The best way to protect yourself against a biological virus is to stay away from it – avoid contact with anyone or anything that could possibly transmit a virus to you.
The same principle applies to a computer virus. You cannot pick up a virus on your laptop if you put your machine next to an infected one. But you can catch a virus if you communicate with an infected machine. This can happen over the internet, through an email message, or by means of a data stick or disk that has been infected by another computer.
One of the common ways in which viruses are transferred is through attachments of emails. If you do not know the source of an email, or if it seems suspect, delete it from your system without opening the attachment.
Don’t use a data stick or disk unless you have confidence that the previous user of the disk is not infected by viruses. You can never be sure, but always view unknown sources of data with suspicion.
Whereas the first way to protect your laptop against a virus would be to stay away from potentially infected sources, this is often not enough. You also need some preventative medicine – in the same way as you would go for an anti-virus injection to boost your body’s immunity.
Anti-virus software products are available to protect your laptop in case you come in contact with a malevolent virus. Such software may be included in the purchase of your laptop – ask the dealer if this is the case. If not, make sure that you acquire anti-virus software for your laptop. Check whether your school or school district has an agreement with a supplier of anti-virus software that may make it possible for you to use it at no cost. Otherwise, invest in an anti-virus programme.
Don’t forget that anti-virus programmes must be updated on a regular basis. It is similar to biological viruses – new strains develop all the time and that is why you must get anti-virus booster injections. New computer viruses are developed on an ongoing basis and virus fighters incorporate antidotes in the anti-virus software programmes. To benefit from these updates, you have to update your system regularly. Your licence usually allows you to load these updates from the internet.
Keep your laptop safe – protect it against viruses.
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