Far too many company and household computers become infected with viruses annually, and the affects of these infections can be devastating to the user. Since there are so many ways a virus can enter your computer’s system, it’s important that you know how to block off those entrances. Here are several ways to decrease the chances of your computer becoming infected:

-Don’t solely rely on anti-virus software, although you should have it installed. Be sure to update often to detect and protect your computer from the most recently created viruses.

– It is also good for your computer to install a spyware, malware, and adware removal application.

-Read the headlines. Stay on top of the news to educate yourself about new viruses

-Try not to open an e-mail attachment until you are sure it is safe. Make sure you know the person or why it may be sent to you.

-Once again, surf the web for news about viruses so you know common subject lines and file extensions relative to those viruses.

-Disable automatic attachment viewing in your e-mail settings.

-Set your Word and Excel settings so that Macros are disabled when a file is opened up for viewing.

– Use search engines that are well-known for generating results relevant to search terms.

A site is probably safe if a lot of people have linked to it, but keep in mind that this isn’t always the case. This way, your chances of being directed to a site that hosts a virus is less likely.

-Make sure you set your security settings to ‘high’ in your web browser.

-Try to avoid downloading free applications from unverifiable websites

-Configure your settings so that you can always view file extensions.

-The following are examples of file extensions to be suspicious of when they show up in e-mails.

ADE, ADP, BAS, BAT, CHM, CMD, COM, CPL, CRT, DLL, EXE, HLP, HTA, INF, INS, ISP, JS, JSE, LNK, MDB, MDE, MSC, MSI, MSP, MST, OCX, PCD, PIF, POT, REG, SCR, SCT, SHB, SHS, SYS, URL, VB, VBE, VBS, WSC, WSF, WSH

It is easy to tell yourself you will regularly take these measures to maintain your computer’s health, but it is also quite easy to forget. This is often how viruses end up finding their way into your computer. If you’re running a business, your best bet is to seek IT support from an IT consulting firm.

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