer to ‘crack’. A short gibberish password like SD)*$@ is just as easy to guess for some hackers as IvanD12 because they ‘bombard’ the password with random attempts and eventually might get it. What you want is a long, strong password like eg IWentForAWalkTo10CharlesSt#
- If you have to write your password down, at least leave off some characters so that even if someone found it, they would not get in
There’s a lot more to it, but these are some basics. Soon we will release another post with a bit more information on this topic.
Thanks and Kind Regards,