These days, just having an anti-virus program running on your computer isn't enough. Due to the rapid pace at which new viruses are concocted, the anti-virus companies
must constantly work at creating "cures" for these new strains. Computer users must constantly update their anti-virus software to keep themselves protected against the "latest" viruses.
However, even updating your virus program isn't enough. While the anti-virus companies are working away in their labs trying to decipher the latest virus, the virus programmers are creating and distributing new ones.
Most recently, virus programmers have discovered that the quickest way to distribute viruses across the globe is via e-mail. By attaching a virus program to an email message, a virus could be spread around the world
within a few hours. When the recipient opens the attachment, the virus program installs itself onto the recipient's computer.
Some virus programs then use the recipient's email address book to send the virus program to everyone listed in the address book - all without the knowledge of the address book's owner.
How can we protect ourselves from these email viruses while still being able to use what has become our most valued communication tool? Here are some tips and techniques to help prevent infection and from passing it on.
- Be suspicious. If an email contains an attachment (usually listed with a paper clip next to it), the sender should mention that there is an attachment. Otherwise, do not open the attachment
- If you receive an email with an attachment without reference to it, reply by informing the sender that you received their message but did not open the attachment because they did not indicate that they sent one.
This lets the sender know that you are virus-aware. It may also tip them off to the fact that they may HAVE a virus and are not aware of it.
- As a courtesy, if you are sending an attachment, notify the recipients that you are doing so.
- Protect yourself further by religiously backing up your data.
New viruses are released every day. Old ones are passed around and around. The latest strains travel through email without attachments. They can infect a system simply by being "viewed" in the email program's preview window.
The best protection is to be sure to update your virus program regularly and periodically scan your entire system for viruses. Set your virus scan program to scan ALL files, not just program files (usually the default).
If your system begins to perform oddly and you suspect you may have a virus, run a full system scan. If a virus is found, your virus scan program will tell you the name of the virus. Write it down and elect to CLEAN the virus
from your system. If the program is unable to clean it, report the name to your program's laboratory.
For help with any virus-related or software problem, call PC Tech Associates at 310-390-3370. We will be happy to assist you!
Send a postcard or letter to the following address and within three (3) months, 75% of your junk mail will vanish! Include your name, address and zip code and write, "please activate the mail preference service."
Mail Preference Service
Unsolicited e-mails have become "affectionately" known as SPAM. Currently, there are several bills in Congress concerning anti-spam issues. If you are bombarded with unsolicited emails and want to put a stop to this practice, rather than just deleting these
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Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
Put the spammer's subject line in the forward, along with your State's two-character initial, i.e. [CA] and the Center will in turn forward said spam to the Federal Trade Commission and your State Attorney General's Office.
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