Preventing Computer Virus Infections



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Preventing Computer Virus Infections


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To reduce the risk of computer virus infections, take the following precautions:

  • Install anti-virus software. Anti-virus software scans files and attachments you receive for known viruses. The program will warn you if any virus is detected, and then either clean, quarantine, or delete the infected file(s). In addition to protecting you against computer viruses, most brand name anti-virus programs also provide protection against computer worms and Trojan Horses

If your commercial business needs more information about purchasing and using anti-virus programs, you may find the following product sites to be useful:

If you need an anti-virus program for your personal (noncommercial) use, then you may find these free anti-virus programs to be useful:


Note: TECI is partnered with the above mentioned anti-virus companies or products. Also, TECI can offer technical support for systems that have been affected by a virus.  TECI can assist you with getting the correct support for the above mentioned products.  


  • Frequently update your anti-virus software virus definition list. New viruses, worms, and Trojan horses are created daily. To lessen the risk of executing a new virus that is not on outdated virus definition lists, update the database against which your anti-virus software checks for known viruses.
  • Configure your anti-virus program for maximum protection. Set your anti-virus program to automatically start when your computer boots and run at all times. In case you forget to start your anti-virus software, configuring it to automatically run will ensure the computer is always protected. Make sure your anti-virus program does not automatically open e-mail attachments when your e-mail program receives them. Doing so will allow you to evaluate the attachment using a virus scan to make sure it is safe before launching it.
  • Scan all incoming e-mail attachments before opening them. Scan every attachment you plan to open using your anti-virus software. Most anti-virus programs can be set up to automatically check files. This should be done even if you recognize and trust the sender. Dangerous code that appears to be from a reputable source (Trojan horses, for example) can gain access to your computer if you open the attachment before scanning it.
  • Only download files from well-known, established, and trusted Web sites. Questionable sources such as Internet news groups, message boards, chat sessions, or Web sites you do not know much about may be suppliers of viruses for your computer. If you must download files or programs, make sure to scan each file/program before executing it.
  • Keep current on Microsoft" Windows and Microsoft Office critical updates. Virus writers are always looking to take advantage of "holes," or vulnerabilities in popular programs used around the world. Keeping up-to-date on the current updates available for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office ensures that your computer cannot be compromised by code that exploits these holes in security. To download Windows updates, go to Microsoft Windows Update. For Microsoft Office updates, go to Office Update.
  • Educate yourself on the latest viruses and their behaviors. There are many Web sites that keep lists of all old and new viruses, including those sites that are hosted by anti-virus software manufacturers. Many of them have mailing lists that send timely e-mail to subscribers regarding immediate virus threats. One of the Web pages that you may find to be useful is the Security Response page that is maintained by Symantec.
  • Quarantine network infections. If your computer is on a network and it becomes infected with a virus, report the matter to your systems administrator. He/she can determine the source of the infection and act accordingly. This will prevent the virus from spreading to other networked computers.
  • Use floppy disks with caution. Although floppy disks are giving way to other forms of media, they are still widely used and are a breeding ground for viruses. Never boot your computer from a floppy disk of unknown origin. Doing so could cause your computer to launch a virus. Do not share floppy disks. Even a trusted source may unknowingly pass along a virus-laden disk. Clearly label your floppy disks, and do not loan them out. Always scan floppy disks with your anti-virus program before using them, especially when using the floppy disk to transfer information from one computer to another. You could acquire a virus from an insecure network and pass it to your system.
  • Use common sense. Do not open any e-mail attachments from dubious or unknown sources. Do not open any attachments from a trusted source that you were not expecting to receive. Be wary of odd links or attachments that come through instant messaging programs. Do not download files or programs from Web sites that look highly unprofessional or are known to harbor illegal activity (i.e., "cracks" or "warez").

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