Almost anywhere you go online you will see advertisements for anti-virus programs. How do you know which one works? A lot of people take the easiest route and choose the popular ones. Most people think that their anti-virus is going to keep them safe because it was expensive and name branded. Well think again. The bad guys out there are targeting their newest virus to specifically slip through that all mighty name branded over priced program. They don’t even waste their time testing their latest malware against the free or less popular software. They know that most people will go with what is popular.
Pick an anti-virus that suits your computer. You should be aware of how it will effect your PC’s performance. If you have an older computer that is sort of slow already, don’t choose the software that is fully loaded. Also be aware that some anti-virus programs can be very annoying. Some will ask you to approve every action on your computer.
Where is it safe online?
Where ever the people are, so are the viruses. Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, Limewire, and just about any other popular place online are the main targets for a virus attack. These places are constantly exploited. Be careful what you click on, even if it came from a friend. If you choose to download from illegal sources you will most likely get burned by a virus. Think of an anti-virus program as you do your air bags in your car. They are there for added safety but are not intended to prevent a crash. You really should focus on your surfing and downloading habits.
Staying Protected 101
- Have an anti-virus program installed and KEEP IT UPDATED. If you are unsure what program to use, ask a technician and not a salesman. I prefer AVG or AVAST. Each of these offers a suitable free version.
- Clear your temp files often using a program like CCleaner. Virus components are often hiding in your temporary folders. Over time they can decrease your performance. Some are intended to execute during a specific time or event such as when your computer is unprotected when shutting down or starting up.
- Avoid clicking on FREE SCANS such as those claiming to find viruses or speed up your PC. A lot of these are fake programs that will lie to you to get you to pay for it.
- Avoid clicking on FREE OFFERS that seem too good to be true. e.g.”You just have to complete this offer to claim your free virus” LOL.
- If you have to install something in order to view a video from a friend or website, it might be a virus.
- If something doesn’t feel right like a friend sending you a strange email, ask them about it before you open it.
- You can close a pop-up by pressing ALT+F4. Some pop-ups are a big yes button. This includes the red X in the upper corner to close the window. Clicking anywhere on it may be the same as saying Yes I agree to install this virus.
- If your anti-virus says “ALERT, The following file may be a virus”, It might be a virus. Don’t click ” ignore and continue” unless you are VERY sure that it is a false positive. You should instead QUARANTINE or delete it.
- Be aware of the file extensions of your downloads. An audio file should not end with “.exe” or “.com”. Peer to peer networks such a limewire, frostwire, bearshare and utorrent are flooded with false downloads. You should also look at the files sizes. An mp3 is usually around 3 to 5 MB in size.
- Do regular scans with an anti-malware utility. Malwarebytes or Superantispyware will find just about anything your anti-virus misses IF YOU UPDATE IT before you scan.
There is not one single anti-virus program that will stop 100% of infections. Everyday thousands of new viruses are introduced to the internet. It sucks but it’s the truth. If you follow the tips above you will stay safer online. Stay alert at all times, use common sense and ALWAYS keep your anti-virus software updated.
What steps are you currently taking to avoid viruses?
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