Monday, January 7, 2013

Does Having an Antivirus Program Make You Safe?

I have an Antivirus Program so I am safe?
Many people think that because they have antivirus protection that they are protected against all malware.  FYI malware is short for malicious software and includes viruses, spyware, trojans etc. Well unfortunately we have seen malware on or sorts of computers which have been “protected” by all the major antivirus software vendors.

Why can’t antivirus software provide me with 100% protection? Well software can find it hard to protect you from new malware they don’t know about, users can allow problems through, malware writers deliberately have work arounds for antivirus software and malware can target weak links within the operating system itself.

“So how do you protect your computers than?” is what people ask next. Well it is a combination of things:
·         Don’t throw away your antivirus program as they do stop a lot of the problems.
·         Try not to get the malware in the first place (see below for tips).
·         Use a limited user accounts.
·         You don’t physically visit the “dodgy” areas of your city in the middle of the night so don’t visit the dodgy areas on the Internet.
The best defense against spyware and other unwanted software is not to download it in the first place. Here are a few helpful tips that can protect you from downloading software you don’t want:
·         Only download programs from Web sites you trust (Malware can piggy back onto other free programs). If you’re not sure whether to trust a program you are considering downloading, ask a knowledgeable friend or enter the name of the program into your favorite search engine to see if anyone else has reported that it contains spyware.
·         Read all security warnings, license agreements, and privacy statements associated with any software you download. Don’t blindly click on things.
·         Never click “agree” or “OK” to close a window unless you definitely know what the software is and what the “Agree” or “ok” relates to. Instead, click the red “x” in the corner of the window or press the Alt + F4 buttons on your keyboard to close a window.
·         Be wary of “free” software (whether they be games, music or movie file-sharing programs) and be sure you clearly understand all of the software packaged with those programs.
·         If you get a pop up window that is asking you to pay for removal of malware and tells you that you have a virus…that program is the malware! If you get that window, I would do the Alt+F4 and restart your computer. That is the easiest way to avoid having to touch that window. For the more experienced users, go to task manager and stop all the internet explorer windows running. That will close that window too. 
·         If you have had problems since you have recently installed a specific program, it’s probably due to what was downloaded. Uninstall the program and run a malware scan to see if the issue goes away.  
·         Kids these days think everything is safe…”I learned how to do this at school Mom!”….from who? Their friends? The kids today are full of “I know more than you” stories and most of the time what they have installed is what is clogging your computer up with malware! 
·         Remember if something is too good to be true it most likely is. A lot of scams and malware trick users into believing they will get something for nothing. Once you click on “Ok” or “Yes” the malware is let onto your system.
Remember if your computer is running slow, behaving strangely or doing other odd things then call in a professional to give you a proper diagnostics.

DISCLAIMER: We will not be held responsible for any damage or data loss to your system. If you are in doubt over something please contact a professional.

DP Computing are a computer support company providing IT consulting and support services to SOHO's and SMB's throughout Adelaide, South Australia and the surrounding areas. If you need any type of computer support or IT help please contact us. The full list of services we provide are listed on our Adelaide computer services page.

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