Your computer is the single most useful tool you own. You work on it, you check your email on it, you play games while looking at the monitor’s iridescent glow. After you have bought a virus free desktop or laptop, you need to keep it clean in order to avoid later hassles and heartaches. Fortunately, once you have installed the right software, you can schedule your updates and scans automatically. Here are some steps to keep your system virus free.
1. Clean your system
Your new system is virus free. If you have a used system, take the time to reinstall the operating system to make absolutely sure that it is clean.
2. Install antiviral software
Pick up a free antivirus program like Avira Antivir or Avast and install it. These programs are trusted and known to detect viruses and malware. If you are not fond of these two suggestions, do research to find the antiviral program which works best for your needs.
3. Install a firewall
Pick up a good firewall like ZoneAlarm and install it with the antivirus software. Occasionally, you will be lucky enough to have the firewall and antivirus software available as a suite. The firewall scans consistently for unauthorized threats to your machine.
4. Use real time protection
Real time protection will look at each of your files as it is being downloaded or added to your system. There may be a slight lag time, but the security that it offers is valuable.
5. Be careful with external data
You may wish to bring your hard drive over to the new system. Be warned that viruses often reside in zip files and other files. Do a scan with the newly installed antiviral software before putting it into your new computer.
6. Scan often
Your system should be scanned for viruses at least once a week. You can schedule the scanning to take place at the times that it is convenient. Some people run their machines overnight and expect to see the readout of the virus scan in the morning.
7. Update your operating system
Microsoft is constantly searching for vulnerabilities within their operating system. They search for the reasons why new viruses spread, closing the holes in their armor. The updates to your system install patches which will keep your system safe.
8. Allow virus database updates
Like the updates to your Windows OS, the makers of your antiviral software are perpetually vigilant against the creation and spread of viruses. Some companies will issue an update every day so you can rest assured that you have the most up to date virus definitions. The definition files are what your antivirus program uses to detect new infections.
9. Run expected files
If you know that your friend will be sending you a file, the email that you just received might be safe. If you were not expecting something and you received a file from your friend, check to see if your friend intended to send the file.
10. Be suspicious
Every website and attachment is a potential source of viruses which could damage your system and diminish your productivity. If you find a site which contains popups, be wary of it, as pop ups are known to harbor viruses. If you see an overabundance of advertisements, be concerned about that site being a source for infection. Do not surf to sites which make you uncomfortable.
Instead of approaching viruses from a removal standpoint, look at them from the angle of prevention. If you prevent the virus from making it to your computer, you will have more time to have fun.
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