Author Topic: GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe  (Read 3658 times)

Offline brianc

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GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe
« on: August 22, 2010, 04:25:57 pm »
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Please +Rep if this guide helped you.
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Hello,

It has come to my attention that I should make a topic regarding this issue.

People tend to get a-lot of Viruses or Ad-Aware.

These micro programs can cause harm to your computer and is most likely the cause for many people having problems with Runescape Servers.

Understanding Viruses

    Practically everyone with a computer has heard of computer viruses, but not everyone knows exactly what they are or how viruses can affect their computer. A virus is a small, self-replicating program that invades your system through an e-mail attachment, download, or Web site. People create viruses for various reasons, ranging from mild pranks to malicious destruction.

    As a result, the effects of a virus can vary from moderately annoying to absolutely crippling. The Wazzu virus, for example, attaches itself to Microsoft Word documents and inserts the nonsense word "?wazzu?" in the document and rearranges random strings of words. A virus such as this one is definitely annoying, but not necessarily catastrophic.

    Some viruses can be much more serious, however, threatening to destroy data or even erase your entire hard drive. One such virus spread by e-mail, Worm.ExploreZip, takes control of the infected computer's e-mail system and automatically responds to all incoming mail messages. It also sends destructive e-mail attachments that can erase certain types of files.

    Viruses can be harmful, but it's also important to understand the role you play in propagating them. Viruses generally do not invade a computer without user action. In other words, you set the virus loose on your own computer by opening infected programs or files. If you take certain precautions, such as not opening email attachments from unknown sources and running antivirus software, you can minimize the risk of infecting your own computer.

Types of Viruses

By familiarizing yourself with the types of viruses that exist, you'll be better able to prevent them.

Program viruses attach themselves to executable files such as .exe files. Each time you run the program, the virus duplicates itself and attaches to other programs. Sharing programs with other computers, either by disk or on a network, spreads these types of viruses. You are also at risk for this type of virus when you download applications from the Internet.

Macro viruses are contained in the macro commands for programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel. Perhaps the most prevalent type of virus, they attach themselves to files (as opposed to programs) and are some of the hardest viruses to detect.

Boot sector viruses infect particular files on your hard drive that execute when you boot your computer. When you boot from the infected disk, the boot sector virus attaches itself to the boot files on your hard drive.

Trojan horses aren't viruses by definition because they don't replicate themselves. They do, however, possess the same potential to damage your hard drive if they go undetected. They typically arrive in an e-mail with a vague subject line or a promise of entertainment. When let loose, the Trojan horse -- much like its namesake in Greek mythology -- introduces a slew of unwanted attackers that can wreak havoc on your hard drive.

How to protect yourself from viruses

1. Install Anti-Virus Software - This should not even have to be listed, if you don’t have anti-virus software installed, you’re asking for trouble! And if your reason for not installing anti-virus software is because it’s too expensive, then that can reason can be shot down because there are several free anti-virus programs out there that are considered better than commercial software packages. Here are two of the most popular ones:
AVG Anti-Virus – Very good and completely free.
Avast Anti-Virus – Almost on par with AVG.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus – Not free, but one of the best detection rates.

2. Update All Software - Installing an anti-virus program by itself is not enough. There are hundreds of new threats that are found daily and the anti-virus programs release updates regularly to combat the new threats. Make sure you anti-virus program is set to update automatically so that you don’t have to rely on your memory to do it. Also, this goes for all the software on your computer. The most important software to keep up to date is your Windows operating system. It is essential to have Automatic Updates turned on and set to download and install updates automatically.

3. Install only Trusted Software - If you’re not sure what a piece of software does from it’s name, then don’t install it. Also, don’t install anything you didn’t intend to install in the first place. Sometimes programs will ask you to install other programs during the install of the first application. Be careful of that because it’s usually spyware. Install software from big names sites only, such as Microsoft or Adobe.

4. Avoid P2P File Sharing Software – If used with great caution, P2P software is quite useful for movies, songs and software, but if you’re not very technically savvy, you might end up downloading a song that has a keystroke logger attached to it that will send anything you type to some other computer over the Internet. It’s almost impossible to tell that this is occurring unless your anti-virus or anti-spyware programs pick it up in their scans.

5. Delete Unknown Emails – If you receive emails from random people’s names, do not bother to open the email, just delete it. If you have any doubts after reading the name and the subject, it’s probably not someone you know. Never download or open attachments unless you are sure it’s from someone you know. Give the person a call quickly and ask them if you’re not sure. Most large companies that you create online accounts with will not send you attachments unless you specifically ask for them through their web site. Also, be wary of any emails from sites pretending to be banks, auction sites, etc asking for you to verify bank account info or address info. No bank ever does that.

6. Do not click on Ads - Avoid clicking on ads if you can. Especially those ads where something is flying around and if you shoot the duck, you win some prize! Ads have become more sophisticated in that they try to make the ad interactive so that you’ll be tempted to play it like a game.

7. Run Virus Scans Regularly – If you’re not in the mood to scan every day, at least run a scan once a week. Actually, setup a schedule for your computer in your anti-virus software to run a scan late at night or whenever you don’t use your computer and that way you won’t be bothered with a slow computer.

8. Be careful what you attach to your computer – This is a more common way to transfer viruses than you might think. Everyone now has a USB flash stick that they carry around on their key chains, ready to snap into any computer. But who knows what your viruses are on your friends computers and what accidentally got transferred to their USB stick. A lot of virus programs will auto launch right when the USB stick is put into the computer, so you don’t even have to open or download any of the files to be infected.

9. Avoid Shady Web Sites – If you need to look at porn, then make sure you do it in a virtual environment. You are DEFINITELY going to get some virus or spyware if you browse porn sites on your computer. Virtualization basically allows you to run programs like Internet Explorer in a virtual environment that does not effect your current operating system. If you want to find out more, search for “Virtual PC” or “VM Ware” in Google. Otherwise, simply avoid going to shady web sites!

10. Turn On or Install a Firewall - If you’re running Windows XP, make sure Windows Firewall is turned on. A firewall prevents hackers from gaining access to your computer by limiting the number of ports that are open to the public. Also, when buying a wireless router, make sure it has a built in firewall. Having a software and hardware firewall is better than just having one or the other.

11. Secure Your Wireless Network – Most wireless routers are set to no security when you install them. Be sure to log into the router and at least set the basic security that requires a password. There are stronger encryption options, but if you don’t understand those, then simply set a password on the router, otherwise anyone can connect to your home network and access everything.

12. Use a Complex Password for Login – This means that you should already have a password to login to your computer. Not having a password at all is not a good idea. Create a password for all user accounts and make sure it’s complex. Complex means it should have numbers, upper case characters, lower case characters, and symbols. This makes it way more difficult for a hacker to get into your computer.

I hope you have enjoyed my Guide on how to keep your Computer safe from Viruses and Hackers.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me by the following ways:

Skype: briancrowell
Windows Live: [email protected]
Or Forum Private Message.

Regards,
Brian Crowell



Offline Brian

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Re: GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2010, 04:46:55 pm »
Daayuumm...you write a lot.  :o. This was very helpful considering i just played another server that crashed my whole computer  :-[.

+rep

-Brian

Offline brianc

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Re: GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2010, 04:53:04 pm »


    Some viruses can be much more serious, however, threatening to destroy data or even erase your entire hard drive. One such virus spread by e-mail, Worm.ExploreZip, takes control of the infected computer's e-mail system and automatically responds to all incoming mail messages. It also sends destructive e-mail attachments that can erase certain types of files.



I already pointed this out.

It's a very long guide.

Please read the entire guide before posting please.

Makes for less spam.

Regards,
Brian Crowell

Edit: Even a "Wrecked Hard-Drive" Can be fixed.
I will be making a guide on how to repair Corrupted Hard-Drives.
Please be patient.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 04:54:57 pm by brianc »



Offline Drunk Mario

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Re: GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2010, 05:04:42 pm »
Thanks for this guide brian! You did a GREAT job making it! it should help everyone which is good! i had a virus that crashed my computer so it didn't work. I got it fixed a while ago though.


I wish it was possible to punch some through a computer screen.

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Offline brianc

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Re: GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2010, 12:04:58 am »
I'd like to add that viruses can be 'crypted', which makes them completely undetectable from Anti Virus software. Eventually the AV companies will pick up on it, but it is quite effective. Because of this, don't download anything you don't completely trust, and don't visit shady websites either because there are things that exploit browsers and install the virus without you even downloading anything.

Hello,

These issues have been explained in my Guide.

I explain in full detail on these issues.

Please view the guide before posting anything please.

This topic is not a spam topic, this topic is to discuss Viruses not plagiarize my guide thus wasting forum space.

Thank you.

Regards,
Brian Crowell



Offline M I K E

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Re: GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2010, 04:16:42 pm »
So is Ad-Aware virus protection bad?  ???

Offline brianc

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Re: GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2010, 04:31:47 pm »
Hello,

Some Ad-Aware software have tracking cookies in them that record information on websites that you visit, and may retrieve information.

Other will give you pop-ups to buy their software.

Please be careful what Ad-Aware program you get, I provided links to the best free ones that you can get.

Regards,
Brian Crowell



Offline bear hug

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Re: GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2010, 07:11:45 am »
I got a anti virus thingy called norton.. and before i go on sites it gives me a http://symres:sb_safeannotation.png to say that it is okay.. or a http://symres:sb_unknownannotation.png to say you probably shouldn't go on it i never do... it can also give you an http://symres:sb_unsafeannotation.png to say you will get a virus.. And the worst one you can get is a http://symres:sb_webnuisanceannotation.png that means you rlly rlly rlly shouldnt go on it lol... i find this usefull i still got a virus from downloading a program.. its this stupid thing called zwanky search anyways it game a annoying this when i open a new tab and look something up comes up with YOU WANNA BUY SEX ST00F?!?!!?
well its annoying anyways thanks for making this i found it entertaining to read and helpful..









Offline Kryptonite

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Re: GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2010, 10:20:27 am »
Quote
9. Avoid Shady Web Sites – If you need to look at porn, then make sure you do it in a virtual environment. You are DEFINITELY going to get some virus or spyware if you browse porn sites on your computer. Virtualization basically allows you to run programs like Internet Explorer in a virtual environment that does not effect your current operating system. If you want to find out more, search for “Virtual PC” or “VM Ware” in Google. Otherwise, simply avoid going to shady web sites!

Really..? Haha. That made my day.
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Offline mr riot

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Re: GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2010, 01:15:19 pm »
A little add-on note:
Some viruses can, and will completely wreck your hard drive beyond repair, thus meaning that you will have to buy a completely new hard drive in order for it to work correctly once again.
That was simply just as an added warning incase Brianc didn't say enough.  :P

And also, you Mac users don't need to worry about viruses, due to the fact that Mac OS 10.5/6 has a damm good built in security system.  (Though, you will never see it until it finds something, due to its hidden nature.)


And this is why one of my mates is a white hat hacker. i got hacked once. he fixed it within 10 mins. and then it also helps to have mates parents in the police so i informed them and they helped me out...
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Offline Kryptonite

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Re: GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2010, 01:19:07 am »
A little add-on note:
Some viruses can, and will completely wreck your hard drive beyond repair, thus meaning that you will have to buy a completely new hard drive in order for it to work correctly once again.
That was simply just as an added warning incase Brianc didn't say enough.  :P

And also, you Mac users don't need to worry about viruses, due to the fact that Mac OS 10.5/6 has a damm good built in security system.  (Though, you will never see it until it finds something, due to its hidden nature.)



Adding to that, most viruses are downloaded on to your computer in a .exe file, which Mac can do nothing with. Unless of course you've downloaded some stuff. So it's just a random virus file sitting on your computer, causing no harm.
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Offline Dug

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Re: GUIDE: Understand Viruses + How to keep your computer safe
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2010, 06:37:07 am »
Thank you for this helpful information :D
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