Protecting yourself from viruses

Tips & Hints

Protecting yourself from viruses

Posted 26 April 2002

With the outbreak of the Klez Worm it’s timely to go through what you can do to protect your self from viruses. While we’ve previously covered this topic, we’ve pulled together all the tips. Some apply only to Microsoft products, others are common to all systems.

1. Have an anti-virus program and keep it up-to-date. Generally it doesn’t matter whether it is a free program or a commercial program. Just keep it updated. The best virus checker is useless unless it is kept current.

2. Keep your operating system and software up-to-date. Most viruses exploit weaknesses in software. Download and install available updates to your system. Windows users can go to the Windows Update site to automatically update most versions of Windows and Internet Explorer.

3. Be suspicious about e-mail you receive. If they come from strangers, don’t open any attachments. If they come from people you know, check that they are not out of character, or have unusual spelling mistakes.

4. Be cautious of attachments. If they have unusual suffixes or icons then be very careful of them. This is the most common way viruses are currently spread.

5. Don’t spread hoaxes. There is enough junk flying around the net. If someone e-mails you a warning of a virus check it out at the vmyths or snopes websites before passing the warning on.

6. Disable preview screens in you e-mail system. Some viruses can spread without you doing anything. Outlook and Outlook Express users should click on view, layout, and take the tick off show preview pane.

7. One of the most important things to do is to disable scripting in e-mail programs. We have previously covered this in detail here.

8. Backup your data. Viruses are not the only threat to your data. In fact you are far more likely to accidentally delete important files or have your hard drive fail than you are of having your system eaten by a virus.

Despite your best efforts you may still get caught. Nobody should be complacent about the risk of viruses and other mal-ware. Regardless of what software and operating system you use there are nasties out there designed with you in mind. Take care.

PC Rescue Pty Ltd
Suite 236, 4 Young Street Neutral Bay NSW 2089
ABN 082 635 765
ŠTechnology Publishing Australia, 2011