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How do I prevent my computer from getting a virus?

Your first and most important line of defense is an anti-virus program. An anti-virus program can check your entire computer for viruses and clean the programs or files that are infected. If it unable to clean an file recognized to be infected, it will notify you of its existence and ask for further direction. Update your anti-virus program’s virus definitions on a regular basis.

Although WCSU no longer distributes McAfee anti-virus for Windows and Macintosh platform for free to students, it is a great resource to have. This anti-virus program should be updated on a regular basis to ensure that recent viruses can be detected and cleaned.

New viruses are created daily and even the most up to date anti-virus software may not recognize every single virus. In order to better protect your computer and save yourself the pain of losing important documents or even worse (some viruses can damage the entire contents of your hard drive), it is important to follow some precautions:

  • Never open an e-mail attachment from an unknown source.  Although you can scan files before you open or download them, this method is not fool-proof.
  • Do not open e-mail attachments which you are not expecting (even from someone you know). Some viruses spread themselves by sending infected e-mails to people’s address books. The person sending you the virus might not realize that they are sending you an e-mail at all.
  • Be suspicious of e-mails with vague subjects such as ‘I love you’, ‘Free vacation’, ‘Important’, ‘Warning’, etc… Make sure that when you send e-mails your own subject headings have some kind of significance. Do not perpetuate bad habits.
  • If your anti-virus software detects a virus, clean it, and if the software cannot clean it, delete the file. It is never a good idea to keep a virus on your computer.

For more information on anti-virus resources, check out the links in this article:  https://support.wcsu.edu/?ht_kb=what-are-some-helpful-anti-virus-resources

Updated on July 13, 2022

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