Over the past few years computer viruses have become ever more present on the Internet. You can be infected by either email or lately simply by visting websites that have these viruses embedded in them and then infect your machine when you click on something on the site or a pop-up related to the site.
Follow these steps to ensure your computer is protected from viruses and that is secure against other attacks.
1. Use an Internet Firewall
A firewall is software which protects your computer from hackers and viruses.
- Click Start
- Click on Control Panel
- Double Click Windows Firewall
- Make sure the firewall is turned on
2. Get Microsoft Critical Updates
Windows critical updates protect your computer from viruses, worms, and other threats.
- Click Start and then All Programs
- Click Windows Update
- When the site comes up click Scan for updates
- Once this has completed, under Pick updates to install click Critical Updates and Service Packs
- Click Review and Install Service Packs then click Install Now
- These may need to be done a few at a time rather than all at once as there may be many updates to do.
3. Use Anti-virus software
Antivirus software protects your computer against most viruses and keeping it up to date ensures any news viruses can be detected and removed.
- Click the Live Update or Update Now button in your anti-virus program regularly to ensure your software is up to date. and protected against the newest viruses.
- Scan your computer weekly for viruses by clicking Scan Now in your anti-virus program.
If you are not happy to pay for a virus checker then we would advise downloading and installing free versions of anti-virus software from AVG or AVAST. This will give your computer some protection against viruses and may just do enough to save the day.
You can also use a free online virus checker which is provided by Trend Micro. If you click on the link http://housecall.trendmicro.com and click on “scan now, it’s free” and follow the on-screen instructions. This will then start a scan of your machine which will look for various viruses, if it finds any then it will deal with them.
Generally, however we would recommend that you purchase an annual subscription to a virus checking system as this offers the best protection.
4. Run free trojan and one off virus removal software
- Visit http://www.simplysup.com/tremover/download.html or http://www.malwarebytes.org/ and download either Trojan Remover or Malware Bytes respectively to scan your machine if you feel you have a virus.
To download and install both pieces of software follow the instructions below.
- Go to the website address http://www.simplysup.com/tremover/download.html
- Click one of the download site links
- Click Run and wait for it to download
- Once finished, it will ask you if you want to run. Click Run
- Click next on the wizard that comes up
- Accept the agreement
- Click next twice and when it gets to the screen asking you if you want to setup a desktop and quick launch icon, ensure there is a tick in the desktop icon box. Click Next
- Click Install
- Click Finish
- When it asks you if you want to update, click Update
- Click Start
- Click All Programs
- Click Trojan Remover and select the Trojan Remover Option.
- This will take you to the main interface where you should select the full scan option
- As it goes through it may pick up a number of items, on each item we suggest using the “delete reference” option so any potential viruses get removed.
- Once the scan finishes it may ask you to restart the computer. If so, please do this.
- Go to http://www.malwarebytes.org/
- Click on Download Free Version on the left hand side
- Click download now on the next screen
- If the download doesn’t start click the link on the screen. If it does click Run
- Click Run again
- When the setup wizard starts, select English, Click OK
- Click Next
- Accept the agreement and select Next
- Click the next button 4 times and then click the Install option
- Click Finish
- When the program finally opens, select the full scan option and click the Scan button
- If it finds any objects then select all of them and select the quarantine option.
5. Don’t visit suspect or unfamiliar websites or open attachments from suspect people.
One of the other best things to do is to try and be aware of what site you are visiting. If the website looks suspicious, or your anti virus program has an integrated website checked and has flagged up that the site may be dangerous, the best thing to do is not to visit it.
Likewise if you are receiving emails with attachments in them, only open attachments from people who you know or you know may have sent you an email. Opening attachments from people you don’t know is very dangerous. If you don’t know who sent you an email but still want to open the attachment we suggest you at least scan the attachment using your anti-virus checker.
Another piece of good advice is regarding emails from banks. If you receive any emails from banks who are asking you to click a link and put in your online banking details then the best thing to do is to delete the email. Banks will NEVER send you this type of email and most probably this is a scam which could in theory lead to your bank account details be taken and money withdrawn.
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