Protecting Yourself Against "Internet Viruses" As the Internet grows in popularity, your chances of receiving a virus over the Internet increases as your volume of transmission increases. Don't let the fear of acquiring a virus inhibit your use of this fast-growing and valuable technology. Established websites scan constantly for viruses and are usually quite safe. Generally, viruses come from E-mail attachments or harmful websites. Here are tips for limiting your exposure: Never open E-mail attachments whose title ends in .com, .exe or .doc unless you are expecting them. Install spyware software to scan websites that can be infected with spyware or adware. Disable preview screens when using e-mail. When using a real-time virus scanner, download virus updates every week. Back up important files often. Scan storage media (e.g., USB drives) before using them. Avoid those e-mails that have been forwarded from one person to another. They frequently will pick up a virus along the way. If you have a friend that likes to forward e-mails, politely explain the dangers and ask that they not include you.