3 Things You Can Do To Avoid Computer Viruses
It is getting harder and harder to find any people who have not been affected by a computer virus. There was a time when Mac users would proudly state “I don’t have to worry about viruses, I own a Mac.”, but now even they are at risk from malicious software (malware) known as Mac Defender which is designed to trick users into giving out their credit card information. No operating system is completely immune to malware but there are a few things every user can do to protect themselves from being infected.
1. Should I Click on That?
Creators of malicious software have been getting very good at spoofing legitimate error messages to make you believe there is something wrong with your computer. A pop up window will display an error which looks like a common anti-virus warning and displays a message urging you to click on it to scan for viruses. The problem is that this is a web page designed to fool you. When you click on it, it begins to download and install malware on your machine. Always be sure that any windows you click on actually come from a program installed on your computer. If the error is from a program called Windows Anti-Virus 2011 and you use a different anti-virus program, it is probably a spoof and should not be clicked on.
2. Too Good to be True?
As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We all have received email messages advertising free merchandise or large amounts of money just for clicking a link. Don’t you believe it! These messages are sent to thousands of email addresses and not just to you. If you did not specifically sign up for a contest or if you do not specifically know the company name of the sender, you are putting your computer at risk. Do not open email or download attachments from senders you don’t know.
3. Keep it Clean
Keeping your computer free of malicious software requires a bit of preventative maintenance. Running a scan with a reputable anti-virus program is a good start but malware can be very tricky to remove. Some of these viruses are written with code that specifically targets anti-virus software and turns off its automatic scan and update features. You need a good anti-malware program in addition to your anti-virus software to keep your computer clean. Keep them updated and scan your computer often.
There are many options for security software and it may be a bit overwhelming to the average user. BolderImage provides IT services to assist in all issues great and small. Give us a call at (630) 279-4000 or contact us for further information.