It doesn’t take much to expose yourself to computer viruses. By simply receiving emails or downloading files online, you increase the risk of picking up one or more. Strains vary from posing relatively low risks to proving quite harmful to your computer. Computer viruses - what are they? Viruses are programs designed to enter your computer without your knowledge or permission. Most attach themselves to other files in order to copy themselves. They can then spread to other computers, via email or file transfer. How can I stop my computer becoming infected?
As of November 2004, virus protection became an automatically built-in feature of all new Plusnet broadband accounts, providing you with extra security and peace of mind. There are also many free or low-cost anti-virus programs, designed to protect your computer from infection which can be downloaded. The Plusnet Usertools site is a useful website run by a group of Plusnet customers. They have created a tutorial on security software, including anti-virus software - Usertools: Essential security software (Please note that while we at Plusnet are pleased to recommend the Usertools site, we are not responsible for the content located there. If you have any questions about the Usertools site you should contact the Usertools team directly). Viruses and email attachments
Viruses are most commonly spread via email attachments. This is why you should setup your anti-virus software to automatically scan emails. Before opening an email attachment ask yourself three questions:
Is the email from a trusted source?
Does the attachment filename end with ".exe", ".ini", ".bat", ".pif". ".vbs"? These are executable files that can launch dangerous programs.
Does the attachment’s icon look like an executable (program) file?
If an attachment is suspicious – delete it! What does Plusnet's virus protection do? This service automatically scans email for viruses before you download them. The benefit is that your email is checked, even if your anti-virus software isn't running. The virus protection service is also automatically and regularly updated, greatly reducing the chance of a new virus getting past your defences. View the most commonly blocked viruses. Do's and Dont's
Use Anti-Virus software and always have it running.
View or run email attachments unless you're happy that they're safe.
Update your virus software's virus encyclopedia regularly. New viruses are being found repeatedly, therefore if your software isn't up-to-date it won't find them and destroy them all.
Run software downloaded from obscure websites, or through file sharing applications without first checking the file for viruses.
These sources are notorious for providing virus or Trojan infected files.