The nature of the computer virus has changed over the years. It used to be that the humble floppy disk was the vector for transmission. Now that has changed . The number one vector is email.

Some of the new viruses can be quite sinister. Some run inside the computer collecting keystrokes and details such credit card numbers. Others turn machines into "zombies: sending out spam. Some viruses are political, designed to attack major corporations such as Microsoft. In fact Microsoft has often been a target. A lot of viruses have been written exploiting some security holes in the code. Once a security hole has been discovered Microsoft issue a patch pretty quickly.

The vast majority of viruses are written for Windows based platforms. Very few have been successful on other platforms such as Mac OS X or Linux. That is not to say these operating systems are immune from attack.

What to do about viruses?

Get some virus scanning software.

Anti virus software is a sound investment. No computer should be without it.. Your anti virus software needs to be able to scan emails and easily updated.

Golden Anti Virus Rules:

  • Update your anti virus definitions on a regular basis. Once a week is a minimum. New viruses get written every day. The manufacturers of anti virus software tend be on top of the nw viruses out there and can often issue updates within in a day or 2 of virus release.
  • Scan, scan, scan. Scan all emails when the arrive before you open them. Get your anti virus software to do a complete system scan. Leaving the virus scanner to do its thing overnight can be good way of doing it. We recommend at least once a week..

Update your software

Virus writers often target security vulnerabilities in software like Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer or Windows. Microsoft tend to issue patches very quickly, so go to their website and keep your software up to date.

Be suspicious, Be vigilant.

  • Be on guard. Treat all emails with attachments with suspicion.
  • Don't open an attachment without scanning first.
  • Don't install software that comes attached to an email(even if you know ther person) unless you are sure of what it is.
  • Companies do not send security patches or updates via email.