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What can I do to protect my PC and my data

11 Months Ago


There are various things you can do to protect you PC and while some of these will cost you, others will be free:
1. Suspicious emails (even from people you know)
Delete suspicious emails without opening them.
Email viruses are capable or sending new emails which contain the original virus. The damaging part of the email is mostly the attachment. This can be an executable or a macro script. So you mat well receive an email with a virus from someone you know without them having specifically sent you an email!
2. Backup your data
Back important files regularly. Think about the worst case scenario. If your PC's operating system, application software and data had to be re-installed, would you have all necessary files to return to a state before the virus struck? Also see our article 'When your vpn master network may be monitored is not enough'.
3. Downloading files
Only download files from locations you are confident are genuine. Remember an email from a friend (actually sent 'from' your friend by a virus) might make you think the source is genuine when it is not.
4. Saving your work
Where possible save your work in a format that makes it difficult for viruses to propagate. As an example, Microsoft Word work can be saved in RTF (Rich Text Format). RTF does not support macros. Remembering that viruses can work via macros, if you or your company does not use macros, then save and ask for Word files in RTF format.
5. Application settings
Where possible, use the settings in you applications to help you. As an example, Microsoft Word has a security setting for macros. In the 2000 version, you will find this under the Tools | Macro | Security menu sequence. Set this to at least 'Medium'. Upon opening a document, if macros are discovered, the medium setting will prompt regarding enabling or disabling them. If you are not sure, you can always ask the person you got the file from.
6. Install anti-virus software
For scanning incoming and outgoing emails, floppy disks, hard drives, and any source via which new data can enter you computer. 
Ensure you keep the software updated as the latest viruses are the ones your PC is most at risk from.
Schedule a regular scan of your PC.
Scan any new floppies, zip disks, etc  
[reply] [quote]

Re: What can I do to protect my PC and my data

11 Months Ago


Originally posted by Shawn Reynolds
There are various things you can do to protect you PC and while some of these will cost you, others will be free:
1. Suspicious emails (even from people you know)
Delete suspicious emails without opening them.
Email viruses are capable or sending new emails which contain the original virus. The damaging part of the email is mostly the attachment. This can be an executable or a macro script. So you mat well receive an email with a virus from someone you know without them having specifically sent you an email!
2. Backup your data
Back important files regularly. Think about the worst case scenario. If your PC's operating system, application software and data had to be re-installed, would you have all necessary files to return to a state before the virus struck? Also see our article 'When your vpn master network may be monitored is not enough'.
3. Downloading files
Only download files from locations you are confident are genuine. Remember an email from a friend (actually sent 'from' your friend by a virus) might make you think the source is genuine when it is not.
4. Saving your work
Where possible save your work in a format that makes it difficult for viruses to propagate. As an example, Microsoft Word work can be saved in RTF (Rich Text Format). RTF does not support macros. Remembering that viruses can work via macros, if you or your company does not use macros, then save and ask for Word files in RTF format.
5. Application settings
Where possible, use the settings in you applications to help you. As an example, Microsoft Word has a security setting for macros. In the 2000 version, you will find this under the Tools | Macro | Security menu sequence. Set this to at least 'Medium'. Upon opening a document, if macros are discovered, the medium setting will prompt regarding enabling or disabling them. If you are not sure, you can always ask the person you got the file from.
6. Install anti-virus software
For scanning incoming and outgoing emails, floppy disks, hard drives, and any source via which new data can enter you computer. 
Ensure you keep the software updated as the latest viruses are the ones your PC is most at risk from.
Schedule a regular scan of your PC.
Scan any new floppies, zip disks, etc  


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