This time of year, computer virus is the prevailing threat of everyone. You may have known not to open an email from anonymous, not simply click on a suspicious link, and not to surrender your private information to untrusted site. But, do you really think it’s good enough? Even the web savvy surfer may become the victim, just because the predators keep on polishing their ‘phishing’ skill. More and more unexpected virus attack methods have been created, and you need to know more than a basis to not become the next victim.
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Once virus sneak into your computer under the radar, the loss is unimaginable. Worry not, we have summarized 5 easy tips to prevent loss from virus infection to you. Tips after the jump.
1. Windows Firewall
You may hear the term ‘Firewall’ for countless times. People use the physical firewall to prevent fire from spreading, but how about the computer firewall? In networking, firewall is the outer line of defence to protect computer from virus infection by obeying certain protocols and rules. You can always change the security level of firewall for better computer performance, but it must be done in a way that wouldn’t compromise security.
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Some programs are too sensitive, and it needs to bypass the firewall to function seamlessly, however shutting down the entire firewall is a really bad idea though!. In such case, you just need to add exemption or permission to the relevant program, but don’t never ever turn off your firewall.
The most solid wall in the world has tiny crack, and this applies to windows firewall either. Email virus and phishing scam are the two sinister enemies that can climb over the windows firewall easily. This simply means windows firewall can’t determine or detect the contents of email (phishing scam) and hence fails to protect you from the threats. Must beware of this!
2. Antivirus Software
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Experts suggest that every PC should have at least one valid antivirus software. This is absolutely true, and no doubt antivirus software is the safest available solution. Keep in mind that not all antivirus software are created identically. In fact, it varies in terms of OS compatibility, specification requirement, and most importantly the scope of protection. Therefore, invest some times to do research and read online reviews is the effective way to look for a well-rounded antivirus software that suits you the most. You just don’t want to purchase a program to slow down your computer or having poor protection even it has a sleek interface.
3. Perform Virus Scan
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Most of the antivirus software can be scheduled to perform virus scan automatically, but how often should it be set? Some people advocate that it should be done in daily basis and some disagree. All I can say is it depends mostly on the net surfing behaviour of an individual. For me, I visit many types of website every day, and so I have scheduled my computer to run a full system scan at 5a.m. every morning, when I am most likely sleeping at my bed.
What happened if you don’t have antivirus program? Well, this is not the end of the world. You can still perform the free online virus scan at Virus Total and Jotti. In addition, browser plugin is yet another option. Dr. Web allows you to scan any file that you’re about to download or downloaded from Internet. This plugin has been integrated into the Mozilla Thunderbird email client as well.
4. Data Backup
This is the last resort when you have no idea where the ‘short circuit’ is, and all the defence lines have failed miserably. In fact, it’s the best insurance to back up your vital data routinely. This can be done either using external storage device such as pendrive and portable hard drive, or employ the more advantageous free Cloud storage service.
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There is a myth about the effectuality of Windows System Restore function to remove virus. According to the reply from Microsoft, System Restore does remove very minor virus but in most of time, it would fail to detect, especially when it is a Malware type. Due to this reason, it is recommended to run a Malware scan before proceed to System Restore.
Free Malware Scanning and Removal Tool:
5. Insecure Sites
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Most of you may have been advised not to download file from insecure or untrusted website, where it has high potential to be a viruses spreading hub. We have 4 easy tips for you to identify if a site is trustworthy:
- Perform a site scan via Norton Safe Web or McAfee.
- Check to see if the address bar has turned green, when you’re using hight-security EVSSL-enabled web browser.
- Ensure the URL begins with HTTPS, not HTTP. (This is particularly important when dealing with banking and privacy stuffs.)
- Look for the VeriSign Trust™ Seal and click on it to verify that the seal is authentic.
Last but no least, copy and paste this “Check Security Status” at the Start’s search bar to find out your computer’s security issue,and fix it if any.
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