Keeping a New Computer Virus Free

The holidays are gone and many are enjoying their new computers without appropriate antivirus software. To avoid a virus, Howard Toole with Compudoc Computer Repair shares some tips.

Computer with Lock 300x207 Keeping a New Computer Virus Free

The first and most important step is to purchase a legitimate, paid antivirus software package.  Free antivirus software is better than nothing, but the majority of virus infections treated at shops are not stopped by free antivirus software.  Many paid antivirus software products on the market have problems with some of today’s more aggressive viruses.  Virus writers are making sure viruses can infect systems protected by Norton by Symantec or McAfee’s antivirus, and know that most computers come with free trial versions of Norton or McAfee.

Next, you make sure you have the latest Windows updates, as well as the latest versions of Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, and Java.  Viruses commonly use Adobe and Flash software to infect computers.  Unfortunately, Adobe and Java are needed for many websites to work properly.  Since new versions come out frequently to patch security holes in the software, ensuring you have the most recent version will help avoid viruses.

Lastly, use caution when using a computer.  When reading emails, avoid clicking on links or attachments, from contacts you do not know and even if you know them, be skeptical.  Don’t rely heavily on the email address either; a hacker can “spoof” or disguise an email address to be any address they want. Typically, if someone you know has their email account hacked, their infected email account will send a virus to you.  Be cautious when clicking on links or ads on websites, especially on social networks like Facebook.

Keeping software, Windows, and antivirus products updated – along with some common sense – are key to keeping that new computer running fast well into the New Year!

Have you ever had a virus on your computer? How did you find out/get rid of it? Do you have additional tips for keeping your computer virus free in 2012? Please share!

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About Myriam Cruz

Myriam Cruz is the Community Relations Specialist for Better Business Bureau Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona (BBB). Cruz joined BBB in 2010, playing a vital role in the development and translation of communication materials. Fostering relationships with local and national Spanish-language media and local organizations is also part of her role.