An ounce of prevention: Avoiding risky Internet behavior

by Lou Horton on March 29, 2012

While having a good set of updated anti-virus/spyware programs running at all times is probably the most important thing you can do to avoid infecting your computer, there are other things that you can do to significantly decrease the chances that your computer will fall victim to one of these attacks. Today we will review of a few preventive measures that you can take to keep your computer happy and safe.

1. Do not use peer to peer file sharing programs such at Limewire, uTorrent, Gnutella, eDonkey or any of the other ones out there. Besides the legal implications of downloading copyrighted songs, movies or programs from these sites, you open yourself up to a wide area of viruses, trojans and other nasty ware. In some cases you will not even know that you have been infected. Sometimes an infected program or media file just appears not to properly execute or play but in the background it is secretly infecting your system in multiple ways.

2. Do not open email messages and especially attachments from anyone that you do not know. Most people know this already but you would be amazed how many people take the chance anyway. In many cases viruses can use your address book to propagate so you may actually receive infected messages from people that you DO know. If the subject or content of the message seems suspicious or out of character for the sender, it is always better to check with the sender before opening the message.

3. Be careful when surfing parts of the web that you have not visited before. There are many sites out there that can infect your computer even if you do not click on anything specific. Most of these don’t last long and are exploiting temporary Windows and browser vulnerabilities. Never click to download anything that you don’t know exactly what it is. Always make sure you all critical Windows updates and keep your anti-virus software definitions up to date.

By following this advice you will significantly reduce the chances of your computer becoming infected. We hope that you found these tips helpful. For more information or if you think your system has been infected, please contact us at

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