Protecting Your Computer From Viruses
With so many computer viruses lurking on the Internet ready to attack your computer, it is important that you are prepared for and know how to fend them off even before they arrive at their intended destination. Computer viruses can conceivably delete or destroy all the data on your computer. Worst of all, they can extract information from you computer and transmit it to other computers along with the virus itself.
It is essential that you protect your computer with an anti-virus security program which you can either download from an Internet merchant or buy at any computer software store. A good anti-virus program is one that is capable of detecting and blocking incoming viruses before they hit your PC, as well as detecting viruses that are already there. Once the virus is detected, your anti-virus program should be able to safely quarantine, repair, or simply delete infected files so your computer retains its optimum health and functionality.
There are three types of computer viruses that should be of concern to you. The first is a common and standard computer virus that is typically delivered through the medium of a launched program on your computer. The virus will then spread throughout your system and eventually infect other programs that it reaches. Most security software is designed to protect you against such viruses, but there are new viruses being developed every day by computer thugs, so it is vital that you keep your anti-virus definition file updated at least weekly.
The second type, and the one for which you are likely most familiar, is the email virus which can be sent unknowingly from person-to-person before being detected. These viruses are hidden in an email message; opening that message on the receiving end activates the virus. It can then collect, for example, the email addresses you have registered in your email client and send copies of the same virus to every person on your contact list. Most email services have built in protection that scans messages for viruses as an email is received, but the best protection is know what to look for in the first place. Email viruses “hang out” in emails from unknown sources and in attachments, usually from people you do not know.
Finally, the most dangerous of the computer viruses is the “worm.” This type of infection has the ability to worm its way from computer to computer across the Internet or a local area network. They copy themselves directly onto a computer without being notice, so you might not be aware you have one until your data is completely stolen or gone. They are written to seek out specific weaknesses of your security program through which entrance is made onto your computer. The best way to combat a worm is through a computer firewall. These front line security programs inhibit attempts to access your computer and alert you to when you have a potential danger.
Knowing now the high level types of viruses, you are in a more strategic position to protect yourself and your computer from pending dangerous data theft or destruction.