How to Protect Your Computer from Viruses

One of the main concerns of PC users everywhere is how to keep their computer safe from viruses.
Before we go into different ways that you can use, let’s first take a look at what computer viruses can
do to your system and how they are spread. In the days before the internet came into widespread use,
computer viruses were mostly spread by floppy disks that have become infected. At that time, the main
purpose of viruses was to cause disruption, such as by deleting files, or displaying annoying messages
on the screen.

Today, most viruses are spread through the internet and their purposes have also evolved. While there
are still viruses whose purpose is to simply slow down PCs by clogging their memory, most viruses
today are designed to be profitable for their creators in one way or the other. Some of them allow
backdoor access to your data to hackers, enabling them to steal sensitive information by snooping
through files or monitoring keystrokes. Others can turn your computer into a “zombie” that will then be
used to send spam or launch attacks on websites.

Exercising proper security measures is the best way to keep your PC from being infected by a
virus. Many viruses are spread through email attachments. Because of this, you shouldn’t download
attachments from people that you don’t know or from messages that you didn’t expect.

If you download software and other files from the internet, make sure that they are from a trusted
source. One of the main distribution channel for infected files is file sharing services such as torrents
and peer to peer file sharing applications.

Keep any software that connects to the internet, such as web browsers, instant messaging clients, etc.
up to date. Same applies for downloading security updates for your operating system. As soon as a
security flaw is discovered in many software programs, a patch is released to address the vulnerability.
This is why you should always let software programs update themselves to fix these issues.

Using anti virus software is also important. A good anti virus program runs silently in the background,
periodically scanning your hard drive for any viruses or suspicious files. It is also able to detect
potentially infected websites when you click on a link to them. There are many good anti virus
programs which are free, the most famous one being AVG Free Edition. So there is really no reason not
to have virus protection installed on your PC. Be sure to let your anti virus program update itself every
day, as new security threats and viruses are discovered on a regular basis and the anti virus software
needs to be updated in order to recognize them.

Lastly, keeping yourself informed about the latest security threats and vulnerabilities by scanning
through technology news sites will give you information about any new viruses and ways that you can
protect yourself from them.

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