A virus that infects your computer is not all that unlike a virus infects your body: it slows you down and can be passed from you to the people you keep in touch with. But the good news is that preventing viruses is not difficult.
Just as you can prevent infections in your body by taking simple steps like washing your hands, you can prevent viruses from infecting your computer. An up-to-date anti-virus program is the key to keeping malicious files – viruses – off of the hard drive of your computer.
Most viruses infect your computer via e-mail, World Wide Web servers, and even through the network your computer. Viruses can be an executable file that is sent as an email attachment, or included as a macro function in a document written in Microsoft Word or Excel.
Once a computer is infected with one or more viruses, it is not difficult for the virus to spread. If you forward a Word or Excel document with a macro virus on a network server, the virus will replicate on the computer of another user who opens it. If you email the document to another user as an attachment, when they file their computer can become infected open. Similarly, if the file to add to a website and it is downloaded, if the user has installed software to prevent viruses or her computer is probably infected.
Thus preventing viruses is an ongoing process – one that is important to undertake.
While it may seem like a big task, preventing viruses is not hard to do. The first simple step is to ensure that your computer software up to date. Security updates will be posted for your operating system to patch areas that can be targeted by viruses. Set your computer to automatically check for updates to the operating system.
Also because some viruses are spread within individual programs rather than through the operating system, it is important to check for program updates – particularly for Microsoft Word and Excel.
Speaking of software, another important step for preventing viruses is to install anti-virus software on your computer. There are a number of popular anti-virus brands as effective but less common programs. Take the time to determine the best anti-virus software for protecting your computer based on your computing needs.
And of course once, you have software installed to prevent viruses, make sure you get the software up to date. Make sure that it operates from a current list of viruses and that it is set to help protect your computer from viruses at all times.
That way, you will be able to document that you e-mail scanning before opening them. You’ll also be able to get the documents that you downloaded from a website to scan, because even those files that are stored on trusted sites can be infected with one or more viruses.
By scanning documents in advance, you will prevent viruses infecting your computer. However, if you have not scanned from a document and are not familiar with the source, use the macros in the document box.
In addition to scanning documents and disabling macros, you can use other measures to prevent viruses. You can prevent file sharing unless absolutely necessary. You can delete emails – especially those with attachments – coming from sources you do not recognize.
And, of course, one of the best ways to prevent viruses from infecting your computer is aware. Know what viruses out there, how viruses are written and distributed and how they use your computer, so you can early detect and stop that to get through the spread of influence.