Every computer user would most definitely want to be well versed on how to prevent computer viruses. Before getting into that, it would be helpful if you know the various sources of virus. Viruses are usually acquired from downloading from the net; from accessing shared drive like pen drives; and through network propagation from infected computers.
Defenses Against Computer Viruses
· Human Interaction
Human interaction is the first line of defense in how to prevent computer viruses. The end users must know what they are clicking especially while navigating various web sites, and looking at untrusted content from emails. For example, phishing is the most common mode of attack where the end user clicks the impersonated links without any prior knowledge. The best way to prevent this is to look through the browser by hovering the link or simply “View source” of HTML. Most of the phishing emails looks like originals; hence, the user should avoid clicking any links directly especially if it comes from common sources like friends, banks, insurance companies.
· Antivirus Programs And Security Shields
Also, several Antivirus providers, like the Security Shield virus removal, provide a “Site advisor” facility where the links are scanned by the antivirus software for authenticity. For instance, McCafee site advisor provides a color-coding on the links with green tick and red cross to indicate whether the links are safe or unsafe respectively.
There are various security shields available in the market including the site advisor, email scanners, pop-up and script blockers, content scanners for malicious files like exes, and scripts loaders. The key is not to disable them or you better block the end users from tweaking the settings. Standard images can be created with all security controls in place and updated dynamically through corporate security policies. For home users, reviewing scan reports and refreshing updates on security and antivirus should be a mandatory practice.
· Email Control
To provide additional security, most of email software parse the email content and classify them as safe as unsafe. Applying human intelligence is critical to prevent the virus download. Always check the source and the sender of emails. Check for signatures and other patterns from senders like spelling, words and terms used. If the user is not sure, better not to download.
In the workplace, the end users can be provided with a list of spam mails, links and other source of viruses through a desk alert or periodic updates in most commonly seen places like hallways and cafeterias. Also, the IT security team in offices can provide pamphlets and flash cards on Do’s and Dont’s on corporate computers.
In general, the end user can use non-administrator accounts instead of administrator account for casual browsing. For home PCs, the users must regularly run an antivirus scan at least twice a week and also every time he shares the computer, to ensure that the cache and personal data are wiped off. For pen drive access, always run a virus scan before copying anything in and out of the computer.
Computer Viruses Symptoms
In knowing how to find computer viruses, it is important that you are aware of the various computer viruses symptoms. Here are some of them:
- Lagging or hanging programs is observed and it is persistent, especially for high CPU and memory usages;
- Applications running slowly;
- Rogue or unknown processes running on the computer;
- System crashes during normal activity;
- High network activity;
- Spam mails originated from your account name and sent from your computer without your knowledge; and
- User identity compromised without the knowledge of user, like when there are activities that occur on user’s account without logging in.
Other than those mentioned above, some more computer virus solutions on how to prevent computer viruses include disabling network sharing or disconnecting the computer from networks and making it stand alone. You can also disable all key user accounts on the computer like single sign on and password store. It would likewise help if you run a complete a virus scan and wait for results to observe quarantined objects. Check all system files for infection. Finally, you should reformat the system if the infection is severe or not fixable.