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From annoying to destructive, malware is a bane to any computer system and the person who uses it. The benevolent Wikipedia defines malware (short for malicious software) as: “software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner’s informed consent.”
The good news though, is that there are simply ways to avoid getting infected by malware. Clearly having the right anti-virus and security installed and up to date is critical – that’s where we help. But it’s also important to know how you can make a difference.
Here are few simple tips to help you keep your system malware-free:
1. Never click indiscriminately
These days, there are ads and pop-ups, designed to induce a PC user to click on them. From sexy models to seemingly too-good-to-be-true offers and promotions, many web advertisers are counting on people’s curiosity and the impulse to click away. The thing is, many of these ads lead you to unsecure sites filled with malware.
2. Cancel Autorun.
When you plug in a portable hard disk or flash drive, you computer automatically opens a window with preset options to enable file viewing for that drive. Immediately opening a flash drive allows infections to access your system, so cancel the window and scan first before opening the drive or any file inside it.
3. Never open suspicious emails.
Unsolicited email is always best unopened and deleted immediately. If you don’t know who sent it, send it straight to the trash bin and delete it forever.
4. Only download if you must and only from trusted sites.
Installing peer to peer downloads may be a great source of free music, media and software. But it’s not only piracy and is probably prohibited by your company policy – it’s also a fertile breeding ground for files embedded with Trojans, worms, and other forms of malware. Download files only when necessary and only do so from legitimate and trusted sites.
You make the difference
Your behavior online plays a big factor in making your PC and your system malware free. Especially if you’re on a network, failing to exercise caution not only compromises your system, but everyone else who’s connected to the same network. A simple click on a wayward link or ad can cause your whole company to be bombarded by spam, so always be careful in what sites you go to and what files you open and download.
If you’d like us to come in and talk to your staff about this and other safe-computing habits just let us know.
Published on 12th August 2009 by Jeanne DeWitt.