Posted by: evtechie | August 21, 2008

After the Virus Cleanup

So, You had an outbreak on your computer, then hired an Angel to get things cleaned up. Here are a few steps to take after a computer virus infection.

  1. You may need to reinstall programs that were previously infected.  The affects of a virus can not always be predicted.  Be attentive to how your computer behaves after cleanup.
  2. It is important to let your friends and contacts know of the viruses you were infected with and the possible consequences it may have.
    1. Recommend that they visit Trend Micros’s Online Scan. http://housecall.trendmicro.com/  and have their system scanned for viruses.  This is a free service online.
    2. Have them check that their virus definitions are up to date. All computer users should have McAfee, Grisoft’s AVG, or Trend’s PcCillin Antivirus software on their systems.  The newer versions of these programs retrieve the latest virus definitions when updates are available AND you are online.
  3. ALWAYS run a top quality Antivirus program.  Most computer users delay checking their antivirus software based on misconceptions or confusion over how their software works.  Antivirus software is dependant on definitions it gets from the internet.  Antivirus software is like a dictionary; the definitions are like the pages of information that allows the software to recognize viruses, Trojans, and worms.  IF definitions are not kept up to date, the program will not recognize any new malicious viruses since the last update. New viruses are emerging every day, and definitions are updated sometimes as frequently as three times a week.
  4. We have seen many viruses activate because users were double-clicking on incoming email file attachments.  We advise that Internet users right click on an attachment and chose to SCAN FILE (based on the Anti virus solution they are using) to then scan and clean the attachment (instead of double-clicking over the incoming email file attachments).
  5. Finally, if your email program is on PREVIEW mode, meaning it opens emails as soon as you select one, it is important to disable this.  Reading email becomes a bit less “convenient”, but safe computing practices are important to preserve the integrity of your work and data.

Some other things that are important to know related to the protection of your system.

  1. A firewall CANNOT protect your computer from viruses.
  2. Viruses can still be received on AOL, CompuServe, or any online email account.
  3. Trojans & Worms are also malicious and can be loaded on your computer through web sites.
  4. Viruses can be passed on from one system to another via floppy disks or “Junk” [Jump, Pen, USB] drives
  5. Always check with a trusted computer expert about email messages that indicate you must modify or delete items from your computer to protect yourself from a virus.
  6. ALWAYS go directly to a website mentioned in an urgent email by inputting the address manually rather than clicking it. There are many PHISHING emails that look like they are coming from your bank, or online provides, requiring you to log in immediately. Never follow links unless they are expected and verified.
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