Protecting Yourself from Computer Viruses

From the subtle Trojan horses to those pesky little worms, there are many different types of viruses that attack your computer. While each virus has its own feature and the way it damages your computer, almost all of them work in the same way in that they spread from computer to computer.

Viruses are known to fall into 3 main categories: Boot sector viruses, file infectors and macro viruses. Boot sector viruses most commonly spread via floppy disks while file infectors attack via program files. Viruses attach themselves to files and find a way to attack. Macro Viruses on the other hand which are the most common cause the least damage. They infect applications such as Microsoft Word and insert unwanted words in between text.

So, why are these viruses created and what's the best way to protect yourself from them?

Well, in order for the viruses to attack your computer, there is always somebody who writes the virus and someone who has a reason to. Many of the virus writers are men, most of them university students, professors, computer store managers, and doctors who write for different reasons including pranks, research projects, vandalism, identity theft etc. These are some of the most common reasons.

So, the best way to protect yourself from these viruses and virus writers is to be aware. Upload and use anti-virus software programs to keep your computer safe and secure. When you receive emails, be aware of what you open even if it is from people you know. A majority of viruses are transmitted via emails and you should take great precaution when you receive attachments and forwarded emails. If you weren't expecting an email or receive an email from someone whom you don't recognize, delete it right way.

Another way to protect your computer from viruses is to check for updates for all your anti-virus software programs regularly. It is very important that you update your antivirus software so that it can recognize new viruses. If you don't update, your program will not recognize new viruses. So, updating your software regularly is very important if you want your computer to be free from viruses.

Finally, be sure to check if you have installed your antivirus software correctly on your computer. Many people fail to check and sometimes find that their programs don't work at all on their computer.

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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.