IT Support Top Tips – Avoiding Viruses and Spyware

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Two things any computer system could do without, and two things you can quite easily defend yourself against, are Viruses and Spyware! Although similar in nature, spyware and viruses are two very different threats to your IT system and as such, different software is used to combat the different threats.

Once infected, it can take a great deal of time and expense to remove the offending viruses from your systems which can become slow to use and at worst, can send out your customer data and payment details to the creators.

Prevention is most certainly better than cure, so here are our top 5 tips to arm yourself against the multitude of online threats:

1: Install quality Anti-Virus/Anti Spyware and set it to automatically update at least once a day

TAB Computers recommends NOD32. In our opinion, this is the most powerful software on the market today with the corporate versions well worth the investment of a few pounds per year. We also recommend WebRoot, one of the most effective Anti-Spyware products on the market.

2: Keep Windows up-to-date on an automatic schedule

As new vulnerabilities to the Operating System are identified, fixes, patches and updates are deployed to secure the system again, minimising the risk that unscrupulous virus writers could exploit them. Therefore, make sure your Windows is set to automatically download updates on a daily basis, keeping the Operating System up to date.

3: Perform daily scans

Schedule your software to scan your entire system once a day. Ideally this should be done at a quiet time, such as lunch time or night time, as even a less resource hungry piece of software will have a slowdown effect on the user.

4: Educate users to be vigilant. Prohibit un-screened software from being installed

Ideally have an Internet Acceptable Use policy in place, signed by all users, which prohibits the use of your company’s IT system for certain types of websites.

Virus writing is becoming increasingly sophisticated with new and innovative ways to get the user to download and install rogue programs. Many viruses masquerade as Anti-Virus programs, informing the user that they are infected when they are not and claiming that the user needs to install the product to rid their system of the non-existent threat. These are of course the virus programs themselves and once the user has agreed to download the rogue program, it delivers its payload.

TAB Computers can help you tailor your Internet Acceptable Use Policy document specifically for your business requirements.

5: Be wary when clicking email links and attachments

Even if you are expecting an attachment to the email, look carefully at it before opening it. Check its name, size and 3 letter extension; e.g. .pdf, .doc, .xls etc. If you weren’t expecting it at all, don’t open it. Ring the sender to check its validity.

So what next? TAB Computers has over a decade of experience in providing leading IT Support services. We help users to keep their systems clean and we repair the damage done when malware manages to get through. For more information, get in touch with the experts!

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