Tips for Avoiding Viruses
Edited from BCC Security Issues (no longer available), by Erin Maloney
- Viruses play on our ignorance, and most are spread unintentionally. Considering the way viruses are spreading, the chances that you have received virus-infected attachments are very, very high.
- An e-mail that seems to have been sent by someone you know DOES NOT MEAN that it is safe to open it. Hackers are able to make it look like you know the person who sent you the file. (A few times, someone was able to send me e-mail with viruses, making it look like I (Erin Maloney) had sent it to me!)
- NEVER open attachments with file extensions like .exe, .com, .vbs, .pif -- even from people you know.
- Don't open attachments, unless you are expecting the file. If you are not expecting the file, don't open the attachment, EVEN IF YOU KNOW THE PERSON. You can always contact the person first to make sure that you should open the file.
- If you do open an attachment with a ZIP extension and find a file ending with .exe, .com, .vbs, or .pif, NEVER, EVER OPEN IT! Just close zip, and delete the file, including from trash.
- Sometimes people make the file look safe, like a photo (such as fun.pdf), but they change it slightly, to something like fun.pqf or fun.qdf, and it's a virus.
- If you do open *.exe, *.com, *.vbs, or *.pif (accidentally, or whatever), disconnect your computer immediately from the network by pulling out the network cable or shutting down the computer.
- Beware of "greeting cards", "cool programs", "cool screen savers", "programs that will speed up your computer", "programs that will enable you to download faster", "programs that will fix bugs," etc.
- Be sure to update your anti-virus software often. But remember -- having anti-virus
software installed on your computer does not mean that your computer is immune to viruses.