General rules for preventing computer infections

-Always use an advanced security solution for your PC which must include at least a good AntiVirus, a good firewall and a Spam Filter;

-Always update your Operating System, your Antivirus and your browser–very often the updates patch some vulnerabilities.

-Never open an email received from an unknown person, or strange emails with strange subjects. Never run executables received by email attachements, even if it’s sent by a friend. His computer can be infected by a virus which read his Contacts entries saved in the computer or his emails from the Inbox and can send infected emails to all his contacts.

And never ever reply to an email received from a financial institution which ask you to upadate your personal data like your name, your passwords, your credit card number and so on.  Even if these emails seems to be legitimate. The best is to delete such emails.

- Use different passwords for different accounts. I know it’s easier to use a single “strong” password for all your accounts but  if someone know your password used by you in a forum for example, he can also access your emails and your online banking accounts. If your PC get infected don’t forget to change all the accounts passwords after cleaning up the computer. Very often peoples reformat the harddisk and install a fresh copy of Windows to get rid of an infection but “forget” to change the email passes. If a hacker can access your email he can request from a site a “forgotten password” in your name, in conclusion even if your PC it’s clean of viruses, you are further hijacked.

-Always when you download a file or an installer from an untrusted source, analyse it before to run. You can submit the file to a Multi-Engine Online Scanner for analysis, the most important scanners has the links posted on the Home page of this site. For example the scanner from  http://www.virustotal.com  scan the files with 42 AntiVirus engines.

Also for preventing computer infections, you can use manual methods like these posted here :  http://cleanbytes.net/tips/avoid-computer-infections-tips/

-Never post too much informations about yourself on the social networks(Facebook, Twitter…), only the strictly necessary. It’s recommended to not post for example what it is your job for example or the company where you are employed. Often people with important jobs or from certain companies are targeted by hackers in a “social engineering” attack. They can, and will trick you if you are too “interesting”.

- Back-up your important data on another partition of your harddisk or on a DVD or CD.

My recommendation is to use a program to clone the whole partition where you have Windows installed and save the image on another partition. If you get infected you can restore a “fresh” Windows installation from the partition image(clone) in 5 minutes. Use a program like Acronis True Image or this freeware.

-My advice is to not visit the porn sites with videos embedded. Many of these sites are full of web based malware –html or iframe malware. Don’t download anything from there. After downloading a video for example, they ask to download and install a “codec”  for playing the video, which ALWAYS is a virus.

-When you are online don’t agree to scan your PC with AntiMalware programs you never heard of, or you don’t requested, even if their title “sounds” good, like “Your ultimate protection 2011″. Very often the viruses try to trick the users masquerading like a legitimate AntiVirus software.

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