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Keeping Your Computer Safe From Malware

If you are often finding your computer is infected with malware, you need to ask yourself "Why".

The fact is, most malware that gets on computers is 'invited' by the user. The 'invitation' may come in an email with either an attachment or a link. The attachment will be the malware that will install when the user clicks on it to open. It could be disguised as something the user thinks is safe, but in reality is an executable or script. If the malware comes as a link, when the user clicks the link his/her browser goes to an infected website and the malware downloads to the user's computer.

A lot of malware comes with infected spam. This is why it is extremely advisable to delete all spam un-opened regardless of how interesting or tempting the subject line may be.

 However, sometimes the infected email may appear to be from a friend. If the email contains an attachment with no explanation of what it may be, you should reply to your friend and ask what it is and if it is safe to open. The same is true if the email contains no subject, but contains an unfamiliar link.

Windows update should let you know when security updates are available. I use Secunia Software Inspector to scan my third party programs that are susceptible to security holes. It's free for home users! If you use Firefox with the No-Script extension, that will stop drive-by scareware.

Using a file sharing program is downright dangerous. That song you wanted may have also come with an 'extra' that piggy-backed onto the download. You don't know exactly where that song came from and you certainly don't know if the owner has a clean system! (Besides, this is illegal and could cause you to get in big trouble!)