Tips to Help Protect your Computer from Viruses

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Tips to Help Protect your Computer from Viruses

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In developing times like now, we live under the constant threat of computer viruses and malware that reach your system through emails or any external devices like a pen drive. We have multiple Anti-Virus programs available and it is critical to keep updating them. But the key to a virus-free environment is beyond using an anti-virus program. Safe computing practices and policies should be used to safeguard your PC from such threats.

Let’s take a look at some user friendly, yet efficient methods of dealing with viruses, other than using Anti-Virus programs:

Do not open suspicious email attachments


Most of the infected emails are filtered in the SPAM Folder

It is wise not to open any unknown email with an attachment unless you are expecting them. Most of the viruses and links to phishing websites come through emails. To know whether the mail contains a virus or not, you can follow the steps below:

  • Always check the sender’s address. If the address is known to you, it is safe to open the mail. But if the address is unknown, we would recommend caution before clicking on the mail.
  • Check the subject line. If the subject line shows some random sentences asking you to open the mail, Do Not click on it. Some viruses are capable of mimic, or spoof, legitimate email addresses.

Keeping your computer updated

Keeping your computer updated helps to lower down incoming viruses from external sources. It is because across different Operating Systems, various security updates are released, thus helping in protecting your computer.

Using a Firewall


Pictorial representation of how a Firewall works

Use of Firewall does not entirely eliminate the threat of Viruses, but it helps in alerting you if a virus or worm attempts to connect to your computer. It can also block hackers from downloading potentially harmful files to your computer.

Disabling the Auto-Play Option

Many viruses attach themselves to a drive and start installing automatically when the media is connected to a computer. As a result, connecting any external hard disk or external data can lead to automatic propagation of such threats. Hence, disable Autoplay.

Lastly, Surf Safe

Many anti-malware programs include browser plug-ins that help avoid virus infections and internet phishing. These plug-ins should always be utilized with regular web browsing. Personal data and sensitive information should never be entered on any web page that has arrived independently. They should instead open a web browser, enter the address of the page they need to reach, and enter their information instead of clicking on a hyperlink and assuming the link has directed them to the proper URL. Hyperlinks contained within an e-mail message often redirect users to fraudulent, fake, or unauthorized websites. By entering web addresses manually, users can help ensure that they arrive at the actual page they intend.

Although the above methods should be carried out on a daily basis, the only fool-proof savior is a good Anti-Virus program, like Avast! to name one. Many computers receive free anti-virus programs, but these are not enough to provide sufficient protection against the ever-growing list of threats. We need to stay updated with ever-growing technology. Browse safe!

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Rishi Baruah
iGyaan Network's newbie Rishi Baruah is a musician hailing from Mumbai. He plays drums for a Delhi-based band and specializes in Concert Photography. Oh yes, he can cook up a mean four-cheese pizza.