The most important computing advice is "back up your files",
which helps to safeguard your data if you ever get a virus.
The second most important principle is "run an anti-virus protection
program". If your anti-virus program does not include a good firewall,
you must obtain one of those as well.
Modern computer viruses are more virulent than ever. It is
critically essential for the protection of all of the valuable
programs and information on your computer that you run a good
anti-virus protection program. Most of these applications can
regularly update their database over the Internet as the threats
evolve and automatically keep your anti-virus protection up-to-date
and your computer safe.
FOSS. The following sites provide
open source software options:
. The following indexes list companies
that provide anti-virus protection programs and services:
. The following anti-virus
protection providers have been around for several years - check
Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit (DRSolomon.com)
Maintenance. Once you have installed anti-virus
protection, take the following additional protective measures:
- Never use a floppy disk, CD, DVD, tape, or other external
media that has been on someone else's computer without first
scanning it with your anti-virus protection program, which
should be set to scan all media by default. If you lend media
to someone else to copy a file, write-protect it first so
that it won't get inadvertently infected.
- Protect your perimeter. Make sure your anti-virus protection
settings are turned on by default to scan files incoming
over email and downloaded off the Internet.
Infection. Computers that run good anti-virus protection
usually don't get infected. However, if you are sure that your
system has somehow got a virus anyway, you can take the following
- Immediately shutdown your computer, and do not reboot it
from the infected disk, in order to prevent the virus from
wreaking more damage.
- Boot the computer from some clean external media such
as a bootable floppy, CD, DVD, or external disk that has
previously been scanned by your anti-virus protection.
- Run your anti-virus protection software from the clean
boot disk, on the infected disk, and if required fix or delete
infected files and replace them on the infected disk.
- If you need help or your anti-virus protection can't clean
the disk, then you are best advised to take your computer
to a good professional repair shop where they have tools
to try and clean and recover your disk as best as possible.
Keep in mind that anti-virus protection sometimes generates
false alarms -- a common cause is when a program file has changed
size but for a valid reason. Another common indicator that
you may have a false alarm is if your anti-virus protection
claims that a file may contains a virus but doesn't know the
virus's name. Don't delete files unless the anti-virus protection
software specifically recommends it, recognizes the viruses
name, and it otherwise looks like a reasonable suggestion.
Resources. The following sites provide more
information on anti-virus protection: