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Computer Virus and Anti-Virus Page

Protect your system from virus and spyware attacks

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Virus or Worm Spyware Tips to prevent viruses / spyware Phishing What you can do

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Computers are under daily threats from new virus and spyware attacks all trying to disrupt your system or harness the system to allow it to send itself on to more people.

Some viruses are designed to collect personnel information others are designed to make your system unstable or unusable by altering crucial files.

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Many viruses are designed to simply copy itself repeatedly which often results in the available memory being used up and the system freezes whilst it tries to recover.

Some variants can send itself to people in an address book or to a network drive if this was happening on a network PC and spread to other PCs. The network itself could become unusable as the virus spreads and disrupts more PCs until the network is shutdown and the virus is identified and isolated.


Many viruses are designed to simply copy itself repeatedly which often results in the available memory being used up and the system freezes whilst it tries to recover.

 

Some variants can send itself to people in an address book or to a network drive if this was happening on a network PC and spread to other PCs. The network itself could become unusable as the virus spreads and disrupts more PCs until the network is shutdown and the virus is identified and isolated.

 

Antivirus programs are available to help protect your systems; they regularly check for any virus updates and scan your computer for any infections. If any our found they can normally isolate, repair, or delete the infected file.

 

The big name antivirus companies are Symantec, McAfee, AVG, Trend Micro, and Sophos. All have products aimed at the home user right through to the business and networked user, with annual cover normally costing around £25/$43.

Virus or a Worm?

A worm is a more advanced type of virus which can copy itself and use system memory; it cannot attach itself to other programs. Worms have made the headlines in recent years with several high profile instances of large numbers of computers being infected and spreading rapidly across networks including the largest of the entire Internet.

Spyware

These is a different threat but similar in many ways to viruses. Spyware typically comes built-in to Peer-to-Peer (P2P), and Toolbar software. Some are without letting the user know, whilst others include mentions deep within terms and conditions so unless you read fully all the text you could be agreeing to let the program install spyware onto your computer.

Spyware

These is a different threat but similar in many ways to viruses. Spyware typically comes built-in to Peer-to-Peer (P2P), and Toolbar software. Some are without letting the user know, whilst others include mentions deep within terms and conditions so unless you read fully all the text you could be agreeing to let the program install spyware onto your computer.

 

Basic Tips to prevent viruses / spyware

If you receive an email with an attachment from someone you do not recognise, do not open the attachment. The attachment could contain a virus which if you open could copy itself to your PC and use your PC to send itself on to others, change your files, collect information on passwords and personal information and send it back to the sender. all without your knowledge.

 

Instead either delete the file immediately or move it to a separate folder (without opening the attachment) and review the email at a later date if someone contacts you again about the email.

 

Regularly scan your system using Adaware, or Search and destroy or similar which checks your system for suspicious items include cookies and spyware which can track your habits and send back information. Although most of these can be fairly harmless and are normally used for advertising purposes they should be removed.

 

Phishing

You may not have heard of that term but it is also known as spoofing, you have properly received an email from a spammer which looks very familiar to the real sites of eBay and banks, often they even link directly to the images from the sites to make it look more real. They claim to offer a limited offer or need you to login to verify your details. of course these are lies and they just want to record the details from you to take over your account possibly for fraud or other crimes to try and rip off someone or obtain money from a person or company.

 

Often the links to these 'real' sites show as http://123.123.123.123/ebaylogin or similar, remember the banks and all internet sites never ask for your details or to verify bank details via email. If you have received an email which does looks genuine then I suggest you visit the site directly, not via the link. Most sites will alert you once you have logged in if you need to confirm your details, otherwise contact the relevant support section for advice

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What you can do

When using sites ensure the site is secure with a valid certificate.

Never disclose personal information which could be used to gather information or money from you.

Do not open emails especially ones with attachments from senders you do not recognise.

Keep your anti-virus software updated and scan your whole system regularly.

Use a Firewall, most routers come complete with one firewall built-in but it is worth installing Zone alarm or similar as well and taking the time to understand how they work so you can be better protected.

 

We have mentioned Spyware, this can also be installed by adding toolbars or other programs which can track your moments around the Internet collecting information. Some of this information may be used within a Cookie. Cookies are used in many sites especially online stores; however some sites/people use this for malicious purposes.

So to remove this threat regularly scan your system for Spyware by using Ad-aware or Search and destroy programs these scan your system for any suspicious files.

 

If any are found you are giving the option to remove, quarantine or leave the files. If you aren't sure it is worth using Goggle to search for the filename or reference the software makes to gather advice so that you can make up your own mind. If in doubt send them to quarantine, if you have problems surfing you can re-instate cookies individually.

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