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We live in a world where anything we touch can contain viruses. We also know that a virus can make us very sick, possibly killing us. To help prevent this, we have to take steps to prevent contracting a virus. One such way we do this is to wash our hands or use disinfectant wipes on a surface before touching it.
Just like in the real world, your computers can also contract viruses, causing it to become sick, rendering it inoperable or even worse killing your precious data on that PC. Also, just like in the real world, you can take steps to prevent viruses from happening. If you follow a few tips, you can make it much harder for a virus to cause your computer and your data harm.
1. Keep Your Computer Operating System Files Updated – Most modern day operating systems such as Windows (and Macs) have update processes that are designed to check for file updates and alert you when they become available. These updates are usually enhancements or patches to the operating system, but more importantly, they will often contain security fixes that help prevent a virus from compromising your computer. The update process can easily be automated by changing a few settings on your computer. Make sure you learn how to automate this process.
2. Always Use Virus Software – Virus software is designed to act as a watch-dog for your computer and stop a virus from attacking and doing damage to your computer. If you are not using virus software, you’re asking for trouble. Sooner or later, your PC is going to get infected with a virus, I guarantee it. If you do not want to buy virus software, at least use free virus software such as AVG Free. I use it on a few of my computers and it works great. If you have virus software, please keep in mind that the signature and virus definition files need to be updated periodically. Make sure that when you are prompted to update those files that you do so.
3. Never Click On Emails from Strangers – This tip always bears repeating. Never open an email from an email address you do not recognize, especially if there is an attachment included. When I think of this I am reminded of a”Wet Paint” sign. Even though you know the wall or bench is wet, you just have to touch it.
4. Be Careful where you Surf (on the web) there May be Sharks in the Internet Water – If you are surfing the web and you come upon a site that looks odd or is trying to get you to download a suspicious file, think twice before you do it. When looking for free software programs or if you are researching information, take care to stay on websites that look legitimate or are recommended by others.
5. Create a Data Backup – Whether your computer is hit with a virus or not, having a back up of your computer data is smart computing. I recommend that you periodically back up your data files, as well as maintain an image of your computer. An image is a Copy of your computer, which includes your operating system, and data files at a point in time. If disaster strikes, you can use the image to restore your computer. I recommend that the image be kept on a separate external hard drive.
By taking the precautions above, you can go a long way in ensuring that you enjoy many years of safe and happy computing.
FREE E-Book on PC Security
If you would like to learn more about how you can protect your computer, I encourage you to download the following free PDF, titled “Guide to PC Security.” It’s free, it’s safe and provides a lot of useful information on the steps you should take to ensure that your computer is safe. To download the free PDF, click the image below: