Viruses, Spam, and More
The Internet is a very helpful and fun tool for the majority of us, but it can also be a big and scary place. With the proliferation of scams, destructive viruses, spyware and spam you have to be informed and cautious as you surf the web and read your e-mail. The intention of this page is to provide safe surfing tips, news and information to make your exploration of the Internet more enjoyable.If you have ideas or suggestions on how to make this page better, please feel free to let me know by sending an e-mail to the webmaster.Computer viruses are an ever increasing threat - It is very important that you keep your computer up-to-date to provide protection against viruses and security vulnerabilities by doing regular Microsoft updates. Remember that Microsoft and most other software companies will not send update notifications by email, so you must take the responsibility for regularly scheduled updates.Is your virus protection up-to-date? - I know, it costs money to renew that subscription to Norton's or McAfee but if you are using your computer online without having up-to-date virus protection you are only asking for trouble. It is just a matter of time before you will pick up a virus. Granted, some viruses are minor inconveniences, but Trojans and Worms can cause problems ranging from slow Internet speeds to actually dialing 1-900 lines oversees. It's a horrible feeling to open up your phone bill and see charges ranging in the hundreds of dollars because you have an undetected Dialer Trojan!And for those who think that viruses only come in through e-mail, think again. Surfing to some sites, especially game cheat and song lyric sites, most likely will result in at least spyware on your computer and can even result in a virus infection. Which brings us to the next subject...Spyware? - Spyware is something (a program or file) that is placed on your computer by a website you visit, which enables companies to track your Internet usage, the sites you visit and even personal information. Are you suddenly getting a ton of pop-ups? Chances are you have spyware on your computer. If your ISP doesn't offer spyware blocking, consider downloading one of the free programs such as Ad-Aware (look for the Download.com logo) and running a scan.Attachments?- As always, do not open attachments that you do not recognize or anticipate receiving. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer virus protection that automatically checks attachments for viruses, but not all of them or some only with an extra charge. Therefore, to be safe, always be cautious of attachments, even ones coming from someone that you think you know. Never open an attachment with an extension of .pif or .scr and be extremely cautious of opening anything with .exe. When in doubt, throw it out.
Getting Spam?- For information on combating spam from Sophos Anti-Virus, click here - Be aware that many spam messages or virus infected messages will "spoof" the return address (making it look like it is coming from someone you know) to cause you to open the email or attachment.Virus or Hoax?- Many of those e-mails you receive that warn of the latest or "worst virus ever" are actually hoaxes. Even the Applebee Gift Certificate e-mail is a hoax. How do you tell the difference? Well, whenever you are promised something for nothing in an e-mail (or anywhere!), be cautious. Remember the old axiom...if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. You can also check the Top 10 Hoaxes and Top 10 Viruses listed below. Just click on any of the names to get more information from the Sophos Anti-Virus company.Viruses Explained and Guidelines For:The contents of this page were borrowed heavily from Marv at the Garfield-Palouse School District. You can visit his site by clicking here.
Thanks Marv for the great ideas and all of your help!