An Ounce of Prevention…

November 12, 2009

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

In my experience, this old saying is true for many things. And one of these things is computers.

Basically, it’s better to spend a little bit of money to prevent problems than it is to spend a lot more money to fix a problem once it happens.

1.       Have good, unexpired, up-to-date security software and regularly check it to make sure it’s working correctly. We recommend Vipre and AVG (use one or the other, not both). Make sure you renew your security software BEFORE it expires. If your security software does not include website protection, go to and install the free version of siteadvisor.

2.       Set your system to automatically update Windows. When you see that updates are waiting to be installed, go ahead and let them install. Yes it’s true that an update can occasionally cause problems, but it’s more important to secure your system.

3.       Keep Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Adobe Shockwave, and Java up to date with the latest updates on your computer. If you aren’t sure, you can go to to update the 3 adobe products and  you can go to to update java.

4.       Never click on a link in an email unless you are absolutely sure that it’s from a trusted source. Be aware that an email may look like it’s from your bank or some other company you deal with, but it may be a fake. Instead, manually go to that company’s website

5.       When accessing websites, especially a website you have never been on before, be very careful. If a website tells you your computer is infected, don’t believe it. Don’t click on anything in that website. If a website wants to install something, make absolutely sure that you are on a trusted website. If not, don’t let it install. If a website is asking you a question and there seems to be no way out of it. Shutdown or restart your computer.

6.       Avoid using file sharing programs like limewire, bearshare, torrent, etc.
If you insist on using these programs, only download music, pictures, or video. Never download software. And if something you download says it needs a special player or a certain codec to work, do not download and install that player or codec.

If you follow the above rules, you will drastically reduce your chances of your computer becoming infected. But as we have said in the past, there is no 100% guaranteed way to prevent infection on a computer.

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