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How To Protect Yourself Against Viruses


If you think you have a virus...follow these steps:

  1. Stay calm. Some trouble that people immediately attribute to viruses may not caused by viruses at all.
  2. Run your anti-virus software. If you haven't kept it current, update it first. If you don't have anything, go get something now. (See Penn Computing's Symantec Endpoint Protection for information on how to obtain a free copy.
  3. Make a note of the names of the virus(es)that your software finds.  Also note any special instructions generated by the software.

If you still have trouble after running your anti-virus program

Contact Wharton Computing Student Support with the information from Step 3.

Avoiding Viruses

As computers become more networked and standardized, it gets easier and easier to catch computer viruses. You can get viruses from infected disks, from downloads over the internet, or from opening e-mail attachments that look like they came from someone you know. You can even get viruses from pre-packaged software. Wharton Computing recommends the following precautions:

Back up your data frequently

Some viruses are so damaging that they will render your files useless. In that case, your only hope of recovery is with back-ups made prior to infection.

Get anti-virus software and update it frequently

Wharton and Penn students can receive a copy of Symantec Endpoint Protection free of charge. It is available for download on Penn's computing website at Symantec Endpoint Protection. Other packages that you can update regularly will work too, but this one is free to you as a Wharton student, and we can help with configuration and installation.

Use Anti-Malware /Adware Programs

Malware and adware are sometimes missed by Symantec but can still be a threat to your computer. We recommend Malware bytes (http://www.malwarebytes.org/ - the free version is fine) to take care of this problem.  

Perform Windows Updates regularly

Microsoft frequently releases patches to fix known issues for their operating systems. These fixes include known security issues that may leave your computer vulnerable to viruses and other attacks. To update your operating system, follow the instructions on Microsoft's Windows Update website at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.

Think twice before opening an attachment you weren't expecting, even if it's from someone you know

Many self-propogating viruses will mail themselves to you before the original sender has discovered that his/her machine is infected. Be suspicious of any attachment, but be extra-vigilant about inappropriate subject lines and attachment titles (for example, if someone you barely know sends you an e-mail called "ILOVEYOU") 

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