If you download files from a site, the file can contain a virus and if you open the file, your computer could become infected. To protect yourself, download only from known web sites, and run a virus scanner on the files you download.
Nowadays as the Internet and other networks are greatly developed computer viruses are distributed rapidly and intensively. Everyday several new viruses capable to damage considerably your computer system arise. Anti-virus specialists work hardly to make updates their software against new viruses as soon as possible. The viruses can get inside computer in different ways. That is why there is no simple method to protect system. Only series of measures can give you reliable protection from the infection. Below are 9 steps to protect MS Windows based PC system from viruses.
1. Make regular backups.
It should be said that there is no absolutely safe way of protection. Virus creators regularly find holes in new computer products to use them for infection of computer systems. Some dangerous viruses can considerably damage data files or even erase entire file system. Make regular backups of your data files to separate file storage device. It can be separate hard drive, flash card, compact disc or another file storage device which you choose. To ease the procedure you can use some automatic backup software. And be ready if the system will die because of virus infection.
2. Be ready to reinstall your system if it dies because of viruses.
Get distributives of your operation system and distributives of software which you use and keep them together, for instance, on a set of CDs not far away from you. In this case if virus infection will cause unrecoverable system failure you can rapidly reinstall your working medium.
3. Protect your network connection with Firewall.
Firewall is a software which blocks suspicious potentially dangerous connections to preventing viruses from network to penetrate into your system. Windows XP system has quit simple but reliable built-in firewall.
You can enable it as follows.
1) in Control Panel, double-click Networking and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.
2) Right-click the connection on which you would like to enable firewall, and then click Properties.
3) On the Advanced tab, check the option to Protect my computer and network.
If you need more flexible control of connections with network you can get and install more advanced firewall software like Norton Personal Firewall or Outpost Firewall. If you use this software you have ability to permit or to block particular connections and to monitor network activity.
4. Use antivirus software.
Install antivirus software which will scan your system searching and erasing viruses on a regular basis. Leaders in antivirus software products for Windows systems are Norton Antivirus, McAfee, Kaspersky Anti-Virus and PC-cilin.
5. Regularly update operating system.
Windows XP has built-in automatic update service. It regularly contacts Microsoft server to find updates and notifies you if updates are ready to be installed. Updates are important because hackers regularly find holes in operating system which are often used by virus creators.
6. Don’t install and don’t run suspicious software.
Check new programs which you are going to install with anti-virus software. Don’t download software from suspicious websites. To download software always seek website of software creator or official distributor. Do not open applications received by email from unknown persons.
7. Limit access to your computer.
Protect enter to system with password.
8. If you use Internet Explorer, consider moving to another browser.
As IE is the most distributed browser today virus creators actively use defects in its security system to infect computers. Infection may arise if you will visit webpage which contains invisible harmful code. You are more safe if you use less known browser only because virus creators do not pay much attention to it. Major IE competitors Firefox and Opera browsers provide now the same comfortable interface and range of services for working on the Web.
9. Use spam protection.
Viruses are often distributed via email. Switch on spam filters in your email box to block spam receiving. If you need assistance with using of the filters you can ask your email service provider.