January 3, 2011

Tech Matters – Be Careful Where You Click

Information from Computer Revolutions
Moline, IL

Viruses are a destructive part of our daily internet activities. The truth is that thousands of new viruses and variations of currently known viruses are released at an astonishing rate each year. Like the flu, the strain can change constantly. At their best, a virus can merely be an annoying nuisance. At their worst, viruses can expose your personal data, corrupt it, or erase it completely. The following helpful tips will assist in protecting your computer and the data on it.

Install, run, and manage an anti-virus program. This is one of the rare instances in life where the phrase “You get what you pay for,” does not apply. With that being said, there are many free anti-virus programs that work efficiently in protecting your computer. AVG Free Edition and Microsoft Security Essentials are two examples of these programs that are completely free of charge. Also, it is important to note that while it is possible to have more than one anti-virus program on your computer at a time, this is not recommended as the programs can conflict with each other. This can result in your computer working harder than it has to and running slower than it needs to.

Keep your anti-virus current. Once you have the anti-virus in place, be sure to keep it up to date. Most anti-viruses automatically maintain themselves. However, in the menu of your anti-virus program you can also view possible updates and update your protection manually. The updates provide protection against the very latest viruses that have been identified by your anti-virus provider. Without the updates, your computer remains vulnerable against new threats.

Keep Windows up-to-date. Microsoft Windows has numerous vulnerabilities that make it easy for viruses to get in to your computer and your data. Windows releases updates that help to minimize a viruses’ effectiveness. By making sure that Windows is up to date you will help to ensure that you have the best chance of staying virus-free.

Be careful of unknown forwards, emails, and spam. The easiest way for a virus to travel to your computer and your data is through spam, pop-ups, and forwards. Be careful of what you click on, make sure you know the sender of your emails, and do not provide personal data to an unknown source.

Maintain healthy maintenance on your computer. It is important to take care of your computer just as you would your car. Computer Revolutions recommends bringing in your computer one to two times per year to have your system tuned up and updated. We provide free estimates and diagnostics, involving you in the process every step of the way. We will help you maintain a healthy computer.

Editors Note: The TECH MATTERS column will occasionally address reader’s technology questions. Forward TECH MATTERS questions to publisher@50pluslife.com or to 50+ Lifestyles, P.O. Box 1194, Bettendorf, IA 52722.

COMPUTER REVOLUTIONS is locally owned and operated by Dave Montag and Travis Larson. They can be contacted at 309.797.9114 or info@computerrevolutions.com.