If your computer has not been hit by a virus attack yet, consider yourself lucky. The spread of e-mail viruses continue to be an upward trend. Some viruses can be identified by various names or disguised as undeliverable message notices.
E-mail security must remain a high priority for everyone. The Better Business Bureau suggests that you take the following security measures to help guard your computer systems from viruses:
- Install anti-virus protection software on all of your computers. Scan your computer systems for viruses on a regular basis. Never disable virus software and check frequently for virus updates.
- Equip your computers with firewalls. They can be purchased at most computer stores nationwide. Firewalls are gatekeepers made of hardware and/or software that protect a computer network by shutting out unauthorized people and letting others go by only to the areas they have privileges to use.
- Download and install security “patches. Most software vendors release updates and patches to their software to correct bugs that might allow a malicious person to attack your computer. Checks your software vendor's websites for new security patches and download and install them on a regular basis.
- Back up your computer on a weekly basis, at least weekly. Small amounts of data can be backed up on floppy disks and larger amounts on CDs. If you have access to a network, save copies of your data on another computer in the network.
- Regularly check for suspicious activity. Almost all firewalls encryption programs and password schemes include an auditing function that records activities on the network. Businesses should check logging data and audit trails to look for unusual or suspicious activity.
- Be aware of file-sharing risks. Your computer operating system may allow other computers on a network, including the Internet, to access the hard-drive of your computer to "share files." Unless you really need this ability, turn off the file sharing.
- Educate employees and family members. Develop and enforce a policy that tells them to not open e-mail from unknown sources, what to do when they received suspicious e-mails, to disconnect from the Internet when not on-line, and other web-related activities.
- Consider purchasing encryption software. Even if an intruder manages to break through a firewall, the date on a network can be made same if it is encrypted.