Did You Know Your Computer Probably Has a Virus?

A Computer virus is software embedded with a particular code intended to hack a system or network so as to steal, corrupt, or control against the will of the user. The origin of viruses can be traced back to the advent of the computer itself. Although you might not be aware of it you probably have viruses on your computer as you read this. Here are some simple tips to help keep malicious software away and keep your computer running the way it is supposed to.

Ensure Your Firewall Is On

Firewalls prevent unwanted programs from getting access to your computer from outside. According to Wikipedia “a firewall is a software or hardware-based network security system that controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic by analyzing the data packets and determining whether they should be allowed through or not, based on a rule set.” A firewall establishes a barrier between a trusted, secure internal network and another network that is not assumed to be secure and trusted. If you are using Windows it is best to turn Windows Firewall on. It’s a simple settings issue in the control panel.

Use Effective Antivirus Software

There is preventative medicine for these virus infections in the form of anti-virus software – which is abundantly available. There are both paid and free versions of them which you can either buy or download freely from the internet. The key here is that the software has “real time protection.” which should prevent many viruses from populating on your machine and keep you fairly protected. Notice that I have underlined “many” and “fairly” in the previous sentence. A variety of viruses can skirt anti-virus software with relative ease; therefore, it is imperative that computer users monitor their behavior – adopting and developing good web browsing and “computer hygene habits” in order to ensure immunity from viral threats.

Use An Antimalware Utility Regularly

While antivirus software seeks to prevent viruses “on the front end” or before they populate on a computer. Anti-malware utilities remove virus infections after a machine is infected. There are plenty of anti-malware programs that you can run on a weekly basis to remove small viruses that might have slipped in. Two that I use include Malwarebytes and Spybot Search and Destroy. Note: Many viruses require professional virus removal to be removed completely.

Run Updates

It is quite obvious that viruses like any other programs continually seek new ways to hack systems and hence the resistance of the operating system needs to be reviewed and updated regularly. Manufacturers of such operating system meticulously do that; therefore, you should download and install the latest patches and updates released by the operating system manufacturer.

Learn Good Web Browsing Habits and Computer Hygiene

Last and perhaps most important: strive to improve web browsing habits and PC maintenance and hygiene regimens. A gun has a safety and roadways have guardrails but they provide limited protection. Ultimately, we are responsible for our own computer health. A few things you can do to improve web browsing habits are to avoid websites with numerous pop-ups related to them. Don’t open suspicious emails, and be wary about free so-called “useful utilities” (media players, picture viewers, Facebook enhancers, “game helpers”, coupon printers, etc.) Furthermore, you should read-up on, and implement a program to keep your computer clean and “in tune.” CCleaner from Piriform is a good free system cleaner that should be used on a weekly basis. Learn to do things such as keep your browsers free of extra toolbars and add-ons, keep temporary files deleted, and keep files and folders organized on your machine so you can recognize any changes, etc. For more information on how to keep your computer “in tune” and virus free visit my website and blog here.

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