Anti Virus Firewall Protection-Protecting Your Computer From Viruses-Internet Attacks
Protecting Your Computer From Viruses-Internet Attacks
When you connect your PC to the Internet, you open up your computer to a whole new world of potential dangers. this is because the Internet is the way most computer viruses are transmitted in this day and age. Also it's the easiest way for hackers and crackers to attack your computer from the other end of the world.
The good news is that 90% of Internet users are well intentioned and the bad news is the other 10% of internet users can cause mayhem. Read further to learn how to protect yourself from the real dangers found online and how to protect your PC against these.
How To Deal With Computer Viruses
A computer virus has many similarities to a biological virus. It invades your computer system and also replicates itself and in the process causes unwanted damage, just like a biological virus invades and attacks your body's system, except a computer virus is not a living thing.
A computer virus is a rogue computer programme that injects copies of itself into other programmes on your computer system. These typically invade executable programme files and system files at the very heart of your computer system. Some viruses merely display an irratating message on your screen or send unwanted e-mails to everyone on your contact list, other more aggresive viruses actually destroy your software programmes or system information. The worst cases of these are often hard to detect and to dislodge from your computer system, as they sneakily conceal themselves from observation and cleverly defend against removal.
Symptoms Of A Virus
Usually the first signs of knowing your computer has been infected with a virus are as follows:
· Your system may start to perform actions totally on its own, such as sending rogue e-mails to people listed on your contacts list.
· A normally well behaved program starts to act erratically or crash intermittently.
· A file or two disappear from your computer or becomes corrupted.
· Your system starts acting a bit sluggish, crashes or fails to even start.
If your systems starts to exhibit any of the above and you have been on the Internet recently in the last couple of days, then it doesn’t look good, your system has probably been infected.
How A Virus Is Caught
Whenever we share data with another computer or computer user, we risk exposing our computers to potential viruses.
In the pre-Internet days, viruses were mainly spread from users swapping files on disks. The virus file hitched a ride on the disk and jumped off when accessed on another computer.
Today it is far more likely you will catch a virus from the Internet. They can be downloaded from Web and FTP sites or by opening attachments in e-mails. With this in mind, the most likely way to catch a virus today is via email, especially e-mail attachments. Users unknowingly infect their systems when they open executable files attached to e-mails, the e-mail is harmless itself and so is the attachment until you click it to run the program hidden within. If you ignore the attachment, delete the attachment no harm will be done. Harm will only occur when you activate the .EXE or.COM or .VBS or .BAT or .PIF file attached to the message.
Types Of Viruses
Millions of different viruses have been found to date. These viruses come under several major different categories, depending on what they do and how they do it. The following are the most common types of viruses.
· Worm. This type of virus spreads copies of itself without any user interaction. Viruses that take control of your computer and e-mail themselves to other users are worms and can spread like rabbits on heat.
· Macro Virus. This type of virus infects all the data files such as Microsoft Word or Excel files. These viruses rely on pseudo-programming code in application documents to carry out specific tasks in the background when you load a document into your application programme.
· Script Virus. These viruses are written in one of the script languages (ActiveX, VBScript or Java) used to create certain Web pages and email messages, and are activated when the script is run. Virus infected VBScript files attached to e-mail messages are probably the most common method used to distribute viruses.
· Trojan Horse. A Trojan Horse is a programme which pretends to be another benign type of programme but is actually a virus in disguise. This type of virus enters your system as a friendly programme but when you are least expecting it, it goes to war on your system, similar to the legend of the Trojan Horse.
Protect Your System From Infection
The only sure-fire way you can avoid the threat of catching a computer virus is never to go on the Internet, never share disks, CD’s and USB sticks, also never install a new piece of software on your PC. However we can be proactive in reducing the chance of catching a virus from the internet by following these simple steps:
· Don’t open e-mail attachments from unknown sources.
· Don’t run any executable programmes from e-mail attachments.
· Don’t accept files from people in chat rooms.
· Only download programmes from reliable and trustworthy sources.
· Use antivirus software.
Using An Antivirus Programme
Antivirus software programmes are capable of detecting already known viruses and protecting your system against new and unknown viruses. These programmes check your system every time you boot your computer and can be configured to check any programmes you download from the internet.
The most popular antivirus programmes are as follows:
· McAfee Virus Scan. (www.mcafee.com)
· Norton Anti Virus. (www.symantec.com)
· Kapersky Anti-Virus Personal. (www.kapersky.com)
· Command Anti Virus. (www.commandsoftware.com)
There are hundreds of different antivirus programmes to choose from and whichever one you decide on you will need to go online periodically to update the virus definition database that the specific programme uses to look for known viruses, as new viruses are created every week.
There are other programmes you can purchase to install to further protect your computer system like Firewall and many antivirus programmes come with this included, but I will save this for another hub. I hope this hub helps you understand more about protecting your computer from viruses and internet attacks.