Computer Viruses And How to Block Them
Everybody who has been on line for over a couple of weeks has heard of computer viruses. loads of people have had them and loads of surfers have them yet do not know it. Not all computer viruses are meant to do damage to the infected computer. Some viruses are meant to steal valuable information such as account numbers and passwords and other viruses are intended to record where you go and what you are interested in.
This knowledge, once gathered, is sent back to the virus’ master who will use it to either steal from you or spam you to death with deals based on the words that you have entered into your keyboard. These viruses are also called tracking cookies. There are also Trojans (Trojan horse), worms and bombs.
There are firms that supply )free of charge) or sell anti-virus software which is intended to protect your computer from these computer viruses. However, because up to several dozen of these viruses are released on a daily basis, you need to have the virus database of your anti-virus software up-dated on a daily basis as well. The anti-virus (AV) software virus database is full of all the virus patterns on hand so far.
It has been estimated that 80% of viruses are intended to destroy data on the computers they infect. That is, they will destroy the file allocation table of your hard disk drive making it unreadable, but different viruses do different things. I had a virus in December that wiped out my Outlook address book. Two weeks later as I was refilling the address book, and it cleaned it out again.
There are a couple of things you can do to minimize your danger of picking up computer viruses. The first thing you have to do is install an AV programme and modify its settings. Some of the free AV software is as good as some of the bought AV software, but if you want the best, you will have to buy it. It is not costly – less than $ 50 a year – particularly when you compare it with the price of repairing a damaged computer.
Once you have selected and installed your AV software, check the options and instruct it to check all incoming and out-going files – that is downloads, uploads and emails. If it will not check emails, it is no good, get another one. Then instruct it to update the pattern files (database) automatically or daily.
Update your patterns and then execute a complete system scan – it can take hours. Then, set the AV software to scan your computer once a week at some time while it will be on, but not in use. I do mine at 2 AM on Monday.
Be wary. Be as suspicious of downloading as you are of strangers prowling around at dusk. Never download from porn sites. Be wary of small files. Most viruses, like their living counterparts are tiny. Therefore if you would like to download a film or some music and it is much shorter that usual, be careful or do not do it. Be suspicious of attachments to emails from people you do not know.
Acquire anti-spyware software and run it regularly or / and set your browser to dump all cookies at the end of a session (clearing out privacy). If you regularly run into difficulties after dumping the cookies of a site you go to frequently (like Google), then add them to your ‘Trusted Zone’. Computer viruses are out there and can have costly consequences, but you do not have to get them, if you take a few (free) precautions.