Unfortunately, the Internet upon which many of us are so reliant is a vast sea full of critters wishing to do our computer systems harm. There are viruses, Trojan Horses, and yes even worms that you have to look out for. Each is looking for a computer to infect that is connected to the internet and thus vulnerable.
Worms can be especially nasty because of the way they behave once your PC is infected. The worms that are out there today are not limited to just the emails you send out to spread themselves. It can go into your address book and look for addresses through which it can automatically infect the computers of your friends and acquaintances. This makes worms and critters nasty little creatures from which you need to steer clear.
Obviously, then, it is important for you to protect yourself. There are a number of things you can do. Four actions will help to keep your computer critter-free. Each has its own way of keeping these viruses, worms, and Trojan Horses off of your system.
1- Reinstall new Operating System
The first thing you can do is to install an operating system that is more secure than the one you are using currently. Take a look at your system and see how new it is. Is it new enough that it is secure against the newer worms and viruses? Remember that the programmers of these critters are constantly improving and finding new ways to infect your computer, so it is up to you to be vigilant in making sure that your system is updated to where it can protect against their latest and greatest. While you are in there looking at your system, turn off your windows scripting. There are a lot of applications that use the language, but unfortunately for you, worms love it as well. Disabling scripting will go a long way in protecting your system.
2- Opening Unknown Files
The second thing you can do to keep unsavory critters from hitting your hard drive is to basically pay attention. Be very careful about opening any attachment that you may receive via email. A majority of the worms out there on the Internet hide behind false file types like JPG, GIF, and ZIP files. You may receive them in an email, with a subject that makes sense, from someone you trust. However, it can still be a worm; the programmers are pretty sharp when it comes to the design of these little viruses. Luckily, if you are savvy or talk to your local computer expert, windows can be modified to better control file types like the ones worms might hide behind. You can also configure many email programs to help you handle these problems. Check your email program to make sure all of the security settings are on and working to keep your computer safe.
3- Microsoft Office programs
Third, you should also make sure you protect your Microsoft Office programs. Many of the macros in Microsoft programs like word and excel are popular ways hackers use to enter and destroy your PC. Like your email programs, Microsoft Office programs are equipped with security; make sure you have it turned on.
Fourth, in addition to switching on the security in those programs, make sure you have a firewall set up so the worms cannot get there in the first place. The firewall will give you the first line of defense against any attack for which your computer may otherwise be in store. If the operating system you currently use does not have a built-in firewall, you should buy a third-party firewall program to use. Firewalls are good a way to keep hackers, viruses, worms, and other damaging Internet inhabitants from entering your computer.
Your computer was likely a big investment either for you or for your business. Therefore, you want to protect it as a financial and as a business investment. Your ideas, your files, your documents, and the computer itself are under constant attack from worms and viruses out on the Internet. Believe it or not, they are everywhere, and you need to protect yourself. There are ways to keep your computer safe, or at least safer. You should make sure you have a safe operating system, be aware of what you are downloading, make sure email and software protections are enabled, and make sure you have a firewall. It may seem complicated, but in reality, most of these things are actions you will only have to perform one time and then just keep them up and running.