Seven Ways To Prevent Computer Viruses

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These simple but effective methods of how to prevent computer viruses are ideal for basic-skilled computer users; protecting them against multiple forms of malware attack.

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There are many tech-based measures which help both protect the user from infection and limit damage done if that protection fails.

Viruses can infect a machine in several ways but the most common sources of attack are bad links, malicious attachments (particularly .zip files), infected USB drives and trojan software downloads. The best way to prevent infection is to use one's device in a way that does not carelessly expose it to these forms of attack.

There are also many tech-based measures which help both protect the user from infection and limit damage done if that protection fails. The below recommendations are simple enough for basic-skilled computer users to adopt.

For more advanced users and higher-level protection, see the idcloak article What is Malware Most Afraid Of?

Keep a two-way firewall active. Do not rely on the built-in Windows Firewall; better modern-day firewalls not only prevent infections coming in, but also stop malicious programs sending data out. ZoneAlarm is a good option, as is the third-party Windows 7 Firewall Control.

Keep antivirus software up-to-date and accompany it with regular full system scans.

Keep your browser secure. Chrome is the most secure browser around. Deactivate java script in your browser’s settings (or preferences menu) as it can be used to deliver malware; the trusted NoScript Chrome add on may do this for you.

Principle of least privilege. You should use a separate profile for general computer use and configure it with limited user privileges (see User Accounts in the Windows Control Panel). This will stop most malware running malicious code.

Partition your hard drive. Most malware is designed to attack your C: drive. If you create a new D: drive and store your important files there, you reduce the likelihood of falling foul of an infection.

Avoid letting others use your computer. Since careless behavior is the most common cause of infection, it is best if you are the only one with access to your computer. Others may not be so security conscious.

Use a secure VPN to safeguard your connection. Anonymity is security: if you fear targeted hacking, either as an individual or a company, the VPN proxy will hide your presence online. Hackers will not be able to plant malware on sites they know you frequent (the watering-hole technique) because they will not know where you go.

idcloak.com is a Dallas-based provider of security and privacy systems.

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Gill-Chris Welles
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