Whether you have learned your lesson from a past experience with a nasty computer virus or have been pressing your luck by surfing the web and downloading various files or opening those email messages sent to you by people you dont know without any real understanding of just how vulnerable you really are each time you log onto your computer.
You now have the opportunity to discover what steps you can take to avoid such an annoying and many times destructive infestation.
Listed below are some of the guidelines you can follow in order to keep those nasty viruses from making a mess out of your computer and your life.
Purchase and install a well respected antivirus software program and be sure to set it up so that it automatically runs when the computer starts up each time.
Make sure to keep your antivirus software up to date by either using the automatic update feature that many come with or make it a habit to manually check at least once or twice a week for updates on your own.
Set your antivirus program to scan for potential viruses each time you open a word-processing document like the ones that get sent through email. Viruses found in word-processing documents are called Macro Viruses.
When purchasing software make sure to only buy from vendors that are well known and from ones you trust.
Resist swapping data with the use of floppy disks or other mobile storage devices between various computers. If exchanging programs between computers is unavoidable just make sure to scan the storage device(s) for viruses before transferring data from one computer to the next.
If using floppy disks to transfer data make sure to format them before using them for the first time.
Never use pirated software. This is both illegal and a very good way to invite an unwanted computer virus.
When downloading software from the internet do so as little as possible. There are many neat programs available on the internet, but unfortunately there are many viruses that go along with them also.
If you must download programs from the internet ALWAYS scan them for viruses BEFORE opening them up to install on your computer.
Probably the most important and neglected method of disaster recovery are periodic backups of all important files found on your computer. Should a virus happen to get through your lines of defense you may need to replace the virus corrupted files with fresh ones that have been kept for such an occasion.
Finally, it is not guaranteed that if you follow the above steps that you will not be the victim of a computer virus, but you can sure bet that if followed you will greatly reduce the chance of being an unsuspecting recipient of such an unwanted program.