Ask CyberGuru: How can I prevent viruses on my computer?

In the latest instalment of Ask CyberGuru, we are asked, “How can I prevent viruses on my computer?”. As the saying goes, prevention is better than the cure, so here we provide three tips on how you can prevent viruses on your computer.

Don’t open emails from unknown sources or attachments without reason

If you receive emails from people who you don’t know, or are not expecting to receive an email from, it is likely to be spam. If you can unsubscribe from the email address safely, then do so, otherwise if you continue to receive such emails, mark them as spam, then delete and report them. If you receive an email with an attachment and are not expecting it, don’t open it. Call the person who emailed it to check that they did send the attachment to you and the purpose for sending it. If you receive attachments where you don’t know the source, you should immediately delete it from your computer without opening it.

Install internet security software to keep your computer secure

By installing an internet security software, you are protected against viruses, spyware and malware (malicious software). It also protects you from unauthorised entry through the use a firewall and other mechanisms to prevent access to your computer. Whilst some free software is available to protect your computer, they are often not as reliable or updated as often as commercial software and can cause conflicts with other programs on your computer. Some internet security software also includes features such as automated backup and system optimisation and other performance enhancements to allow your computer to continue to run smoothly.

Keep your computer up to date

Install the latest updates for Windows, Office along with all of your programs to ensure any vulnerabilities are patched. Most programs are updated on a regular basis so it is important to keep your computer maintained with the latest updates. Generally, viruses and malware can be more likely to occur on unpatched computers that are not updated with the latest updates than on those that are regularly patched with the latest updates. If you wish to, you can configure most programs to automatically check, download and install latest updates onto your computer for you.

We hope that these three tips will help you reduce the likelihood of having any issues on your computer. If you have any questions, or require any assistance, please feel free to contact us.