Top 8 Tips for a PC Clean and Safe From Viruses

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Title: Top 8 Tips for a PC Clean and Safe From Viruses
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Top 8 Tips for a PC Clean and Safe From Viruses
Eric Koshinsky
http://www.antivirus-report.com

Viruses aren't a mystery - there are some simple steps that everyone should take to avoid becoming a victim of computer viruses and also avoid spreading viruses to others. Unfortunately a lot of people don't bother taking these precautions and make the evil work of spreading viruses much, much easier.

1. Never open an E-mail with an attachment you were not expecting.
Many viruses are spread by E-mail automatically from an infected computer without the owner's permission. This means that even if an email is addressed from someone you know and trust, don't open it if you were not expecting it. Even if you were expecting something, avoid opening the attachment until you have scanned it with up-to-date virus software. Remember malicious code, like Trojan horses, can slip into your system by appearing to be from a friendly source.

2. Turn off the 'automatic preview' in your email program.
A lot of people don't realise that automatically previewing an email message has the exact same effect as opening and reading an email. Many of the newest internet worms, trojans, and viruses simply need to have an email message read in order for them to be activated. Turning off the preview feature allows you to scan any email BEFORE you actually read it.

3. Beware of the floppy disk!
Floppies are still one of the most common ways viruses are transmitted. If you are using a floppy disk while working on your computer, remove it when you shut the machine off. If you don't the computer will automatically try to boot from the floppy when you restart and this can launch any viruses on the disk. Similarly, don't share floppies - even a well-meaning friend may unknowingly pass along a virus, Trojan horse, or worm. Label your floppies clearly so you know they're yours and don't loan them out - there are other methods of file sharing. In any case, scan floppies before using them. You could have easily picked up a virus from an insecure network and introduce it into your system. Running a virus scan before launching any of the programs on the disk will prevent infection.

4. Keep your web browser set to its highest security level.
Of course it's a pain to get the warning messages on every other web page you visit, but it is the best way to protect yourself - especially if you use Microsoft Internet Explorer and Outlook.

5. Don't download programs from the Web.
Unreliable sources such as Internet newsgroups or Web sites that you haven't heard of may be willing providers of viruses for your computer. Avoid downloading files you can't be sure are safe. This includes freeware, screensavers, games, and any other executable program. Executable files are those that end with a .com, .exe, .ovl, .drv, .sys, .bin extension - like something called "coolgame.exe." for example. Check to see if the site you are downloading from has anti-virus software running on their side. If in the end you do have to download from the Internet, be sure to scan each program before running it. Save all downloads to one folder, then run virus checks on everything in the folder before using it. Regardless of where you download from, ALWAYS scan downloaded software.

6. Clean any virus, worm or trojan off your computer
Using your antivirus software, perform a full system scan of your PC, hopefully it will detect and remove the virus. If a virus was detected, restart your computer and run the full scan again. Sometime the virus will keep reappearing, due to the evolving nature of viruses. If your machine got infected BEFORE you installed antivirus software, you may need a virus removal tool, which is simple software that will scan your computer for infections, and then remove them from your machine.

7. Install a Firewall
If you use broadband or a high-speed method to access the internet, you need to get a firewall. A firewall is a program that defends your computer from hackers who attempt to gain direct access to your computer over the Internet.

8. Install and use a high-quality anti-virus program.
This is the key to protecting your computer. Buy one of the major anti-virus programs. The primary benefit of the commercial packages is the frequency and ease of updating the virus definition files that these programs use to detect viruses. With new viruses popping up all the time, unless your protection software is kept updated, you start to become ever more vulnerable to infection.

To learn more about effective, easy to afford and use PC protection tools, visit http://www.antivirus-report.com

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About the Author

Eric Koshinsky created the layman's guide to antivirus and PC protection after helping too many people deal with simple PC problems. Find out exactly how to protect your computer from harmful internet attacks at http://www.antivirus-report.com. The comprehensive antivirus report is available at no cost. Find out how to block trojan horses, spyware, computer viruses, and other malicious software quickly and easily in one place.

Comments

River 27.03.2007. 21:59

I have a computer virus and don't know what to do and what not to do. I am pretty computer illiterate. HELP. When I got home from work there was a small pop up screen on my monitor that said ANIOApi with an error message (the D-link symble very small in the top corner). My babysitter had downloases some stuff off myspace and other sites. I kept trying to close the window and it would close for a second and then open up again and again. I have AVG free and it doesn't detect anything but my comp. is beeping every few seconds even with nothing running and is very slow. When the windows task Manager is up and no programs running there are 1 or two programs whose mem. keeps going up quite fast. Not sure what these programs are for. I am wary of free downloadable antivirus programs not sure what is safe people told me they can give you viruses to. "You don't get anything for FREE." What should I do?

River

Admin 27.03.2007. 21:59

99% of all internet problems can be attributed to the wrong set of Web browser and Email clients in coordination of the
AV/ Spyware / Firewall software.


Get the following, all are free for a safe surfing experience, with proven track records and do not take up
system resources like Norton or McAffee.
install in SAFE mode with networking ( hit F-8 at boot time ), run them all in SAFE mode
with networking as you'll need it for the updates all the programs below will need.
Turn off RESTORE and the RECYLE BIN temporarily as virii can regenerate / reinfect even if you delete
them with both services on. After all the scanning and cleaning after a 2nd reboot and one last
scan do you turn both of them back on.

ANTI VIRAL

AVG (free) http://free.grisoft.com/


FIREWALL

ZoneAlarm http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/freeDownload.jsp

WEB BROWSER - http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox

EMAIL use thunderbird. It has a good built in spam filter and learns when you teach it. http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird

SPYWARE

http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/

http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

Once you set it all up create 3 email accounts..

a hotmail or yahoo account for web "verification", this account you will not care if it get spammed

a sub account ( from the master account )to your ISP that you use for logons, this is the one you use for personal
emails only to trusted people and banking, ebay and paypal. Never use the account for anything else than that,
you find spam is low to non existant if you follow this rule, and even if it does become spam laden, then you
can delete the account and create a new sub account and do all the email updates to ebay, paypal, banks and your
freinds.

finally your master account from your ISP, this one you NEVER use, it's only kept for creating sub accounts since
changing the master account is a real pain.


and if you have a wireless router follow these tips,


1. Use WPA encryption (WPA-PSK) it's less crackable then WEP.

2. Make a passphrase that is upper & lower case and has some numbers thrown in there as well, again harder to crack.
some like mAkE1t5eCurE0rel53 and as long as possible.

3. Use MAC access control so only you or authorized PC's can connect (even if you do have encryption turned on)

4. Turn off DHCP use static addresses.

5. Turn off SSID (and change it) unless your card really needs it (some do)

6. Change username/password of access unit front end

7. Ensure you have the usual firewall enabled on your PC.

8. Paranoia rules, turn WLAN off if your not using it :)


one last tip
control panel---administrator tools--services--messenger

right clik on it
stop the service
then disable it
save changes

Admin

NOYB NOW! 07.08.2008. 02:46

Confused about internet security and safety?? Help please! Okay, so I just got DSL on my computer...and I want my computer to be as protected as possible from spyware and harmful viruses and stuff. However, I'm not as educated as I'd like to be in that department. MY computer came with a year of Norton, but it has expired. What programs do I need to have on my computer to help protect me? And could you tell me what the programs are for. I've been using Mozilla browser, instead of Internet Explorer, hoping that this would help protect me, but lately I've been getting pop-ups from porn sites and other stuff. Help me clean and protect my computer, please! I'm so confused!

NOYB NOW!

Admin 07.08.2008. 02:46

There are two main things that you need to protect your PC, real-time Anti-Virus software and a two way firewall (inbound and outbound) to stop hackers you can get them both completely free, these two work well together on XP:

Comodo Pro (firewall)

http://www.download.com/Comodo-Firewall-Pro/3000-10435_4-10460704.html?tag=lst-1&cdlPid=10849947

Avast Anti-Virus 4.8 Home Edition

http://www.download.com/Avast-Home-Edition/3000-2239_4-10019223.html?tag=pop.software&cdlPid=10852750

Tip: Install Avast then Comodo because Comodo can sometimes interfere with Avast's installation, I would recommend changing Avast's default skin for the Vista style skin available from their website - http://www.avast.com/eng/skins.html

Comodo comes top in leaktests
http://www.matousec.com/projects/firewall-challenge/results.php

You should only browse the internet using a limited account not an administrative account, if a virus infects your computer and you are using an admin account it can make critical system changes, but a limited account does not have the power to make critical changes so the amount of damage a virus can do is limited.
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2006/05/the_importance_of_the_limited.html

Would also recommend that you use a safer browser like Mozilla Firefox 3, and download additional anti-spyware software my favourite is SuperAntispyware: http://www.download.com/SUPERAntiSpyware-Free-Edition/3000-8022_4-10523889.html?cdlPid=10850129

Firefox 3:
http://www.mozilla.com

You should Install the McAfee SiteAdvisor add-on - when you search for something using Yahoo, Google or MSN, site advisor displays either a green tick (safe site), yellow exclamation mark (use with care) or a red cross (dangerous site) next to every result. http://www.siteadvisor.com/

Admin

FuSioN- 13.11.2009. 00:40

I think I may have a virus. Please Shine some light on it for me? Please Read Carefully.

OK, i ran a file, but i am suspicious of it. In my system volume information I have this file called restore (and then it has a whole bunch of numbers and letters after it). I click that. Then i see a whole bunch of folders named RP(then numbers after) Example: RP234.

After browsing through some of those folders i find some files named a1042 (and more numbers)(some are dll files and others are exe files.. These files have exactly the same picture of the file i am suspicious of. The date created was the date i downloaded it on, the file size is the same. Even though i deleted the suspicious file these files still remain here.

I have gotten tips from lots of people saying that this may be a virus but I am unsure of it.
I scanned my PC for newly made files after i ran it and that's how i found these ones.

So my questions are:

1. What do files in system volume information do?

2. Would my files in there be infected?

3. What should I do?


PS: Also, in my restore ( has a whole bunch of numbers and letters after it). I click that. Then i see a whole bunch of folders named RP(then numbers after) Example: RP234.

-These are all in blue writing, but then there are 2 folders that are in black writing... and those ones are holding the files that is exactly the same (except with the name a10[and other numbers]) and exactly same size date and stuff.

-SO please help if you got any ideas.
-Ive scanned with rogers online protection and Microsoft safetyscanner. (from the onecare site stated at microsoft.com) and nothing has came up.

FuSioN-

Admin 13.11.2009. 00:40

What do files in system volume information do?
It's your system restore. refer to step 2 (~8

Easy Malware Removal for XP
1.Download and run this free cleaner, choose "Select all" and "Empty selected".
http://download.cnet.com/ATF-Cleaner/3000-18512_4-89432.html

2.Turn off your system restore! Right click on "My Computer and choose "Properties","System Restore tab",check the box "Turn off System Restore to all drives" and hit apply,Ok.

3.Download this free malware killer called Pocket Killbox and read the instructions and use it to kill malicious processes and hunt down infected files and delete them for good.
Download:
http://www.killbox.net/downloads/KillBox.exe
Instructions:
http://www.killbox.net/help.html
Check Task manager processes here:
http://www.processlibrary.com/

4.Go into "Safe with networking mode" by restarting your computer and hitting F8 repeatedly at reboot, when a black/blue screen pops up choose safe with networking.

5.Download Malwarebytes.
http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware/3000-8022_4-10804572.html?tag=mncol

6.Double click on the mbam setup app you downloaded and install, update, and run a full scan and delete/quarantine all entities it finds and restart computer if it asks?

(Note) If it won't install right click on the mbam setup app and rename it xxxx then Dbl click on it and install,update and run a full scan and delete/quarantine all entities it finds and restart if it asks?

(Note) If it won't update use this link to download and install the latest rules.
http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam/database/mbam-rules.exe

(Note) If you already have Malwarebytes installed and it won't run go in it's program file and rt click on the red mbam app and rename it mbam.bat then rt click and choose send to-> Desktop (create shortcut) now close out of everything and go to your desk top and use that app to launch M-Bam for now on.

7.Watch this video on msconfig it will show you how to speed things up?)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbSwtNiBx5A&feature=channel_page
Check startup programs here:
http://www.techspot.com/startup/

(Optional)
Download Superantispyware,install,update,and run a quick scan and
delete/quarantine all entities it finds. (Do not use Sas in safe mode!)
http://download.cnet.com/SuperAntiSpyware-Free-Edition/3000-8022_4-10523889.html?tag=mncol

(Note) Don't turn on "System Restore" till your sure your clean and everything is running ok.

Admin

IcE_SH0cK 18.04.2009. 15:53

How do I keep my computer clean,fast,etc for around 4-6 years? I am 14 years old and I'm about to finish 8th grade. Well, I definitely know that college is 4-5 years away, but there's nothing bad about planning early or trying to prepare early. So, in December 2008, with my own money, I bought the HP Pavilion dv5 which cost $1000. I want to make the 1000 bucks count. So, I was wondering is there anyway I can keep my laptop clean(software and hardware), fast, and up to date
for around 4-6 year? Or should I just ditch it when I'm about to leave to college? If there is a way to keep it fast, working properly, and keeping it clean, please tell me some tips of what I have to do.
Also, should I save up some money for around 4-5 years just in case if my laptop break, so I can get a new one, when I'm in college?
PS- I will be making some other question about high school/college and preparation for college.

IcE_SH0cK

Admin 18.04.2009. 15:53

Save up some money. Technology changes rapidly and I am sure your computer will be outdated by then. The battery will more than likely be worn out and unable to hold a charge by then also. Here are some tips for the meantime. Use an anti-virus and an anti-spyware program. Ensure you put your restore disk in a safe place. They can bring a virus filled half dead pc back to life. Use firefox instead of internet explorer because it is a little more secure. Use canned air and blow out your computer at least once a month. Stay away from P2P programs like limewire. Stay off the adult websites. Defrag your hard drive and clean out temp files when needed. That is all I can think of off the top of my head. Good luck to you.

Admin

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