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Protecting Against Viruses

Virus Software should be installed in every computer. This has been important for years but it’s critical now because of the internet. Having virus protection software in your computer is not enough. Many users purchase and install virus software and believe this will save them from viruses. The truth is that by the time you purchase a virus protection software, it is dangerously out of date. There are already thousands of viruses out there that it cannot detect or destroy. Virus protection software is only of value if you update it regularly. Reputable virus software companies have a web site where you can go to update your software. I suggest at least once every two weeks or less. Better yet, set up your computer for automatic updates so you won’t have to think about it.

Virus protection software is not the only way to protect yourself from viruses. The first step is to avoid opening email attachments unless it is something you are expecting from someone you know. Even if it is from someone you know, if you were not expecting it, ask them before opening the attachment. Otherwise, promptly delete any email message you receive with an attachment.

Recently I received an email attachment from my sister. Since she never sends attachments and I was not expecting anything, I sent her an email asking her about it. She lives in Florida so I cannot fix her computer. She had a problem with her computer and took it to a local repair shop. It turned out that the staff of the repair shop fixed her computer and then used it to send spam to everyone in her address book. Many people opened the attachment and called my sister to complain about the spam.

Another thing to remember is that one objective of most viruses is to replicate themselves. If you open an attachment that contains a viruses, the first thing it will likely do is use your email address book to send itself to everyone on the list. Imagine how a virus can spread when people carelessly open attachments without first checking them out.

Unfortunately, there are lots of cruel people out there and you just have to protect yourself from them. That is the reality of the situation. Please don't ignore this warning. Large corporations lose millions of dollars because of careless email users. Take a moment to check every email before opening. If you have any doubt, delete it immediately. A few extra minutes may well save you a lot of money and unpleasantness.

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