Protect Yourself from Virus Attack in 5 Simple Steps
Viruses are as prevalent today as they have ever been. In 2009 alone, they caused a total of over five billion dollars in damages through lost productivity and downtime to businesses worldwide. And the number one way that viruses find their way into businesses today remains directly through email.
Still today we’re amazed at how many companies fail to take the proper precautions to protect themselves. By taking these 5 simple precautions, you will find yourself better protected than the vast majority of your peers that might be leaving themselves wide open to attack.
- Make sure that your Antivirus application is installed and up to date – Far too often we come across workstations where the user decided to uninstall the Antivirus application because they thought it would “speed up” the computer. Let’s see how fast that computer runs when it can’t even boot because its been attacked! We also found often are computers that are simply failing to receive daily updates to the Antivirus signature files. The causes for failed updates are many, but the solution is simple, just make sure to monitor the Antivirus activity daily. This is easily done with the Acarte’ Remote Management service that includes the award winning VIPRE antivirus protection.
- Install a quality Spam Filter application – Lots of viruses are passed around the Internet automatically through automated Spam messaging. By having a quality Spam Filter installed either on your local computer or on your email server, you can prevent a number of potentially infected messages from ever reaching your inbox.
- Don’t open attachments – The most common way to transmit spam messages is through an infected file attached to the email. If you receive an email from a sender you’re unfamiliar with, simply delete the attachment along with the email without ever opening it. If it was really an important attachment from a real sender, chances are they’ll contact you to make sure you receive it properly the next time they send it.
- Scan attachments before opening – When you do receive an email from someone you know and an expected file is attached, there is still the distinct possibility that the file has been unintentionally infected prior to being sent to you. Take the precaution of running your virus scan on the file before opening it (simply right-click the file and click “scan for viruses”).
- Shut off the Preview Pane – The path to get there will differ depending on what email client you’re using, but what you want to do is turn off the preview pane that lets you read an email without actually opening it. Viruses can be embedded in the HTML coding of the email message itself, and when the message is read, even in the preview pane, the virus can be activated. By shutting off the Preview Pane, you reduce the chance of accidentally unleashing a virus from an email you had no intention of opening in the first place.
By taking these simple precautions, you will be going a long way towards protecting your company from some potentially very costly downtime. Please contact us if you have any questions.