Tips to avoid computer viruses, spyware and other malware

Annual worldwide malware expenses are increasing.  This headline, by itself, may not be alarming until you consider how viruses and other malware can impact your business.  From compromised data all the way to completely shutting down your computer, these threats to your business are serious.

As one of your software providers, we are not security experts.  However, we encounter the repercussions of lapsed security and work to pick up the pieces when our software is affected by malware.  To help prevent as many businesses as possible from needing to deal with these situations, here are a few tips to help you get started:

1.       Review the status and effectiveness of your system security regularly.  Think of it as part of the normal maintenance of your computers.

2.       Install (good) antivirus/anti-malware software and keep it up to date!  The antivirus software that comes free with your computer or ISP is not sufficient.  Also, missing ANY software updates is a huge risk to your business.

3.       Perform daily, complete scans.

4.       Don’t click on links in email, especially when they appear alone in the message.  This seems like a simple precaution, but this is one of the most common ways to pick-up malware.  If you need to open a link that is in an email message, do so by opening your browser and manually navigating to the website.

5.       Don’t open attachments unless you completely trust the source AND you have scanned the attachment using business-class anti-malware software.

6.       Be extra cautious clicking ANY “Download Now” link online.  It is a common trick to place a “Download Now” link as part of an advertisement, when the real link to download what you want is small and hard to spot.

7.       For more security suggestions, contact a local technician to discuss hardware and/or software firewall options, Antivirus software, and to review your overall system.