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PREVENTING VIRUSES, WORMS, SPYWARE & SPAM


The internet is an amazing place that allows each and every one of us easy access to a wide variety of resources. Unfortunately, there is an increasing amount of viruses, worms, spyware and spam that can easily infect your computer. Your computer in fact may already be infected and you may not even know it.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTING DATA LOSS

Data loss itself can come in a variety of forms. A virus can infect your network deleting documents throughout the company. An employee might maliciously delete sensitive documents. An important document might be accidentally overwritten by using the same filename. An electrical outage might cause your server to crash and damage the hard drive storing all company data. The company database might become corrupted. There are a very wide variety of potential technical disasters just waiting to happen.

SAVE MONEY WITH A DOMAIN ENVIRONMENT

We routinely encounter businesses that have setup their networks in a “peer to peer” or “workgroup” configuration as opposed to establishing a domain. A peer to peer network is a configuration that was made popular in 1992 with the release of Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Peer to peer networks were easy to setup and required only a basic knowledge of computer networking. In Windows XP, this technology is often referred to as “File & Printer Sharing.” Many businesses forego the cost of establishing a domain due to their belief that a peer to peer network is quicker and therefore cheaper to setup. However as we will demonstrate in this article, establishing a domain provides your business with a complete business solution that will serve your needs now and into the future.

PREVENTING VIRUSES, WORMS, SPYWARE & SPAM

The internet is an amazing place that allows each and every one of us easy access to a wide variety of resources. Unfortunately, there is an increasing amount of viruses, worms, spyware and spam that can easily infect your computer. Your computer in fact may already be infected and you may not even know it. If your computer is unusually slow or crashes periodically, it may be infected. In fact, if you do not address the problem with this computer it may in fact infect other computers on your network. The result of a virus or worm attack can include an inability to access the internet, missing icons on your desktop, missing files and many other potential problems. There are ways, however, that you can fight back. Of course before making any changes to your computer, it is always a good idea to make a backup.

FIGHT BACK

1. Run Microsoft Windows Update often.

With new viruses and worms constantly being created, it is important to keep the Microsoft Windows operating system up to date. Go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com and follow the instructions on screen. By installing the critical updates found on the Windows Update website, you are greatly reducing the chances of your computer from becoming infected.

2.
Update the virus pattern of your Anti-Virus software frequently.

Almost all Anti-Virus software programs update automatically, but you will want to check to make sure that this process is taking place. If a new virus is introduced and your pattern file is out of date, you will not be adequately protected against this new threat.

3.
Remove Spyware and Adware.

When you visit websites or install new software, you may be inadvertently installing Spyware and Adware onto your computer. Spyware and Adware allows third parties to: (a) monitor the use of your computer over the internet and (b) market specific products to you on the internet based upon the use of your computer. Go to http:///www.download.com in order to download and install: (1) Ad-aware, (2) Spybot - Search & Destroy and (3) Spyware Blaster. Properly updated, these three programs will remove all known Spyware and Adware.

4.
Prevent Spam.

A large number of worms and viruses are distributed through spam email. The first step in preventing spam is to not post your email address on a website. If you need to provide a means for potential clients to contact you, you can do so but you will want a web designer to implement this procedure for you. For more information regarding this process, you can visit: http://www.wbwip.com/wbw/emailencoder.html

If robots on the internet have already picked up your email address, you will of course want to use some form of spam prevention. Many web based mail programs already allow you the ability to prevent spam. However, many mail clients on business networks do not have this functionality. There are a variety of products in the marketplace to address this problem, but one of the most popular is http://www.spamarrest.com. By using Spamarrest.com, you manage who you allow or do not allow to receive email from. When someone sends you an email for the first time, they must verify that they sent you an email. If they do not, the email is placed in your unverified folder on Spamarrest.com’s web servers. All blocked mail is then placed in Spamarrest.com’s spam folder. Meanwhile all approved mail is sent as it normally would directly to your computer’s Inbox.

CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL

Although the software described here is easily used, different hardware and software configurations can lead to unexpected results that may damage your computer. If you are experiencing difficulties with viruses, worms, spyware or spam, we would be very happy to assist you. Please feel free to give us a call at (541) 345-0408.

 

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