Ways to Prevent Computer Viruses

Computer viruses affect systems in different ways. Some wipe out or corrupt data in the system while others steal sensitive user information. While many people take insurance policies to protect their homes and property, many more seldom do the same in protecting their digital information. The initial steps of data protection may take a while but the results would be worth the effort. Securing a computer from viruses involves various strategies.

Antivirus
those who do not have an antivirus application, can download or buy one on the internet. Ensure the program is compatible with the operating system. The antivirus application should be updated frequently so that it protects against the latest virus definitions. Choose antivirus software that can update and scan automatically. Do not install applications from untrusted sites. Run full system scans at least once or twice a week. Heavy internet users should do this more often.

Firewall
Turn on the firewall. This is normally the base of the operating system. Users just have to turn it on. Firewall refers to software that monitors what comes in and goes out of the machine. It acts as a gatekeeper.

Updates
Activate security updates to keep the system up to date. Make sure third party applications such as web browsers are also updated. Most programs have a feature that notifies users when a new program version has been released. Be sure to update all active programs. Keep the operating system updated. Many manufacturers create security patches, which they send out as needed. Setting automatic updates allows the operating system to download and install the security patches eliminating security risks including viruses.

Back up
Back up data. This provides an extra layer of protection against data loss. There are so many factors that can compromise data security including undiscovered bugs, downloading infected files, hardware failure and clicking on the wrong link. This is why backup is an essential part of smart computer usage.

Data Encryption
Encrypt data using encryption software. Many operating systems have encryption capabilities. Users can encrypt their entire hard drives to protect data from virus attacks. Some encryption programs can create virtual hard drives to secure all files and prevent corruption by viruses. Choose an encryption program that allows synchronization with data protection services that store data offsite.

One of the most common means of getting a virus infection is through e-mail links containing viruses. Do not open e-mail attachments and links from strangers. If necessary, visit the sites directly.

There are many strategies used to protect computer systems from getting a virus infection. However, the most basic protection against viruses involves using the right antivirus application and updating the computer system on a regular basis.

By: Peter David


© ValleyComputerCorner