As we have come to the days where computers have become a vital part of our lives, so have come the days where computer viruses are a real threat to every user (yes, even Mac users). The question I am always asked, “What do I do to guarantee I won’t get a virus?” Well, the simple answer is, unplug your computer and never touch it again. O.K., so, that’s not an option, but it is completely true. These days it is inevitable that you will get some sort of virus at one point in time. The best thing to do is make sure your protected the best possible, and there are a few steps to take to make sure of that.
1. Get a GOOD antivirus program and keep it updated. Surprisingly, most people are surfing the web with an outdated copy of an antivirus program, or worse, none at all. You have to keep these things up to date, with estimates of 700 to 1,000 new viruses every day, an old program just won’t cut it. If your software expired a month ago, that would be 31,000 new viruses you’re not protected against. And if it expired a year ago, you might as well walk into a leper colony, because you’ve got a better chance of walking out healthy.
Now I know you’re asking what antivirus you should get, and that is very simple. There are many programs out there that are great and they all pretty much work the same, BUT, I do suggest you stay away from the large “Hi, I do everything for you” programs. Those are the ones that offer cleaning tools, online backups, various other bells and whistles that really do nothing for you but take up valuable system resources. Go with the ones that just have the basics; like antivirus, antispam, phishing filter, and firewall. They will help keep you safe.
But here’s the thing, don’t be alarmed if you get a virus and you have the most up-to-date protection. Like I said before, 700 to 1,000 new infections every day, and just like the flu, it takes a while to get the vaccine out to the masses.
2. The antivirus program is only one line of defense; you also have to be proactive with keeping programs up to date. Programs like Java and Flash are used all the time, and the people who write the viruses find security loop holes within these programs. So, in a perpetual game of “pong”, the writers of programs, like Java and Flash, release updates to close out those loopholes. But it is inevitable that the virus writers find another loop hole that starts the game over again. Just because the program updated yesterday, doesn’t mean you don’t have to do it today, because you NEED to do it today and every day it comes up saying time to update. And just because I only mentioned Java and Flash doesn’t mean those are the only ones to update. There is also your operating system and your internet browser. There are all of the add-on programs to your web browser. So make sure you keep these things up to date to help keep you safe.
3. The final thing you need to do is pay attention to the things you do on the computer. If you are on a web page that doesn’t seem right, it most likely isn’t. If you get an email from someone you don’t know, don’t open it. If you’re downloading music and movies for free, stop now. The best thing you can do to keep yourself safe from viruses is to go by your gut, and if it says something may be bad, then it most likely is.
With all of this knowledge I just gave you, walk over to your computer and check, see where your issues are and fix them. The more you keep these things going the safer you will be. If you are not sure about what I’ve gone over, call us and we will help you, we will show you exactly what to do step by step. But, remember, there is still a chance you can be infected. And if you are, don’t try to fix it yourself or give it to your nephew because he “knows about computers”, bring it to a professional. We have years of experience in dealing with these viruses, and we have developed ways to do it where your computer will be guaranteed clean when we are done.