10 tips to stop viruses and malware on your computer

Filter your browsing content

Many firewalls, including Barracuda NextGen Firewalls, provide filtering of web content from harmful sources. If you already have a good firewall, stand-alone web filters are available in hardware and software forms. We can assist you in implementing solutions with Cisco Umbrella, Barracuda Web Security, and others.

Use Protection

Get yourself a proper antivirus application. There are many suitable anti-virus applications available. Some are better than others. Some will fit your needs and budgets better than others. BitDefender, Avira, AVG, and Avast, all work well, but we rely on the end-to-end protection of VIPRE on a daily basis.

Be aware

Don’t click on links or attachments in your email. Especially important if the sender appears to be you or someone you know that wouldn’t be sending this material. Just click the delete button. Fake invoices and shipping notifications are standard attachments used to trick you into infecting your computer.

Disable preview mode. Email applications like Outlook, Thunderbird, eM Client and others often automatically load attachments for your convenience – this loading process can automatically launch a virus. Contact us if you need assistance disabling preview in your email program.

Take a look

What do you do if you receive an email that seems fishy, but you were expecting a message from the person or company? Copy part of the message that doesn’t contain links into the search box at https://www.google.com/ Scammers and spammers love to reuse text; this can benefit you in detecting their tricks. The search results should return with many examples other spam attempts, but don’t click the links in the search results.

Be cautious

If the email seems unusual, especially if it is a company you do business with, the email is probably fake. Scammers and spammers often use trusted addresses to gain access to your PC.

Businesses should never request sensitive information via email. Even if they do make such a request, be smarter than them and don’t use email to transfer sensitive data like passwords.

Don’t double-up

Watch out for files with a double extension. Examples: something.txt.vb or other.jpg.exe. By default Windows usually hides common file extensions, meaning that a program like Paint.exe will appear to you as simply Paint. Double extensions exploit this by hiding the second, dangerous extension and misleading you with the first (meaningless) extension. You can verify the full name with all extensions by right-clicking on the file, selecting Properties, and looking for the complete file name.

To make file extensions visible, find Folder Options in your Control Panel. (Note that it may be tucked away in Appearance and Personalization or something to that effect.) Under the View tab, scroll down to Hide Extensions for Known File Types and make sure it is unchecked.

Drive safely

Be careful when using USB drives. Just as a real virus can jump from person to person, the install process and handshake used to connect a USB drive to a PC can transfer a virus to or from a PC to spread. Most antivirus programs are capable of checking USB drives when they are connected; please let the antivirus scans run and complete. …And never plug in a USB drive or flash card you don’t trust or “just found somewhere.”

Stop with all the pop-ups

Pop-ups aren’t just annoying; they can often be misleading and dangerous. The primary concern here is when a pop-up starts an installation process or mimics a known and trusted application. Rather than trusting the pop-up, contact your system administrator and close the window. Do not click OK, Apply, Continue, or whatever button the pop-up asks you to click. Start a full scan for viruses while you or your system administrator are investigating. Better safe than sorry.

An ounce of prevention

Your protection is excellent, but what if you make a mistake? First, it is better to have a message re-sent than to get an infection. Web filters, anti-virus, and anti-malware tools catch most malware that fools the human eye. Contact us today to start building your layered solution with VIPRE, Cisco, and Barracuda protection.

Plan B (for Backup)

So you did all this, and something still got through – now what?!? Time to pull out the backups. Before you get infected, make sure you have a reliable backup solution, appropriately scheduled, and ready to recover. Your system administrator can assist you with configuring and testing your backup solution.