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Practical computing tips for malware protection

January 27th, 2010

ADIT Services is tracking a dramatic rise in virus and malicious software activity within our branch networks.  We are asking each client to ensure that their office has current security \ antivirus software running on each computer.   In addition Microsoft has also released some important security updates for Windows, which should be applied as soon as possible on each branch computer.   The website for Microsoft update is http://update.microsoft.com .

Below are some safe computing tips that each person should follow

Malware is the all encompassing term for any unwanted software that invades your computer and makes unwanted changes. Spyware, adware, and viruses are lumped in this group. There are some great products out there that will help you clean up these infections, but the real trick to running a clean computer is to avoid exposing yourself to them.

1. Don’t use file sharing applications like Limewire, Bearshare, or Kazaa.

2. Never open an email attachment if you don’t know what it is. Even if you know the person who sent the email beware of attachments. Many computers with infections will send out email to everyone on their address book without the owner ever being aware.

3. If you get pop-ups when opening a web page don’t click inside the pop-up to close it. Always click the red “x” in the upper right corner. The “cancel” or “close” button in the pop-up might have unintended effects.

4. If you get a message from your computer warning you that it is infected and you need to download software to remove the virus, don’t do it. At this point you are already infected, downloading the fake virus remover will only make it worse. No legitimate software ever uses this tactic.

5. Avoid free downloads unless you are absolutely sure you can trust the source. Often these freebies are packaged with a good deal of adware, so be careful.

6. Use your work computer for work.  As simple as it sounds, we find non-work related activities on work computers accounts for almost all infections.

Most of the time good common sense will keep your computer safer than whatever virus protection you have installed. Start practicing safe web viewing and you will find you rarely have a problem with malware.

As always ADIT Services, LLC. is here to help or answer any questions or concerns you might have.     http://www.aditservices.com

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