These days using a computer is something nearly everyone does regularly. It may only be for occasional simple word processing tasks, to send and receive some emails and to browse the Internet, or it may be for more complicated tasks.
This near universal use of computers has also attracted nasty people, often with criminal intent. Every few days it seems there is another news item about some new computer virus, trojan or worm intent on misusing your computer's records.
The threat posed by computer viruses should not be taken lightly. They come in many different forms depending on what their creators have designed them to do. This could be feeding back to the hacker information held on your computer; slowing it down and making it unstable, or even deleting files from it.
Computer virus programmers will usually hide their virus programs to seem like the type of typical file that you will use everyday e.g. an mp3 music file, or they'll send an executable program file as an email attachment that gets automatically activated as soon as you open the email.
You can protect yourself from these nasty pieces of virus code with just a little commonsense. You should not open an email if you don't know and trust the person who sent it. You should ensure the security settings on your internet browser are set to 'high'. Wise users will avoid the 'darker' areas of the Internet, such as peer-to-peer file-sharing programs.
Make sure that you have up-to-date versions of the two must-have pieces of software on your computer and that they are activated at all times. What are the essential pieces of software that everyone should have installed on their computer? An Anti-virus program and a Firewall.
No longer is a good Anti-virus program all the protection you need. These days, many computers are permanently connected to high speed internet services, and need to control access to their computer with a Firewall program as well.
Because new computer viruses are being invented virtually every day you should invest in an Anti-virus program that checks for updates automatically every time you access the Internet. Most of the top ones will do this as a matter of course.
Stepping in and installing protection before you are hit with a virus attack will save you a lot of trouble. You should not leave your computer vulnerable to interference. If you don't already have an up to date Anti-virus program and Firewall installed on your PC, schedule a few minutes to put that right today - the potential outcome of not doing so could prove very costly.