Protect your PC from viruses

by Robert VamosiToday, a worm or virus can arrive on anyone's machine through e-mail. Before you lose a day's work to the latest malicious virus, follow these precautions.

by Robert Vamosi

Today, a worm or virus can arrive on anyone's machine through e-mail. Before you lose a day's work to the latest malicious virus, follow these precautions.

Get protected. If you don't already have virus protection software on your machine, you should. If you're a home or individual user, it's as easy as downloading any of these five star programs then following the installation instructions. If you're on a network, check with your network administrator first.

Update your anti-virus software. Now that you have virus protection software installed, make sure it's up-to-date. Some anti-virus protection programs have a feature that will automatically link to the Internet and add new virus detection code whenever the software vendor discovers a new threat. You can also download updates from ZDNet Updates.

Scan your system regularly. If you're just loading anti-virus software for the first time, it's a good idea to let it scan your entire system. It's better to start your PC clean and free of virus problems. Often the anti-virus program can be set to scan each time the computer is rebooted or on a periodic schedule. Some will scan in the background while you are connected to the Internet. Make it a regular habit to scan for viruses.

Be suspicious of e-mail attachments. Even if the e-mail is from a known source, be careful. A few viruses take the mailing lists from an infected computer and send out new messages with its destructive payload attached. Always scan the attached files first for viruses. Unless it's a file or an image you are expecting, delete it.

Stay informed. Did you know that there are virus and security alerts almost every day? Keep up-to-date on breaking viruses and solutions by bookmarking our Viruses, Bugs, Security Alerts page.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All