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Keeping Computer Virus Free

To start out, there is no 100% protection solution for information security. Computer security isn’t about doing just 1 thing and calling it good, it is all about doing several things in conjunction with each other.  The more levels of security, the more difficult it will be to infect your computer.

Operating System Security Updates

It does not matter what operating system (OS) you use, it has flaws/bugs/issues/etc.. As new bugs/exploits are found and patches for those updates are released, it’s very important that you make sure your computer is protected by installing the latest security updates from OS provider.  

Application Security Updates

Software you install on your computer is also flawed therefore the more programs you install on your computer the more vulnerable it becomes.  Small software companies do not allocate much of their budget to security.  This is a much easier exploit than an operating system. Make it a habit of checking if you are running the latest versions of all pieces of software on your system at least once a month and remove any software you no longer use.

Install a quality Anti-Virus/Internet Security Software

Do your research and read some reviews prior to purchasing internet software.  There are many different packages available therefore it is advantageous to know what which one has to offer so you can choose the one which best suits your needs.  There are many free anti-virus packages available but they offer a very basic level of protection.  As previously stated, the more levels of security you have, the more secure your system.

Keep your Anti-Virus Software updated with the latest virus signatures / definitions

New Viruses / malicious software is created and spread around the internet daily.  Anti-Virus (AV) companies update their software so they can detect and block the malicious software from infecting your computer.  Be sure your software is getting updated and ideally is set to auto-update as often times it gets updates several times per day.

Install a good Anti-Spyware / Adware / Malware application

This adds another level of security to your system.  Update your software and scan your system on regular basis.

Use common sense while using your email.

- If you get an email from someone you don’t know, delete it
- If you get an email with a file attachment you weren’t expecting even from a close friend or family member, check with the sender if the email is legitimate.
- Be very wary of clicking on links in your emails
- Do not click on banners

Surf the web securely

- Never install any software from a website unless you know what it is and you actually went to that website to install it.  
- Never install free games found on the internet.  If you want a game for you kids, try to stick to flash-based games that work in your browser.  
- Avoid adult sites, hacking sites, torrent sites and application sites etc…  Most are full of malicious software just waiting to be installed on your computer.

Create a unique, strong password for each of your online accounts

Password management is key to keeping your computer and your online data secure.

- A strong password is a unique password. Use passphrases instead of words and include special characters. Passphrases are typically longer yet still easy to remember and special characters make it more difficult to hack the password.
- Never use the same password on multiple websites. One website hack allows access to multiple sites you use.  Add a lvel of security to your online accounts by using unique passwords for each site.

Routine System Maintenance

No matter how many precautions you take, having a solid and reliable backup is a must have.  There are several methods of backing up your system (USB hard drive, cloud server, etc...).  Research those to see which one suits you best.  Regular system back ups will prevent data loss if your system does become infected and will allow you to restore your system to a pre-virus state.  

Routinely clean out your system by deleting old cookies, internet history, browser cache and temporary system folders on your system.  This is important because as you surf around the web and install software, you pickup small bits of websites in cache, cookies which track you surfing etc. By clearing out these small bits from time-to-time you’re not only wiping away those tracking cookies but your also protecting yourself in the event your system becomes compromised.

Virus and malware infections are serious situations which are not to be neglected.  They are often attributed to data loss and identity theft.  If you experiencing any of the following symptoms, we strongly advise to have your unit checked.

- system performance slowing down
- slow internet connection
- computer not connecting to internet
- system freezing up
- computer not booting up
- random pop-ups
- messages telling you your computer is infected
- anything out of the ordinary happening with your system

Hex Computer Solutions in Edinburgh offers virus removal and system maintenance services.  If you have any concerns or suspect a virus or malware infections on your system, feel free to pop in or give us a call.  One of our engineers will be happy to answer any questions you have.  In addition, we offer Internet Security/Anti Virus software along with installation assistance.