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Viruses - Prevention and Protection

by Karl Davis

 

If your computer is behaving strangely or you suspect you may have a virus due to programs launching that shouldn`t or other strange happenings that cannot be explained then I hope you`ll find the following useful.

It`s worth taking virus protection seriously as it can often involve the cost of cleaning and re-installing your computers software, plus informing all of your contacts or receiving emails from them with embarrassing accusations that you have infected them.

Many viruses can be used to invade your system and steal information and send it back to the virus writer, which can as in the case of the Bugbear virus give your passwords and internet banking details including credit card details etc. Your machine could be used not only to mass send email out containing viruses, but also be used to launch attacks on other users systems on a specified date.

Frightening eh ?

I`m not trying to cause mass hysteria but users of computers that are connected to the Internet have a responsibility to protect themselves from viruses and to prevent the spread of viruses from their equipment to others.

It is easy to get caught out and as we have seen Viruses are getting more sophisticated, or rather the people that write them are using more and more tools at their disposal to attack vulnerable computers.

It is not enough to just have virus software installed on your computer.
Check every day to see if there are any new virus threats and new virus definition files that keep your system up-to-date

If the anti-virus software you use has an option to check automatically for updates use it. If you easily forget then why not make your anti-virus site the default page when you open Internet Explorer or other browser.

There will always be a new virus or a new threat to the security of your computer and it is therefore vital that you do not become complacent about keeping it up to date and as there are free downloadable programs to protect your computer.

The only real way to test a system to see if it is virused is to use an online scanner as a final check or throw a virus at it and see if it throws a wobbler or not.

I am not suggesting that anyone should do that, but Pothead Pixie posted recently in Virus Discussion forum, I think about the Eicar Institute and you can test safely the effectiveness of your AV scanner HERE

If your system is behaving strangely or you`d just like peace of mind that everything is fine then go to one of the links below.


Scanning Software

Go here for a free online scan :

Norton

Then click "Scan for Viruses"

or Trend Micro :
http://housecall.antivirus.com/
Click the "Scan without registering" link.


The reason I suggest an online scan is that if your system has become infected and you install anti-virus software, it can become infected and therefore not work properly and protect you as it should.


Software

Free On-Line Scans for Viruses

Symantec (Norton Antivirus) Security Check HERE
Click the 'Run Virus Check' or 'Run Security Check' button.

Trend Micro (PC-cillin)
http://housecall.antivirus.com

Panda's Active Scan
http://www.pandasoftware.com

McAfee - AVERT WebImmune
http://www.webimmune.net

Antivirus Expert - Online Virus Scanner
http://www.centralcommand.com/scan.html


Free Antivirus Programs


AVG Antivirus
http://www.grisoft.com

F-Prot AVP for DOS download page.
http://www.complex.is/f-prot/

AntiVir - Free updates
http://www.free-av.com/


Free Firewalls

ZoneLabs personal firewall
http://www.zonelabs.com

Internet security
Steve Gibson's Shields UP site.
http://www.grc.com


Copyright © 2001-2006 © Copyright Karl Davis.

No part of this site may be reproduced in any format.All documents author acknowledged are copyright retained by the author.

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