COMPUTER VIRUS PROTECTION
This webpage has been created by KENAX
translation agency to rid and protect the computers of its translators against viruses.
But why not go a step further and
protect your computer and Windows from getting any
viruses at all by building a foolproof fortress around it? Or you can refer to our pages on general computer tips to maximize your computer's performance.
There are apparently many people in the world who have nothing better to do
with their lives than cause destruction. Perhaps they think they are harming
such massive corporations as Microsoft, out of envy for their wealth. But such
massive organisations are much better prepared and have the staff and financial
resources to better protect themselves, so it is small people like us who get
most hurt by this.
Most viruses seem to be spread by Outlook. This email program is vulnerable
because, just by opening an email (I am not talking about opening or double
clicking on an attachment in an email), a series of characters within the email
can force it to do certain things, such as send out an email and virus, in your
name, to everyone in your address book. Many programs, such as
do not allow this, although they may be a little more difficult to set up. You
can go to Microsoftís site to learn how to help prevent viruses commanding your
Outlook. Otherwise, one trick I heard is to create a person in your address book
with the name "0000" (the numbers, so that it is the first person in your
address book) with the email address 0000. Apparently, if such a virus tries to
send something to all your friends, it will stop short at the first person with
the popup window "faulty address, please correct", or something like that,
essentially blocking the virus.
If you use ANY email program, always be careful what attachments you open or
double click on. Executable programs (such as the command to erase everything on
your computer) have such endings as .exe, .bat, and .com. Other files you should
be careful about have such endings as .pif and .scr (a screen saver). Files like
Word or Excel documents can have macros within them, which may function like a
virus. Against this possibility, you can look into your Word or Excel settings
to NOT automatically run macros when you open a file.
It is extremely easy to send out an email so that it looks like it comes from
someone else. Therefore, do not assume that, just because you received an
attachment from a friend, you can go ahead and open it. If you are not sure,
write to them and ask for their confirmation.
You can also get viruses just from surfing the internet. Be careful of
whatever you download and install. If you click on a pretty picture, it could be
attached to a command to download something to your computer, in which case a
window will usually pop up asking you if you want to open the file/program or
download it to your computer. Make sure it is from a trustworthy source before
you say yes to either of these.
Another way is through cookies, which are little files a website stores on
your computer and which may do such things as keep track of your information and
send it to a particular corporation, and other nasty things like that. A good
way how to prevent against this is (in MS Internet Explorer, but should be
similar in any browser) to go to Tools, Internet Options, Privacy, and set your
settings to High. If some sites you usually use do not work anymore, copy the
domain (ie- cnn.com), press Edit in this same window, add it to the "Address of
website" field and press Allow. You are, in effect, allowing anything within
this site to store cookies on your computer, which is sometimes necessary when
logging into a website and other things.
Under Tools, Internet Options, you may also try going to the General tab and
pressing Delete Cookies and Delete Files (Temporary Internet Files) to get rid
of any nasty cookies you may have downloaded in the past.
Now you know how to help not get a virus in the future.
Now letís clean up any nasty things already running on your computer.
If you have a good virus protection program on your computer, update it (the
important point about a virus protection program is that it is up to date,
meaning that there is a team of people working every day looking for viruses on
the internet and thinking up a solution against it. If you do not download their
solution, you will not be able to get rid of the latest viruses), and run a
complete scan of your entire computer. You can set most virus programs to
automatically scan your system at a certain hour of the day (when you are not
there or sleeping, for example), if you have it running all the time.
If you do not have a virus program, you can download
antivirus (both have a trial free period - enough to rid your computer of viruses the first time you get them - Avira, Avast and AVG all free..),
install the program, update it, and run a scan of your computer. The last I
checked, the free version is only good for 15 days, but all you need is a few
hours to remove the viruses Ė then you need to make sure you do not download any
Another form of virus is popup menus and other spyware which keep track of
what you do and send information to certain corporations, among other things. A
good way to get rid of this is to download an anti spyware program, such as
(Spysweeper seems more powerful, but then updates are not free after about 30 days)
update that, and run that on your computer. Then you can
immunise your computer (the program is free and easy to understand) to protect
yourself in the future.
An additional way you can prevent popups is to download a program to block
this. The one I like to use is Googles popup blocker. Just go to Google.com and
download their program. It also puts a toolbar in your browser to help you when
searching, and has a function which fills in fields (your name, address,
telephone number etc. Ė whatever information you want to be filled in
automatically, or filled in every time upon pressing one button in the toolbar)
in any website so that you do not have to do so all the time.
Of course, the people who design these viruses do not want you to remove
them, and you cannot delete a file which is being used. So the above programs
might not be able to delete certain viruses if they are currently running.
Either you can run the above programs and see how far they get, then do the
procedures below if there are problems and try it again, or do the procedures
below as a precaution and then run the above programs. One way to get around
this is to turn off the programs which use or run the viruses. In Windows, you
can press CTRL ALT DELETE (once!) at the same time and it will show you all the
programs that are currently running on your computer. Using this window, you can
turn off any suspicious running programs. In this window in Windows XP, you can
also press the Processes tab and see other programs that are running. I just
turn off anything I donít know or which looks suspicious, excepting the system
files. Worst case your Windows will crash (everything should run as usual though
the next time you turn on your computer).
You can also go to the Start menu, and check your Startup menu. In here are
all the programs which automatically turn on when you turn on your computer.
Many programs put themselves in here when you install them. Do you really need
these programs running automatically every time you turn on your computer? Just
right click on them in the Startup menu and choose Delete.
You can also check your System Tray (the right side of the bottom strip in
Windows). These also show various programs that are running on your computer.
Hold the mouse still above them and see what explanation pops up. It could be
programs for your mouse, or your graphics card. A lot of times these are not
necessary. Other times it could be three icons for Aol.com alone. You really do
not need all this, and these running programs only slow your computer down
(although think twice if associated with your hardware, such as your mouse or
your graphics card). If you need any of these, you can always find them
somewhere in your Start menu. So, if you do not want any of these, usually
either double click on them, or right click on them and choose from the
appropriate settings. You want to get into the programís Settings, Options or
Preferences menu and find that little bitty check box which says that you want
the program to be running in your System Tray. Unfortunately, this takes some
So, sure, all this will take several hours for you to do, but think of how
many hours you will spend in the future closing annoying popup windows, dealing
with viruses, or maybe re-installing your entire system, once it gets out of
Practice safe computer sąx. Donít let yourself get enticed. Be very careful
whatever you install on your computer. Verify the trustworthiness of any source.
If you are not sure, you can usually search for this information on the net.
Other sources of virus protection tips::