New! Ask a Nerd—How to Protect Your Computer From Getting A Virus

posted in: Ask a Nerd | 0

by Wayne Embrey

Q: What’s the best antivirus software?

A: Today’s common virus is not really a virus. I call it extortion-ware. You’ll see a pop-up window informing you that your computer has been infected and offering protection from 157 viruses for a fee ranging from $89 to $275. In short, they infected your machine and now want money to fix it. Whether or not they really fix it is a crap shoot. How can you be secure?

First and most important is to not be an administrator. If you are the only user, you are the administrator. To correct this, create an administrative user with a password and change your user status to limited. This stops the common garden-variety extortion-ware from installing. If you are not the tech savvy type, pick up the phone and call your trusted computer tech.

Your next line of protection is software. Knowledge is power, so head to They have a wealth of knowledge to help you pick today’s best protection software. No software can protect you 100%, so if you’re digging around on the seedier side of the Internet, you may want to look at switching to either a Linux or Mac operating system for Fort Knox-like security.

Last, but not least, is time. The flash and java updates are important to your security, but if you just click yes to any pop-up box, you may be approving a virus installation. Take the time to read those little pop-up boxes.

My final note is about children. Parents need to be aware of what their children may be installing. Making a limited user for your children allows you to police their actions, but that is another article.

M! FM 2013


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