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    Be alert but not alarmed

    So you have heard the news today that at 2pm there is going to be a major virus released that is going to crash the internet!

    The Australian Government have set up a site to check your computer, you can visit http://dns-ok.gov.au/ to see if you are likely to be affected, if it says that you may be at risk, please call us 02 4385 4012

     

    But really, shouldn’t you already be protected?

    Every computer that connects to the internet should have virus & spyware protection.  You can pay big dollars for a specialised program, that we really think is a waste of money, or you can download the software from Microsoft (click here) that is included in your software purchases.  We recommend Microsoft Security Essentials, you have paid for it anyway when you have purchased Windows, and Microsoft know Microsoft products, we use Security Essentials for the same reason that people take their Toyota back to the Toyota Dealership for servicing.

     

    So here’s my list of how to prepare for the big virus release:

    1.  Make sure that you have virus and spyware protection software installed on your computer, and that it is turned on.

    2.  Make sure that the virus and spyware protection software is up to date.  You can do this by opening the program and checking for updates.  Updating your virus program is essential, new viruses are invented daily, and there are different ways to find and clean up each of these viruses.  If you have out of date definitions, your virus program may not be able to detect the latest threats.

    3.  Avoid the danger websites.  This pretty much means, if you don’t know that the website is from a trusted source, close your web browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, etc).  Do not click on links to download anything if you are not completely sure that the site is legitimate.  And always scan any downloads with your virus program before you open them, even if they come from a reputable source.  Hackers love to go to reputable sites and add little nasties to programs that you think you can trust.  It also means that you should try to avoid sites like internet gambling and pornography.

    4.  Do not open an email unless you know who sent it to you.  Do not even open it to find out how to unsubscribe.  Most often, spam is just sent to random email addresses.  As soon as you open the email & let it open the images so you can read the email, it sends a message back to the sender to say that the email has been opened, thereby proving it was sent to a legitimate email address.  If you click the link to unsubscribe, this also proves that it is a real address and can actually make you get more spam from the sender, rather than less.  Sending a reply to unsubscribe from an email sends through your personal information that you set up in your email program, giving the spammers your contact details such as your full name.

    5. Never open an email attachment unless you are sure that you wanted the sender to send it to you.  Attachments can be programs that work their way into your system and cause major damage, including loss of important files & settings.

     

    If you are really worried about the virus threat, turn off your computer.  You can’t get a virus if your computer is off.