The love bug, back orifice, Trojan horses, and the Davinci virus. All are greatly hyped viruses, strengthened to super-viruses by the media who report them. Hollywood has played a role, too, scaring computer users into thinking that at any moment their computer may be taken over. This is more fiction than fact; however, computer viruses are out there, but not in the mass quantities that the evening news would have you believe.
There are foolproof ways to keep these unwanted intruders off of your hard drive and the steps to be taken are easy enough for anyone to follow.
As with many things the only sure protection is abstinence. Computer viruses travel by way of disks, Internet downloads, and most commonly e-mail attachments. By simply not using any disks from friends, downloading any files, or opening any attachments, your computer can be kept virus-free. However, this is not an acceptable option to most people, the files need to be shared, the software needs to be downloaded.
So other options are available, the easiest way to virus awareness is to study how the circulate. Disk viruses used to be the only thing around. Before the Internet and electronic mail, these were the main ones. However new disk viruses are rare and older ones will be detected using an antiviral program. The two most common, and the two best, are McAffee and Norton Antivirus. Just have them scan any floppy disk you are using before you open files off of it. Disk viruses are the oldest form of viruses and by far the easiest to protect against.
Internet downloads are dangerous things these days, you are accepting a package from someone you don’t know. Once in awhile these packages are contaminated. Once again a simple virus-scanning program can protect against these. Most antiviral programs can be configured to automatically inspect every downloaded file. This simple safeguard is effective and will keep a computer safe from a downloaded virus.
E-mail viruses are the most common nowadays. The virus writing community has discovered that e-mail is an optimal transferring platform. Infecting computers faster than ordinary viruses affect humans, viruses have become known for crashing large amounts of computers in a few hours. These viruses attack when a normally innocent e-mail attachment is opened. They infect the computer they are on and then multiply by contacting the computer most common e-mail recipients.
This means that a virus will often appear to be from your best friend, business associate, or mother-in-law. The easiest way to protect yourself from these viruses is to scan e-mail attachments before you run them. The thing to remember is if you don’t know what it is, or who it’s from, don’t open it. A lot of attachments are harmless, but it’s the one that isn’t that makes you suffer the consequences.
The best method of virus protection is prevention. Don’t open unknown files, attachments, etc. Scan everything just to be on the safe side, it doesn’t take long, and saves a lot of time, should there be a virus. If people prepare themselves with the knowledge to protect their computers they will be better off. Viruses will cease to spread when everyone takes the time to take precautions.