Friday, July 6, 2007

Virus Prevention 101

While I'm here, I figured it was a good time to add one more post.

Recently I've had a spate of virus e-mails that have come in. I'm not exactly sure where it started or who's infected, but I've been getting about one a day for the past couple of weeks. Seems to me now would be a great time to review how to protect yourself from viruses.

Avoiding viruses is actually pretty straight forward if you listen to what your parents taught you about strangers as a kid.

  1. Don't accept anything from someone you don't know. If you get an e-mail from someone you don't know, delete it. And, for the love of everything, don't open any attachments on it.
  2. Even if you know someone, don't trust anything from them you weren't expecting. If you weren't expecting someone to send you a PDF file, don't open it.
  3. If your gut tells you something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. If you get an e-mail from someone with an attachment, it only takes an extra couple of moments to ask them if they really sent it to you.
  4. Don't trust links or e-mail addresses. Well, OK, so your parents probably didn't teach you this one, but it still applies. Just because an e-mail says it's from someone doesn't mean that it is. E-mail addresses are very easy to forge, so just because it says it's from your friend, coworker, bank, or eBay, doesn't mean that it is.
  5. Use protection. Again, getting a little away from the strangers analogy, but you should always (regardless of the OS you are using - Mac OSX doesn't magically make you safe) have anti-virus software installed. There's a great free one available from Grisoft that I personally use. But remember, anti-virus protection is there as a safety net. You must still practice caution.

Just following that simple advice will help keep you virus-free.

1 comment: