tens of thousands of computer viruses and every day new ones
are being created. Developing new viruses is seen as a challenge
by their 'inventors' who attempt to spread them as fast as possible
before they are detected and prevented. Viruses cause frustration,
wasted time and lost data and cost UK industry millions of pounds
are spread by being hidden in an e-mail attachment. Some viruses
don't even wait for you to send an e-mail to someone else but
spread to others by sending (without you being aware of it) e-mails
to some or all of your address book contacts, perhaps using another
name in your address book as the false 'sender'. If there is
any doubt about the veracity of an e-mail & its attachment
don't open the attachment - the virus in an attachment won't
infect your system, and therefore potentially others too, if
the attachment remains unopened.
they are not strictly-speaking viruses, Spyware (also known as
Adware) programs have a similar effect - they take over some
aspect of your computer. Usually transmitted via a website you've
visited these can be every bit as nasty causing annoying pop-ups
to remotely dialing premium rate numbers (the shock comes with
your next telephone bill!).
potential damage from a virus can be snuffed out at 'birth' by
using an effective and up-to-date virus checker on your computer
or remotely at your Service Provider, for example. A virus checker
on your PC can also remove previously infected files and data,
restoring them to a safe and 'clean' state.
anti-virus software packages for installing on PCs are available
to purchase, or on subscription, from companies like Symantec
and McAfee. 'Automatic' updates are provided to ensure viruses
created since the original software was produced are also being
the most ideal method is to use a service or Internet Service
Provider (eg Tiscali, who also remove spam too!) that traps viruses
before they even reach you. By transferring responsibility to
before the e-mail is received you won't need to remember to keep
your anti-virus software up-to-date (many people forget to do
this but you can make it automatic) and you'll also save e-mail
software - AVG anti-virus system - as used by the Editor of SilverSurfers,
is available free (as a download) for personal use by UK users.
Anti-Virus Free Edition includes free ongoing updates too. To
download AVG anti-virus (current file size c22.6Mb) free
click here and select the 'Download'
and advice about preventing hackers getting into your computer
please click here.