Healthy Hygiene

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Protecting Yourself from Viruses Online

Improve your computer's "hygiene" with these four helpful tips to keep your computer healthy and virus-free: 

1. Use professional-grade protection

Ensure that you and your employees have anti-virus and anti-malware programs on every work computer and tablet. For clarification purposes, a virus is a type of malware, and anti-malware software helps protect your computer from becoming infected. Anti-virus software, on the other hand, finds and eradicates viruses after an attack, though some anti-virus software also protect against malware. When it comes to anti-malware and anti-virus protection, don’t trust your business environment to free systems. Licensing professional-grade software provides more security against rapidly perpetuating threats.

2. Stay in the safety zone

Malware—including worms, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, and rootkits—can be delivered through email or on websites. Caution employees against opening suspicious emails, downloading unknown attachments, or visiting websites that can’t be trusted. Set your web browser security settings to help minimize risk. All email attachments should be scanned for viruses before clicking. Instead of clicking directly to URLs embedded in email, access websites manually through the browser.

3. Back it up!

If a virus does strike, removing it could require wiping your computer clean and reinstalling software and backup copies of your files. You can reduce the effects of a strike by being sure backup copies exist! Since your server can become infected, too, you may decide to back up your files to the cloud. Back up files regularly to protect yourself against unnecessary data loss.

4. Update often

Anti-malware software is only as good as its last update. It can’t detect a new virus if it hasn’t been told that it exists. Let the automatic updating feature on your software do its thing, or be sure to manually update daily. New malware emerges every day, so scan your computer regularly with that updated software. If you don’t opt for automatic scans, run a scan at least weekly. Some experts recommend running one every night and rebooting the system in the morning.

Read more on our Network Exchange Blog.

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