How to Keep your computer virus free

Is your computer speed is similar to the speed of a tortoise? Is your computer drives contain double the number of folders that you have created? Do you often get mysterious error messages? Is your computer hangs every time; you open 2 or 3 applications simultaneously?

Well if you are facing any of the problems listed above then your computer is infected with ‘Viruses’.

This is a common problem faced by almost all the computer users across the globe. There are many viruses and worms that could infect your computer. Some are harmless, but they do have the capacity to do any number of nasty things, sometimes even erasing all data from your computer. However, there is no need to take any pain for the viruses.

Like, it is said if there is a problem, there must be some solution for it. But rather than waiting for the problem and then looking out for a solution, we should rather ensure that problem should never come. “Precaution is always better than cure”. So, it is better to not let viruses infect our computer. There are some techniques listed below, which we can adopt to keep viruses away from our PC:-

1.USB Drives - USB thumb/pen drives is most common way by which viruses spread rapidly. Generally the computers of college students suffer from viruses which are transmitted through pen drives. If the pen drive of a student contain the virus, it will infect the system and all those students, who will use their pen drives in these systems will have the same virus transmitted to their USB drives and so on their computers. This is an endless chain. So it is always recommended to perform a virus scan before copying any data onto your computer. Never double-click the pen drive to open it. Instead right-click on it and select the option “Explore”. This is a safe way to open a pen drive.

2.Internet - Internet is the main source of all the malicious programs including viruses, worms, Trojans etc. In fact Internet contributes to virus infection by up to 80%. Below are some tips for safe surfing habits so that you can ward off virus infection up to the maximum extent:

Don’t click on pop-up windows that announce a sudden disaster in your city or some prize. They are the ways to mislead Internet users and you should never trust them. You can also use a pop-up blocker to automatically block those pop-ups.

3.Email- Email is one of the common way, by which virus can infect our computer. You might have noticed sometimes you get mails like “you have won $11,00000”. Some people really get pleased by seeing such mails that if they get all the money all their problems are solved. But sorry to say, these are all spam mails and they only infect your system if you download some attachment or open link given in these mails. So, it is always recommended to stay away from “Spam Mails”. Open only those emails that has it’s origin from a trusted source such as mails from personal contacts.

If you are using your own private email host (other than Gmail, yahoo, Hotmail etc.) then it is highly recommended that you use good anti-spam software. Never click on any links or attachments, nor provide any personal details in the emails that come from untrusted sources.

4.Most of us use search engines like Google to find what we are looking for. It is quite possible for a malicious website to get listed in the search results. So to avoid visiting those untrusted malicious websites, you can download and install Link Scanner which is a freeware. This tool can become very handy and will help you to stay away from malicious websites.

5.Install antivirus software and keep it updated. Also perform full system scan periodically. It is highly recommended that you turn on the automatic update feature. This is the most essential task to protect your PC from virus. If PC security is your first option then it is recommended that you go for shareware antivirus software over the free ones. Most of the antivirus supports the Auto-Protect feature that provides Real time security for your PC. Make sure that this feature is turned on. Also install a good Antispyware program, which operates against Internet malware and spyware.

6.Format of the attachment - Never open any email attachments that come from untrusted sources. If it is a picture, text or sound file (these attachments end in the extensions .txt, .jpeg, .gif, .bmp, .tif, .mp3, .htm, .html, and .avi), you are probably safe, but still do a scan before opening.

7.Do not use CD/DVD‘s without a virus scan as they may contain virus or some Trojans which will be transmitted to your computer.

8.Set up your Windows Update to automatically download patches and upgrades. This will allow your computer to automatically download any updates to both the operating system and Internet Explorer. These updates fix security holes in both pieces of software.

9.While downloading movies, songs, videos, files or some software from untrusted websites/sources or from torrents etc. make sure that you run a virus scan before executing them.

10.While surfing, it is recommended to not to visit the websites that feature illegal/unwanted stuffs such as cracks, serials etc. since they contribute much in spreading of viruses and other malicious programs.

So by taking some precautionary measures we can ensure that our system is virus free.