Protecting Our Computers From Virus and Spyware

One of the things scares me since I started gaining knowledge about computers is the possibility of getting a virus. It doesn’t only cause disaster in your computer but damage to your files as well. I remember hearing about a “bug” coming in the year 2000 that they said would cause all computers to shut down. I know that was a programming stuff but everybody was alarmed. Good thing it didn’t happened.

Anyways, don’t you hate it when your computer is bugged by a virus and spyware? It’s like an illness hits your computer and it is not good. So what do we need to know about them? The symptoms: listlessness and uncharacteristic behavior. But despite of your headache, you’re not the one with the bug-your computer is. The cause could be a virus or spyware. Read on for the cure.

-So what are viruses and spyware? Viruses are codes that infiltrate your computer, usually through e-mail attachments. If your computer is newly sluggish or if your e-mail contacts receive messages you didn’t send, chances are your computer has a virus. Spyware is software secretly installed by advertisers via pop-up ads. It monitors sites you visit and floods the screen with pop-up windows.

-How do I get rid of these virtual toxins? A program like Norton AntiVirus 2008 will kill both types of bugs and guard against new attacks. If the problem is just spyware, you may download and run a program like Spybot Search and Destroy.

-Can I prevent future attacks? Don’t click on pop-ups (no, not even for the free iPod) or open e-mail attachments from strangers. If you want to open an attachment, scan it first by saving it to the hard drive, opening the software, and running a manual scan.

Prediction for future health: excellent. The important thing is we should be watchful and careful. Remember, prevention is better than cure.

Real Simple, May 2008

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