We tend to remember our firsts, the first time riding a bike, first crush, first kiss and first computer virus (Well, of course, not all of them are good, but usually they are all memorable). When dealing with a bad thing for the first time, you should remember a fact, it can be caused by simple human error. You or someone may did something wrong, or perhaps you’re just really unlucky.
Even the most experienced IT experts are not exempt from simple errors. We may absentmindedly open an infected email while being really sleepy late at night or missed an essential antivirus update because of a long vacation. Or your son may have just downloaded an infected copy of Crysis 2 from a warez site and cause the malware to spread throughout your home network. Whatever had happened, it is very important to find out where the security holes are located and what are our recent mistakes. If you are like most computer users, you can significantly improve your condition by making some changes on your habits. In general you should be able to adopt virus-savvy habits while stopping virus-prone habits that can put your computer, network or valuable data at risk. Of course, at first, it can be difficult to take up new habits and break old habits.
Habits alone are not enough; you need to have good tools in place to aid you in your defense. It’s essential to have a reliable anti-virus program along with the latest updates. Even the best antivirus software in the world would be useless, if left without being updated for a year or so. Your computer or network will be unprotected against recent viruses and security threats and it is as bad as having no antivirus software at all. A good antivirus should update itself automatically (at its default settings) when your computer is connected to the Internet. Other tools such as anti-spyware, anti-ads and firewalls are also important to strengthen your defense.
These are five habits to prevent virus infection in your system:
Periodically scan for viruses
Some cunningly coded viruses may sneak into your computer without being detected at all. It’s always a good habit to regularly scan your system or network – say, twice a week.
Add/Install security patches
Unlike antivirus updates, security patches fix any weaknesses or flaws in your software due to bad design, programming or implementation. Those fixes will make it harder for viruses or hackers to jeopardize your system.
Have a good computer hygiene
Many times, the cyberspace is as grubby as public toilets in a poor third world country. You shouldn’t touch anything without a glove. Luckily, you can choose which places to visit. For example, try to use popular email providers such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail, instead of those little-known free email providers. Get apps in trusted sites such as download.com instead of those warez sites. Hanging out in clean places will keep you away from unwanted diseases.
Block malicious data traffic with a good firewall
Firewall is necessary for every Internet users. Like antivirus software, it protects your computer or network. Its role is to block the incoming bad stuff – worms, viruses, and Trojan horses – that an antivirus software can’t always deflect. Having a firewall can help you – a lot.
It is quite easy to give your PC a thorough cleaning, not with a dry rag, rather with spyware scanner. A definition on spyware may be a little broad, but mostly it is a small code that a Web site tries to install to your system without your permission. Unlike a virus, spyware tend to cause no visible bad effects to your PC, however it silently tracks your online activities, steal sensitive information and some include a keylogger, which records each keystroke and send it to a malicious person. It would be disturbing to discover that a complete stranger can track your online habits.