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Even good people get computer viruses

Dec 13th, 2010 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support

In years past, if you said you had a virus on your computer it was almost implied that you had been perusing the “bad” areas of the Internet.  It was assumed, and many still assume, only porn sites could deliver viruses to computers.  That is certainly not the case anymore, and has not been true for some time.  In a recent article on a particularly geeky website that i like, Slashdot, they commented on an article stating that ads on any website could deliver viruses to a user just by visiting the site.  The unsuspecting user did not even need to click on the add to be infected, which is called a drive-by download.

So what are businesses and home computer users to do if just visiting a legitimate website has the potential of infecting your computer?  The first step is to make sure each computer has an anti-virus program installed and updated, such as AVG Internet Security 2011 – 20% off!, with the most recent threat definitions to hopefully block the infection from installing on the computer.  With that in mind, it is usually a good idea to run an anti-spyware program, such as Spybot Search and Destroy, along with an anti-virus program.  Again, the spyware detection program must be updated with the current version and most recent threat definitions to combat the latest threats on the Internet.

So the next issues becomes, what happens if you do everything you’re supposed to: run updated anti-virus, run updated -anti-spyware, go to only “safe” websites, etc… and you still get a virus on your computer.  It is always best to save your data (hopefully you already have a good backup of your computer data) and re-install your computer’s operating system, like WindowsXP, Windows7, etc.  For many reason, I know it is not always feasible or realistic to reinstall Windows if your computer is infected.  In that case you should try to restore your computer to an earlier time, before your computer was infected.  In Windows it is called system restore and does not restore your computer’s data to an earlier time, but restores the underlying settings, in the registry, to the way they were before the virus.

There is too much to write about removing viruses, which is why it is much more important to spend time on blocking them before the infect your computer.  Just like grandma used to say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Take the few minutes necessary to install and setup your antivirus and other security programs to automatically update and protect your computer in the hope you don’t need to spend many hours removing the virus or reinstalling your system.

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