How do I protect my computer from viruses?

With all the recent threats including the Heartbleed virus, protecting your computer from viruses and other threats is not difficult however you have to be diligent.  Below are four simple steps to protect your computer from unwanted viruses or threats.

So how do I protect my computer from viruses?

Antivirus. Install an antivirus program and keep it up to date.  Antivirus programs scan for viruses trying to get into your e‑mail, operating system, or files.  Viruses appear daily, so ensure you are running the latest antivirus as most antivirus programs are sold with annual subscriptions, which can be renewed as needed.

Attachments. Do not open e‑mail attachments from unknown senders or suspicious attachments.  Many viruses are attached to e‑mail messages and will spread as soon as you open the e‑mail attachment.  Rule of thumb is not to open any attachment unless it is something you are expecting.  

Updates. As you may all know, Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft.  It is extremely important that you keep Windows updated.  Microsoft releases updates to protect your computer.  These updates can help prevent viruses and other computer attacks by closing possible security holes. Make sure that Windows receives these updates by turning on Windows automatic updating.

Firewall. Firewalls are your protection from the outside world.  It does not matter if it is a hardware or software firewall, they can all help alert you of suspicious activity if a virus or worm attempts to connect to your computer. It can also block viruses, worms, and hackers from attempting to download potentially harmful programs to your computer.


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