How to Protect Your Computer from Virus Attacks

In the past, most viruses were spread when users opened infected e-mail attachments. Today, many “worm” viruses travel the Internet actively seeking vulnerable computers. This means your computer can become infected simply by being connected to the Internet. Viruses, spyware, adware, and other malicious programs are also called "malware." Although new viruses are being created all the time, there are some steps you can take to prevent your computer from becoming the next victim.

Operating System Updates

The most important thing to do is to install virus protection software and update it on a regular basis (at least weekly). While having anti-virus software is critical, it is no longer enough to provide maximum protection. You should also run operating system updates regularly, as recommended by the developer of your operating system. Windows users can install critical updates by opening Internet Explorer and then choosing Tools, and Windows Update from the menu. Although Macintosh computers are less susceptible to viruses, their operating systems should also be updated regularly. Macintosh users can install updates by clicking on the Apple menu and choosing Software Update.

Anti-Virus / Anti-Malware Software

If your computer does not have anti-virus and anti-malware software, we STRONGLY encourage you to obtain some. If you believe your computer has contracted a virus, do NOT connect it to the Internet. Contact the CTC HelpDesk or use another computer to view our Virus Information page for more information about how to scan and clean your computer.

As soon as possible, scan your computer with CURRENTLY UPDATED virus and malware protection software. After the scan comes back clean, wait to restart your computer. Scan the computer again until it comes back clean twice in a row, and then restart the computer. This will ensure that any known viruses and malware have been removed.

See also:

Where can I get free anti-virus/anti-malware software?
Basic Steps for Cleaning an Infected Computer
Virus Information
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