Viruses are every bit as prevalent today as they have ever been and more so. Every year they are causing billions of dollars in damages through downtime and lost productivity worldwide. And the number one way that virus es find their way into businesses today is very often directly through email.
Still today as I do my computer support in Central Texas, I’m amazed at how many companies fail to take the proper precautions to protect themselves.
By taking these 5 simple precautions, you will find yourself better protected than the vast majority of your peers that might be leaving themselves wide open to attack.
Make sure that you have a quality Antivirus program that is installed and up to date and functioning correctly – Far too often do I come across computers where the customer has uninstalled the Antivirus program because they thought it would “speed up” the computer. After it is infected, it is no running very fast! Also I frequently find computers where the Antivirus software is no longer updating itself daily. The causes for failed updates are many, but the solution is simple. Make sure to monitor the Antivirus activity daily (easily done with a service like the ShelterMyPC support/subscription plan offered by Wilson Computer Services, LLC, a provider of IT SUPPORT in Bremond, TX and servicing Central Texas businesses. )
Don’t open attachments – The most common way to transmit spam messages is through an infected file attached to the email. If you receive an email from someone you don’t know, simply delete the attachment along with the email without ever opening it. If it was really an important attachment from a real sender, chances are they’ll contact you to make sure you receive it properly the next time they send it.
Scan attachments before opening – When you do receive an email from someone you know and an expected file is attached, there is still the distinct possibility that the file has been unintentionally infected prior to being sent to you. Take the precaution of running your virus scan on the file before opening it (simply right-click the file and click “scan for viruses”).
Install a quality Spam Filter application – Lots of viruses are passed around the Internet automatically through automated Spam messaging. By having a quality Spam Filter installed either on your local computer or on your email server, you can prevent a number of potentially infected messages from ever reaching your inbox.
Shut off the Preview Pane – The path to get there will differ depending on what email client you’re using, (my customers of COMPUTER SUPPORT IN Central Texas use Outlook), but what you want to do is turn off the preview pane that lets you read an email without actually opening it. Viruses can be embedded in the HTML coding of the email message itself, and when the message is read, even in the preview pane, the virus can be activated. By shutting off the Preview Pane, you reduce the chance of accidentally unleashing a virus from an email you had no intention of opening in the first place.
By taking these simple precautions, you will be going a long way towards protecting your company from some potentially very costly downtime. Wilson Computer Services, LLC is a provider of professional computer support in Bremond, TX and services Central Texas customers. If you need IT support for your small business, please contact us at email@example.com