Unfortunately, the price of "getting connected" also comes with a risk. If your computer is not protected, it's just a matter of time before it is infected with the latest computer virus. Click on any of the useful anti-virus resources list below for information and resources to help protect and inform you of these threats.

  1. Steps to Avoid Virus Infection
    Essential steps to keeping your computer protected from viruses

  2. Best Practices for Safe Computing
    How to recognize the signs of an e-mail that is carrying a virus

  3. Useful Anti-Virus Resources
    Valuable download resources on the internet that can keep your computer virus free

  4. Anti-Virus Software
    Free trial before you buy options - or purchase now


Steps to Avoid Virus Infection

A computer virus is generally a destructive, self-replicating program that spreads from computer to computer. In most cases, they will require some action on your part in order to infect your computer. We have compiled this list of steps and best practices to help your computer stay virus-free.

  • If your computer connects to the internet at all, it is imperative that you install antivirus software.

  • You need to update your antivirus software regularly so that your antivirus software is aware of new viruses.

  • Run Windows Update to ensure that all Critical Updates and Service Packs are installed.

  • If your computer has been unprotected or if you've just installed antivirus software for the first time on a computer, you should perform a full scan.

  • If you have Windows XP, you should use the built-in firewall component.



Best Practices for Safe Computing

  1. NEVER open an attachment unless you know what it is, even if it is from someone you know and trust.

  2. DELETE chain email and junk email.  Do NOT forward or reply. These are considered spam, they are intrusive and clogs up the network.

  3. DOWNLOAD only from reputable sources - ensure the source is legitimate. Do not download any files from strangers.

  4. When in doubt, DO NOT open, download or run any files or attachments.



Useful Anti-Virus Download Tools

Several tools are available for download that can help you diagnose and deal with virus infections. These resources fall into one of the categories below.

Online virus scanners/Fix Tools

  • McAfee Stinger
    McAfee Stinger is a stand-alone tool that scans for currently popular viruses. This file is only around 700 Kb so it is easy to download and does not require that any other antivirus software be installed. It is important to note that McAfee Stinger only scans for the top 40-50 most popular viruses and is updated daily. A copy of Stinger that was downloaded a month ago will be out of date if run today.

  • Online virus scanners
    These are pages on the Web that can scan your computer using controls in your Web browser.  The advantages to using an online virus scan is that you do not need to install or updated anything on your computer.  The only thing you need is a live, and preferably fast, internet connection.  Below are several online virus scanners from various antivirus software companies:

    Symantec ... McAfee ... Trend Micro (PC Cillin) ... Pcpitstop.com

    *These sites are only effective in removing a virus from an infected machine. To prevent virus infections, you must maintain an antivirus client, such as Symantec AntiVirus, on your computer at all times.

  • Symantec virus-specific fix tools
    Symantec Fix Tools - Symantec has small, downloadable utilities that are designed to search for and disinfect a certain virus and its variants. These fix tools are available here from Symantec's Web site.

Web Resources
There are several useful Web sites where current information about recent viruses can be found.

  • Internet Search Engines
    A great way to tell if an e-mail that you have received is carrying a virus is to simply open an Internet search engine (such as Google: http://www.google.com) and do a search for the filename, subject or part of the body of the email that is unique. Keep in mind that all emails that carry a certain virus will usually be identical. The trick is to do a search for a defining characteristic about the email. The results will often give you a good idea that the email is carrying a virus.


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