by Justin French, Perfect Integration – Small Business Computer Consultants
Viruses usually spread in one of three ways: from floppy disks and other media; from downloads off the Internet or certain websites; and from email attachments.
Although most people believe viruses usually spread via the Internet or through email, floppy disks and other storage media, like Zip disks, spread many of the most common viruses. Always scan disks and other media — even new shrink-wrapped software — for viruses before installing any program or opening any file. Also make sure you write-protect any disk you loan out so it can’t be infected by other machines. Perfect Integration suggests storing data on pen drives instead of floppy drives. Floppy drives go bad and become de-magnetized very easily and can cost thousands of dollars to recover data from them. Perfect integration also suggests remote backup, to secure your data off-site should a disaster take place.
Although the Internet gets a bad rap as a source of viruses, you’re no more likely to contract a virus from the Web than you are from packaged software. Still, scan everything you download, and update your antivirus software regularly. Perfect Integration is working with new virus software called Nod32 that will be available at the end of this month! Check your virus software subscription to see when it expires, and get a technician in today to switch you over to nod32. It runs more efficiently on older systems then Norton Antivirus. I highly recommend it!
Email is not the virus breeding ground it’s made out to be, either. In fact, it’s nearly impossible for a virus to be transmitted by plain-text email. Most viruses can only spread via attachments — either rich-text email or attached applications. Using antivirus software, scan attachments from people you know, and never open attachments from people you don’t. If you’re a Microsoft Outlook user, you can also select security preferences that keep email-borne viruses from exploiting the close relationship between Outlook and the Windows operating system.
These precautions will minimize the risk of infecting your computer as well as keep you from spreading viruses onto others. For more information please visit our website.