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Self Preservation for Windows users

© June 2004 Tony Lawrence

Fri Jun 4 13:58:48 GMT 2004 Self Preservation for Windows users

It's a nasty world out there today. Viruses and worms are rampant, and spread so quickly nowadays that the virus companies cannot keep up. The fact is, no matter what you do, you are vulnerable: before the virus companies can protect you from a new virus or worm, somebody has to have the bad luck to get it first. Someday that will be you.

There are things you can do to minimize the impact, but unfortunately very few people do all of these things.

Run virus software both at your mail server and on individual machines

Virus protection companies detect new viruses at different times. Trend may issue a detect for a new virus at 8:00 AM and McAfee might not have it till noon or vice versa. That time difference can mean that you escape infection or don't. If you run one brand of software at your mail server, and another on the desktops, you have more chance of evading infection.

It's no good to just HAVE software; it has to be current and running. It is important to have the desktop software scan your drives regularly: yes, it is annoying and time consuming but it HAS TO BE DONE.

Keep current with Microsoft Updates

Another time consuming and annoying task, but this is critical for avoiding many worms and other security assaults. You do always have some risk that the update will break your machine, but that is more and more unlikely and if it does happen, your machine had serious problems that would have bitten you sooner or later anyway.

Back up important data

Your machine is going to die someday. Maybe you'll move on to a new machine before that happens, but maybe you won't. IF YOU HAVE IMPORTANT DATA ON YOUR MACHINE, PROTECT IT! Back it up to a network share. Install a DVD-RAM or tape drive and back up to that. You can buy a USB DVD-RAM drive for around $250.00 and share it with a bunch of PC's, backing up important files regularly.

Use IMAP instead of POP for email or change your mail settings to leave a copy of mail on the server until you delete it. IMAP is really the best choice, but Microsoft defaults to POP so many people don't even realize it is available. It can be annoying and confusing to switch from POP to IMAP, but setting your POP options to leave a copy on the server only protects your inbox.

Don't let your Inbox get large

Your inbox is subject to a LOT of activity; constant additions and deletions. It can break and cause you to lose mail. Make other folders and copy important mail to them. Don't let those folders get gigantic either! Again, using IMAP eliminates these problems.

Be smart!

Don't open attachments from people you don't know. Even if you DO know them, don't open it unless you know what it is and why they sent it to you. Don't click on links in email for the same reason: "cute" web pages or "you gotta see this" links can often be thngs that are simply bait to infect your computer.

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-> Self Preservation for Windows users


Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of Apple Mail, Third Edition

iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of Preview

Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal, Second Edition

Take Control of Numbers

More Articles by © Tony Lawrence

Please see "Protecting corporate email by using multiple anti-virus scanners" ( https://aplawrence.com/Unixart/dhantivirus.html )

And (from the Shameless Commerce Division of mailstarusa) see also www.MailStarUSA.com.


Using services like that can let you get to three levels of scanning if you want: one there, one at your in-house mail-server and again at the desktops. While that used to be more than most people need, it may not be today.

It's also not hard to set up multiple in-house mail servers, each running a different brand of virus software. It can get expensive, of course, but even one bad virus can cost a LOT more.


Yep, be careful - some routers only enforce installation of a desktop antivirus package and only remove specified attachments (eg SonicWall) rather than actually scan for viruses.



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