October 20, 2003
by Karen Griffiths
When it comes to computer viruses and worms, it's better to avoid getting them than to spend time getting rid of them. If your computer gets a virus you could lose data, experience computer downtime and in extreme cases your computer may need to be taken away and rebuilt. Many infections could be prevented by following a few simple guidelines.
Don't open any unexpected e-mail attachments, even if it is from someone you know. Some viruses use email addresses stored on the infected system. If in doubt, check with the sender to see if they intentionally sent you a file.
Scan files you receive on floppy or zips. Use your antivirus software to scan these files by right clicking on the file and choosing scan for viruses.
Make sure your anti-virus software is installed correctly and up-to-date. Anti-virus programs can only protect you from infections they know about. Open up your anti-virus software client and check the virus definition date in the bottom right corner. If it is more than a few weeks old, click the live update button to receive updated virus protection.
Keep your operating system and programs patched and updated. You can use the Windows Update site to keep your system up-to-date. These patches fix the vulnerabilities in your software that viruses often exploit.
Call the HELP (4357) desk if you suspect your computer is infected with a virus.
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