- DO buy, install, frequently
update, and USE regularly an anti-virus program
- DO set your preferences (AOL users especially) to NOT automatically
download attached files.
- DO set your preferences (AOL users) to NOT automatically download
attached files in "FLASHSESSIONS".
- DO set your preferences (AOL users especially) to NOT automatically UNZIP
(decompress) ZIP files on sign off.
- DO be suspicious of attached files in email from both known and unknown
- DO be suspicious of attached files that are "FREE"
software...or something else that is desirable. This is
the modus operandi--the very definition of a Trojan Horse. (Beware of GEEKS bearing
- DO email a known sender and confirm their sending of a file
- DO download to removable media when possible.
- DO make FREQUENT, REGULAR back-ups of data files to removable media.
- DO subscribe to a "recognized" anti-virus newsletter--there are
many, but try to keep up with at least one.
- DON'T download executable
files--files that end with .EXE, .COM, .BAT, or compressed files such as .ZIP. (THIS
INCLUDES NEWSGROUPS!) Also be careful with .DOC, .XLS, .PDF, .TXT and .JPG files.
Also be aware that .SCR and .PIF files are typically infected.
You have to be mindful or media files, as well. Hackers have found
ways to sabotage these files too. Make sure you keep your
Adobe Reader up-to-date, and your other programs security patch
files. When it comes down to it, "the evil ones" have invented
clever ways and means to get at you through a good variety of file
types. So don't surf without a REAL-TIME scanner.
- DON'T forget that files can be renamed, for example, danger.DOC could be
renamed danger.TXT. Danger.txt IF really a text file is not executable and not dangerous,
but Danger.DOC could have a macro virus. A .DOC file renamed to a .TXT file will still
open as a DOC file and may infect your computer.
- DON'T "run" (double click) executable files, even from known
sources before scanning with an anti-virus program.
- DON'T let someone else engage in risky practices on your computer.
Educate yourself and other users.
- DON'T byte your fingernails
was time for a little comic relief.)
- DON'T forget to update and run your anti-virus...set the provided
scheduler if you are afraid you might forget.
- DON'T presume you are "inoculated and invincible" -- you're
not. For every virus detected there are hundreds that are undetected, for every safety
precaution there is a "hack" trying to slip by.
This doesn't cover it all, but it covers a
"UH-OH", SWEAT, CUSS
You've got a sinking feeling that you MIGHT
have a problem. DON'T PANIC! Stay calm. Use these DOS and
DON'TS as a guideline.
- DO recognize that the
problem may not be a virus, so stay calm.
- DO observe and note behavior, such as a flashing screen, beeps, audio,
peculiar email, multiple requests for passwords...anything out of the ordinary.
- DO try and recall the source, subject line and file name of any
suspicious file. If you can, look in your read email and download log to verify this
information, if you can't do it readily, don't persist, just do the best you can.
- DO call your Internet Service Provider and change your screen
name/password. (Don't report a virus until you fairly certain. IF/When you are certain,
let them know in case someone has used your account for unlawful purposes, etc. Changing
your screen name won't hurt.) You may even be able to sign on from a known
"clean/uninfected" computer and change the password yourself.
- DO run your virus scanner...especially if you forgot in the first place.
You may get lucky and at least identify the virus even if it got by you.
- DO disconnect your modem at the connector--wall, rear of the computer,
- DON'T PANIC...panic only
compounds the problem.
- DON'T "close the barn door" after the horses are out. DON'T
start deleting suspect files. There are renamed files, hidden files, protected files,
disguised files, rewritten files--you are not going to cure the problem by deleting the
known file(s)...if it was that easy, who would need anti-virus software.
The more prevalent viruses come with a "reloader" anyway, so without
locating the real source, the virus will just re-install itself.
- DON'T shut down the computer and re-boot,
if you can avoid it. Some viruses infiltrate the
boot sector and some spread further every time you reboot.
- DON'T put ANY removable media into the drives AND if there was a diskette/re-writable
in the drive and you are the least bit suspicious...consider it "dirty trash."
- DON'T try to save/copy data files AFTER you are infected, you'll most
likely be saving the virus right along with the data files.
- DON'T continue to
use the computer, except to possibly seek help from your AV support
line. Sophisticated FAKE AVs will block you from contacting
your genuine Anti-Virus company.
- DON'T open any programs/applications. Every time you open a program you
are potentially exposing it to the virus.
- DON'T email anyone.
DON'T Instant Message anyone. Use
the phone or a non-infected computer.
- DON'T think you can "isolate" the problem by
"defragging"--that's not what defragmenting does.
- DON'T think that you can use the DEBUG command. That's not what DEBUGGING
- DON'T REFORMAT your hard drive unless it's a last resort. Some
viruses can be removed manually, some can be removed with software. There is no reason to
reformat until you have no options left, you've tried as many sources as you can possibly
stand, a qualified technician has told you to do so, you've just backed up all you
important data files to a removable media and don't care what you might lose, OR you're a
masochist and just LOVE to spend hours re-formating and re-installing software.
If the room is spinning and your eyes are
popping, I apologize for being so long winded.
IF you need more information than I've
provided above you need to visit Anti-virus sites on the Internet!
GOOD ADVICE FOR TRAVELERS:
IF you tote your Laptop/NetBook with you to locations to use free
wireless, and you log in from your hotel room for example. Should
you be entering any passwords to access email, etc., Please change your
passwords immediately on returning home. If the guy in the room
next door has compromised your computer, he'll have the password and can
do a great deal of harm.
Try these for starters:
And my favorite:
automated email generated by a server when there is a problem with an email delivery.
Usually it will indicate the sender, original message, intended recipient and reason for
non-delivery. Though a mailer-daemon may have been generated and sent to you stating that
the email you sent couldn't be delivered, OFTEN, it has been delivered.
embedded/hidden virus "dropped" according to schedule or
"event/action" to activate the virus such as Michaelangelo
program designed to steal your password(s) and log on information and send it to another
part of an application, but information you have entered/keyed in used by a
program/application--for example, a .txt or .gif file
zip disk, writable CD