- Avoid using file sharing programs, especially ones that supply illegal musicand software. It is extremely easy for shady people to package a virusor other harmful software with that free game you just downloaded.
- Avoidshady websites. Sites that promote illegal software such as 'warez'sites, free movie sites or free music sites have a really hard timefinding legitimate advertising. Because of this they resort to some advertisingmethods that are not quite moral. You may be getting free software ormovies from these sites, but you could also be getting a virus.
- Don't let children use computers unattended. Yea, it soundslike a pain in the ****, but children are more likely to just click'yes' a bunch of times when prompted by Windows to do something. Oftentimes these prompts are asking to install malicious software; childrentend to be in a rush to get to their game or their web site and have atendency to ignore these prompts. Pay attention and you can reduce therisk of your child infecting your computer.
- Don't open emails from people you don't know. If you have avirus scanner than allows you to scan an email prior to opening theemail, run it on every email before you take a peek. Even if you doknow somebody, they might not be quite as computer savvy as you andcould be sending you a virus by accident.
- Be weary of instant messages from people you haven't talked toin a while. Every once in a while, I get a message from somebody Ihaven't spoke to in a while and they claim to be sending me a file theywant me to look at. Generally, people you haven't spoke to in ageshave no reason to send you files. They could either be infected with avirus and are trying to send you the same virus, or somebody has takenover their account and is trying to get you involved in something bad. If you are interested in accepting the file as you think it might besomething legitimate try to get the person to tell you something thatonly your friend would know. You should only download the file onceyou've verified that they are actually sending you something legitshould you download the file.
How to Detect if you have a Virusyour computer has really slowed down, starts acting weird and you beginto think you've contracted a computer virus. Don't feel stupid as itcan happens to anybody. If you don'talready have a virus scanner I suggest installing one and scanning yourcomputer for viruses. You could go out and buy Norton, or you couldgrab a copy of AVG's free virus scanner which actually works verywell. You can get AVG Virus scanner for free at http://free.avg.com/
Onceyou've downloaded AVG, install the application and then make sure toupdate the software so you have all the latest virus definitions. Onceyou've updated it, run a full system scan. If you do have any virus'this should let you know and will most likely quarantine them. Conveniently, AVG also searches your computer for spyware and adware;so if it is not a virus slowing your computer down but some sort ofmalware, it will also conveniently take care of your other issues.
If all this is too much for you to handle, buy a Mac or get rid of Windows and install a Linux based operating system!
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