Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How To Prevent and Detect Computer Viruses

Is your computer running slower than your old Vic 20? Getting that dreaded black screen of death? Computer acting strange? Your computer could be infected with a computer virus. A computer virus puts your Internet security and privacy in jeopardy. In fact, it could lead you to having your personal information stolen; becoming the next victim of identity theft, one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada and the USA. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can take to help prevent and detect computer viruses.

It is paramount for your online security to have anti-virus software installed and running on your computer. You might be happy to know that you don't have to break the piggy bank to get anti-virus software; there is free anti-virus software available for download online. Don't forget to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date, to help protect you against the latest viruses and other Internet security threats.

In your quest to prevent and detect viruses, be sure to have anti-spyware software installed.Many computer viruses come bundled with spyware. Anti-virus software does detect most, but far from all spyware. You need anti-spyware software installed to detect and prevent spyware. There is free anti-spyware software online that has a good reputation. That said and done, there is so-called "free anti-spyware software" available for download online that is far from free; charging you around forty dollars to remove a "backdoor trojan" that may or may not exist and even infecting your computer with more malicious software. Bottom line; be sure that anti-spyware software is reputable before downloading.

It is paramount for your online security to install and run anti-keylogger software. This type of Internet security software is often forgotten. That is a big mistake however. More often than you'd care to know computer viruses contain a keylogger; spyware that secretly records every single keystroke and might even capture keystrokes. Anti-keylogger software will detect and block keystroke loggers.

Have a personal firewall installed on your computer to prevent and detect viruses and other malware. A firewall acts as a road block between your computer and the vast world of cyberspace; keeping the bad guys out and stopping any malicious software already installed on your computer from sending your personal data to criminals. A free personal firewall is included in Windows Vista, 7, and XP; make sure you have it activated.

Try to resist the urge to open email attachments from unknown senders.In fact, even if you know the sender it is wise to not open attachments you do not recognize or are not expecting. They could be infected with a computer virus or other malware.

Finally, stay away from sites containing warez, shareware, freeware, file-sharing, and other similar sites. They are notorious for containing malicious software, including computer viruses.

These steps will go a long ways in both preventing and detecting computer viruses and other malware. When it comes to computer viruses, and all online threats for that matter, an ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure.

Christopher is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise on online security and privacy. Visit Internet Security 101 for the tools and resources to protect your Internet security and privacy, including free Internet security software.

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