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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.