1. Tips on how to prevent your computer from getting a virus.

    • 1. Get a good firewall. Sadly the really good ones come with a high cost, but the free one ZoneAlarm would be good if you cannot afford a specific one. Windows XP comes with one, and if you have a specific type of router, routers act as some of the best firewall's possible. Also Windows Vista has a built in security center, which has a built in Firewall, Automatic Updates, Malware Protection and useful tips on how to keep your computer safe. The Security Center can be found in your computers control panel.

    • 2. Do not open any suspicious files - basically and file that ends in: .exe, .bat (a batch), .jpeg (pictures can contain binary code) and .bi (binary). In fact never accept/open anything in particular. Even if the file is from a trusted friend. His computer file could have carried a virus to yours. Scan all files with a good scanner (Mcafee/Norton are pretty good). With the development of viruses even now clicking links can result in getting a virus, this is commonly used over Instant Messaging systems. If you revive a link from someone who is Appearing Offline, or who hasn't explained what that link is, or if you haven't requested the link from them do not click it. Even if the link contains your email or name in it, it can still be a virus.

    • 3. Frequently scan your computer. Check windowsupdate.com if you are on a Windows computer frequently.
      Always check Java, your Antivirus, and Windows update to be sure your on the latest definition. This is important to keep these updated as they fix any known exploits that hackers may use to infect your computer.

    • 4. Backup ALL of your important files.

    • 5. Set up different User Accounts on your computer. If you have an Administrator one and a normal Restricted User one that cannot install programs then if you use the Restricted User login if a virus wants to install itself it has to ask for permission to get to the Administrator account. This works especially well with Windows Vista.

    • 6. Scan ALL email attachments. Some viruses can use email programs to act as if they were the person emailing - even if they weren't.

    • 7. Even after you scan an attachment, scan your computer too.

  2. If a virus does get on your computer.

    • 1. Disconnect the Internet from your computer. This is to protect other people you know from getting the virus sent to them, but also stops you from getting more downloaded by the one you have.

    • 2. Try using a pay version of one of the scanners (Mcafee/Norton). They should automatically do it.

    • 3. Be very careful when deleting a file that is in your OS folder. (in Windows it should be WINDOWS, WINNT, WIN98 of other various folder names.) Some viruses DO hide in there, but you don't want to go delete an important system file.

    • 4. Make sure that you delete the virus in SAFE mode (Windows). Also when accessing safe mode make sure you have turned off your System Restore Settings, some viruses hide themselves in this so that once your computer is "clean" again they can restore. You can do this via System Restore Settings.

    • 5. Always scan your computer TWICE after getting a virus as some files still hide there.

    • 6. Well this is for Windows users (I'm not sure how to do it on other Operating Systems) but if a program is running on your computer every time you start (i.e. a virus, adware, malware, *beep* dialer, unwanted services, etc... ) and you don't know how to delete it but don't feel like manually closing it each time it opens, use the run button on start menu and type in msconfig. Then click on the startup tab and uncheck the things you don't want to run. It frees up a lot of system memory closing down certain things and can be really helpful.

    • 7. Sometimes having a System Restore Point set just after the computer is first created can be a way of getting rid of a virus, by setting the computer back it could remove it, but no guarantee so make sure you scan again after restoring.

    • 8. As a final resort, if you have all your information backed up, you can format your computer. This would remove everything, including the Operating System, from the computer. This would mean that the virus is gone but so is everything else.

  3. Symptoms that you have a virus.

    • 1. Never think that your computer is safe. If your computer has been acting slow, or any other symptom you might have a virus. Even if you don't you might have a virus.

    • 2. If you start getting lots of ads, you may have spyware or adware.

    • 3. If you are purposely downloading something and get an ActiveX console, read the license agreement. You may be surprised about what you are agreeing to.

    • 4. Your virus scanners say "All is normal" but you are losing files rapidly. This could mean you have an anti-antivirus.

    • 5. If you get complaints from people that you have been sending random and pointless Instant Messages or E-mails which you have no knowledge of.

    • 6. Sometimes you may get redirected to other websites - this is due to changes in your proxy settings and/or changes to your registery.

    • 7. Other antivirus programs that were downloaded without knowing (know as a rouge) may pop on the screen and start a fake virus scan.

  4. What to do after getting a virus.

    • 1. Be more careful.

    • 2. If you lost any files, use the backups that you were told about in step 1-D.

    • 3. Use an antivirus report system (Mcafee and Norton both have them I think) to read about this virus (You should be able to get some idea of what it is. At least figure out if it is a worm, trojan or virus. If this virus has not been reported before, report it so that other people know what you did).

    • 4. After securing the computer make another system image using system restore and delete any old ones that still maybe on the system.

  5. Common Viruses Around

    • 1. Instant Messaging Viruses include:

      • 1. "Have you seen these pictures of us, link,"
      • 2. "link, Take a look at my cool pictures"
      • 3. Sending of a file with your email address as the end of the name.
      • 4. Sending of random .exe, .jpeg (which can contain viruses) and of .zip files. Remember if you haven't asked for it, don't accept it.

    • 2. Email Viruses/Scams

      • 1. A normal looking email with a .zip attachment.
      • 2. Phising Scams, you get an email from a normal looking site, for example Amazon, and it has a link to their website asking you to update your payment information. If you get an email like this, log into the website but by going there via Google, not via the link in the email. Normally the website you are taken to is a false site used only to steal personal details. This is not so much a virus but its Internet Security.
      • 3. An email offering anything free. Nothing is free and there is always a catch, normally once you click on the link in the email it downloads a virus or spyware onto your computer so that they can access information or files.
      • 4. Emails regarding credit card offers or Expired Warrenties, these emails are trying to steal your idenity or make you pay money.

  6. As stated earlier there are four main types of computer infections, Trojan, Worms, Viruses, and Adware. Here is a brief explanation of what they are:

    • 1. Trojan: A program that looks harmless and innocent but really contains a virus or a worm.
    • 2. Virus: A program that can copy itself and ends up taking over the computer. Normally has no purpose other than to destroy the computer.
    • 3. Worm: Is similar to a virus but can transfer itself freely across computer to computer. Also normally has a set purpose, for example leaving keyloggers behind.
    • 4. Adware: A form of of Malware normally consisting of 'pop-up' and other advertisements.
    • 5. Java-DriveBy: A Java application which is used in websites. Most websites are safe as long as your Java is updated. To better understand in the worst cases Java Drive-by is used to inject malicous code into your computer that isnt patched by the newest java and will download other forms of malware to your PC without you knowing. To avoid this do not hit run on the java warning box on any websites you dont trust.
    • 6. R.A.T: A R.A.T (Remote Access Trojan) is a malicious piece of malware that is downloaded from generators that claim to give free codes and also can be found in files from torrent sites. This piece of malware is just like a keylogger, but can also can run programs, download other malicious software and cause your PC to be unstable.

The internet is a brilliant invention, without it we would not have access to even a fraction of what we do. But just remember, to keep yourself out of harm you just have to think before clicking links, opening/accepting files or downloading.

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This Special Report was written by Rafe and Sharky123. Thanks to Jackman004, Thaxtonian, Tigers7612, DarkAdvisor, NuclearMan, and DarkAdvisor. for corrections.
This Special Report was entered into the database on Fri, Jul 16, 2004, at 01:08:42 PM by Irish_Buddha, and it was last updated on Thu, Jun 20, 2013, at 04:03:59 PM by Javezz.

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