Stop Downloading Viruses!

>> Tuesday, March 9

A few weeks ago, I noticed my computer was running a lot slower than usual. Lucky for me, my husband is in the computer business and he easily diagnosed that I had somehow infected my computer with a virus.
I download. A lot. I download files, pictures, pdf's, etc.
(As a side note: I do not have a strong computer. My desktop is about 7 years old, has Windows XP Home installed, 512 mb of memory and a 40 gigabyte hard drive. Hardly a powerhouse. Yet, I run Outlook, Zoombrowser, Picasa, Quicken, Word and Excel aside from Firefox open in several tabs, sometimes all at the same time!)
For security, I have the free version of Malware Bytes installed. For the free version, click here.
For about 12 hours, I was computer-less (well, I used my kid's laptops) while my husband ran diagnostics and clean up software to rid my PC of its viruses. The scan came up with 12 malicious viruses, Trojans, etc.
This is the advice he gave me to prevent future virus infections:
1. When you download a program, application, file, make sure you save it to your desktop first. Well, you can save it anywhere but saving it on your desktop makes it easier to find.
2. Go to your saved file and right click on the file.
3. Scroll to "Scan with Malware Bytes"
4. Let the malware scan your document BEFORE you open it! It takes a few seconds or more depending on the size of the file. Your patience will be rewarded! If there is a virus or suspicious activity, you will see this on the report:

Files Infected:
C:\Documents and Settings\Nina\Local Settings\Temp\1.tmp (Backdoor.Bot) -> No action taken.
C:\Documents and Settings\Nina\Local Settings\Temp\2.tmp (Backdoor.Bot) -> No action taken.
C:\Documents and Settings\Nina\Local Settings\Temp\7.tmp (Backdoor.Bot) -> No action taken.
C:\System Volume

5. You will know whether the file is infected or not.

Of course, this is not a guarantee that you will never get a virus because viruses are very sneaky but it prevents contracting a virus when downloading files.
As my husband says, virus writers spend hours and hours writing code that will defeat any anti-virus or malware programs available in the market.

I will be posting more articles under the "Geeky" heading about how to take better care of your computer!


allmadewithlove March 15, 2010 at 10:03 AM  

I like your blog! Thanks for some useful links.
Best wishes,

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