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How NOT to Catch a Virus

Poster: AEdric the Grene <AEdric@mindspring.com>

With all the talk on Happy99 which seems to have caused some problems for
people, I would like to make 2 general reccomendations:

a) Get and use anti-virus software!  Especially software that runs as a
background "shield" that automatically scans all files that are opened.
Good examples of this type of software are Norton Anti-Virus
(http://www.symantec.com) and McAffee's VirusScan (http://www.mcafee.com).
I use Norton and I haven't gotten a virus since installing it.  Plenty of
warnings, but I've always been able to delete or disinfect a virus before
it causes damage.

b) Make sure you keep your virus definitions file up to date!  Antivirus
software is useless if it doesn't contain information on current viruses.
As a general rule, if the definition file is over 3 months there should be
an update available from the anti-virus software maker. (Both anti-virus
programmes mentioned above have monthly updates, sometimes more frequent
than monthly.)

2) Never, ever run a new (to your computer) executable without first
scanning it for viruses!  No matter how much you trust the sender.  Viruses
can even happen to computer professionals.  (Why do I feel like this should
be a '50s era film with bad sound being shown in school to a Health class?

Following those two reccomendations should keep you from becoming infected,
and, worse, infecting others.  Questions?  Please feel free to reply

AEdric the Grene
House Howling Mouse
MKAA Computer Support Consultant

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