Ways to Keep Your Computer Virus Free

Here are the 12 tips to maintain a virus free computer:
  1. Email is one of the common ways by which your computer can catch a virus. So, it is always recommended to stay away from SPAM. Open only those emails that have its origin from a trusted source such as those which comes from your contact list.
  2. If you are using your own private email host (other than Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc.) then it is highly recommended that you use a good spam filter. And finally, NEVER click on any links in the emails that come from untrusted sources.
  3. USB thumb/pen drives is another common way by which viruses spread rapidly. So, it is always a good habit to perform a virus scan before copying any data onto your computer. NEVER double-click the pen drive to open it. Instead, right-click on it and select the option “open”. This is the safe way to open a pen drive.
  4. Be careful about using MS Outlook. Outlook is more susceptible to worms than other e-mail programs unless you have an efficient antivirus programs running. Use Pegasus or Thunderbird (by Mozilla), or a web-based program such as Hotmail or Yahoo (In Firefox).
  5. As we all know, the Internet is the main source of all malicious programs including viruses, worms, trojans etc. In fact, the Internet contributes to virus infection by up to 80 per cent. So, here are the tips for safe surfing habits so that you can ward off virus infection up to the maximum possible extent.
    • Do not click on pop-up windows that announce a sudden disaster in your city or announce that you’ve won an hourly prize. They are the ways to mislead Internet users and you should never trust them.
    • You can also use a pop-up blocker to automatically block those pop-ups.
  6. Most of us use search engines like Google to find what we are looking for. It is quite obvious for a malicious website to get listed in the search results. So, in order to avoid visiting those untrusted malicious websites, you can download and install the AVG LinkScanner which is a freeware. This tool can become very handy and will help you to stay away from those malicious websites.
  7. Install a good antivirus software and keep it updated. Also perform full system scan periodically. It is highly recommended that you turn on the automatic update feature. This is the most essential task to protect your PC from viruses. If PC security is your first option then it is recommended that you go for a shareware antivirus software rather than using the freeware stuff.
    Most of the antivirus programs offer the auto-protect feature that provides real-time security for your PC. Make sure that this feature is turned on.
  8. In addition to an antivirus, it is worthwhile to spend a few bucks on a good anti-spyware program. This can provide extra security for your computer.
  9. Never open any email attachments that come from untrusted sources. If it is a picture, text or sound file (these attachments end in the extensions .txt, .jpeg, .gif, .bmp, .tif, .mp3, .htm, .html, and .avi), you are probably safe, but still perform a virus scan before opening them.
  10. Do not use disks that other people gave you, even from work. The disk could be infected with a virus. Of course, you can run a virus scan on it first to check it out.
  11. Set up your Windows update to automatically download patches and upgrades. This will allow your computer to automatically download any updates to both the operating system and Internet Explorer. These updates fix security holes in both pieces of software.
  12. While you download files from untrusted websites/sources such as torrents, warez etc. make sure that you run a virus scan before executing them.
  13. And finally, it is recommended not to visit those websites that feature illegal/unwanted stuff such as cracks, serials, warez etc. as they contribute much in spreading of virus and other malicious programs.
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