How to help prevent computer viruses
Published: September 23, 2006
Nothing can guarantee the security of your computer 100 percent.
You can continue to improve your computer's security and decrease the possibility of infection by using a firewall, keeping your system up-to-date, maintaining a current antivirus software subscription, and following a few best practices.
Tip: Because no security method is guaranteed, it's important to back up critical files on a regular basis before you encounter a virus or other problems.[/LEFT]
Steps to help avoid viruses:
Use an Internet firewall (Note: Windows XP with SP2 has a firewall already built-in and turned on by default).
Visit Microsoft Update and turn on automatic updating.
Note: If you've installed Office 2003 or Office XP, Automatic Updates will also update your Office programs. If you have an earlier version of Office, use Office Update.
Subscribe to industry standard antivirus software, such as Windows Live OneCare and keep it current.
Never open an e-mail attachment from someone you don't know.
Avoid opening an e-mail attachment from someone you know, unless you know exactly what the attachment is. The sender may be unaware that it contains a virus.
What about spyware?
Although spyware programs are different from viruses, some can behave like viruses and pose similar and other risks. To help protect against spyware, use antispyware software such as Windows Defender. Windows Defender comes with Windows Vista. If you use Windows XP SP2, you can download Windows Defender for no charge.