In case a virus finds its way to your computer, due to carelessness, an accident, or anti-virus software that hasn’t been updated , at least be prepared.
You can use PC backup software such as Norton Anti-virus or Mcfee’s virus scan to create a backup copy of your computer’s hard drive. This way you can revert to the clean, undamaged version of your computer.
By definition, a virus is a bit of computer code that is designed to self-replicate, or make copies of itself. When you run a program that’s been infected, or start up an infected computer, the virus “comes alive” and attaches itself to other files, causing all kinds of damage along the way.
Viruses can be further categorised to worms and Trojan Horses. A common misperception of the damage that can be done with a virus is that it will corrupt your files.
Actually it is more than that, a Virus can corrupt your files, but it is more often that it corrupts Windows operating system files. If you cannot load Windows, you will not be able to access your files.
The best way to prevent virus proliferation is by:
Step 1: Install reliable antivirus software. Antivirus software scans files regularly for unusual changes in file size, programs that match the software’s database of known viruses, suspicious email attachments, and other warning signs.
Step 2: Don’t automatically open attachments. Be sure your email program doesn’t automatically download attachments. This will ensure that you can examine and scan attachments before they run.
Step 3: Scan all incoming email attachments. Be sure to run each attachment you plan to open through the anti-virus check. Do this even if you recognize and trust the sender; malicious code, like Trojan horses, can slip into your system by appearing to be from a friendly source
Step 4: Get immediate protection. Configure your antivirus software to boot automatically on start-up and run at all times. This will provide you back-up protection in case you forget to scan an attachment, or decide not to.
Step 5: Update your anti-virus software frequently. An antivirus software program is only as good as the frequency with which it is updated.
Step 6: Don’t download programs from the Web. Unreliable sources such as Internet newsgroups or Web sites that you haven’t heard of may be willing providers of viruses for your computer.
Step 7: Don’t boot from an unknown data CD. Data CDs or flash disks are one of the most common ways viruses are transmitted. If you are using a data CD while working on your computer, remove it when you shut the machine off.
Step 8: Don’t share data CDs or Flash disks. Even a well-meaning friend may unknowingly pass along a virus, Trojan horse, or worm.
Step 9: Scan files for viruses before using them. This is always important, but especially if you are using a disc or flash memory to carry information between one computer and another.
Step 10: Use common sense. It’s always better to err on the side of safety. If you’re unsure about an attachment, delete it.
Computer viruses can be very destructive, fortunately, preventing or getting rid of these viruses is usually quicker, and can be accomplished by simply remaining vigilant.