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Virus attacks and viral worms and trojans are all too common these days, and becoming more frequent all the time. It pays to get proper protection in place, and to keep it current. Here are CAís chief suspects at 04 September 2003.
Our advice, as always, is to install and keep up to date a quality virus checking program, and use common sense.
A good place to start is with Computer Associates who specialise in this type of software. Visit their web site at My e-Trust.com for more information and current pricing on all their products. Itís inexpensive and essential.
We are not associated with them in any way, except that we use their programs and they work well provided you follow the guidelines.
Our next preferred system is the well respected Norton Antivirus. Kept completely current either are very good first lines of virus defense.
Always create an antivirus reference disk with your antivirus program, so you can fix things if you get an attack, and refresh it each time you update your antivirus files - most important.
Remember that you NEVER EVER open suspicious e-mail, delete it if you are at all unsure.
Remember too that you should check by phone with anyone you know who sends you e-mail with attachments that you were not really anticipating. All floppy disks you have not prepared yourself should be scanned for infection before you run them of course.
When you delete e-mail from your inbox you must then delete it from your deleted items folder too. Users of Outlook or Outlook Express should set the programs up to eradicate all deleted items on exit (see the options tab).
If you do get infected DONT PANIC, many viruses and worms are less deadly than you think - but not all, a few are really nasty.
Know your enemy! To find out more about individual viruses visit CAís Virus Encyclopedia
In almost all cases a virus once detected can be halted and eradicated, but the real trick is not to get caught in the first place
In order to stay popular it is essential you do not pass it on, either on a floppy disk made on your system or by sending infected e-mail - and no, you will not be able to tell it is infected.
- Donít send any e-mail.
- Empty your recycle Bin if youíre using MS Windows.
- If youíre connected to a network disconnect, or get someone to do it for you; at least shut down until youíre sure.
- If youíre on a standalone PC run your antivirus program (you did read how to use it didnít you?), if necessary use your reference disk to reinstate the system.
- If all else fails call in an expert, itís cheaper than a new computer system, or having a network cleaned out and rebuilt.