My computer keeps getting viruses, help!
lucky
Status: New User - Welcome
Joined: 03 Oct 2003
Posts: 4
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I keep getting viruses on my computer, I have norton antivirus installed but it doesn't seem to do any good, I still get viruses all the time, I'm tired of this, what can I do to stop getting them, thanks for your help, Lucky
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Rules to avoid getting infected by viruses
jeffd
Status: Assistant
Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 594
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Hi Lucky, welcome back to our forums. The question of how to avoid getting viruses involves taking a bunch of steps, none of them are very hard, we've written them down as a list since I'm sure many people have the same problem as you are having, make sure to follow all these steps and you should get many fewer viruses.

Of course, once you make sure you have updated your norton antivirus definitions like we say below, make sure to do a full system virus scan before doing anything else, since it's almost certain you will have viruses on your computer right now.


  1. Install and fully update your norton antivirus software, using manual updating of av software, click liveupdate, reboot, continue process until you get 'all features are now updated' type message, this usually takes 3-5 liveupdate/reboot sequences. It's amazing how often people skip this step. Antivirus software does not work right if you skip this step.

  2. Set your norton antivirus software to update automatically after that in settings. You do that by opening up norton antivirus, selecting 'options', selecting 'norton antivirus', selecting from the left option bar 'autoprotect', then making sure that the 'enable autoprotect' check box is checked.

  3. In your email program, disable preview pane (like in Outlook express). In outlook express, that's found in 'view', 'layout', uncheck the 'preview pane' option, click apply and ok. Some attachments can be triggered by simply viewing the email, and if a virus comes into your machine, and it's the top of the incoming list, with preview pane enabled, you now have a virus.

  4. Antivirus software is not perfect, there is always a 2-5 day delay between a new virus and the updated protection that gets downloaded with your auto updating feature, so always assume you are not currently protected against the latest virus, since you never know when a new virus is going to hit the internet.

  5. It's very important to understand that you can never open an email with an attachment for any reason if you do not know the sender.

  6. Viruses frequently use an infected computer's address book to use as sender information, what you see in your 'from' field. This is known as 'spoofing' the sender field. Because of this, if you did not request or expect an attachment from someone, assume it may be a virus.

  7. Make sure that you have paid for your antivirus subscription. It's amazing how many people think that antivirus software by itself does anything, explain that it's the virus definitions, not the software running them, that is what protects you.

    Many computers come standard with Norton antivirus installed, but if you didn't do the manual updating in step 1, and if you haven't renewed your subscription, it's probably expired, since those free trial offers only give you 3 months of virus updates, then you have to pay. If you were getting warnings that you had to renew your subscription and you ignored them not realizing what they were, this could be the reason you're getting virus infections now, since your virus definitins haven't been updated since your subscription ran out, if that's the case.

  8. Do a weekly antivirus scan, if you have a decently fast computer, this can run while you are using the pc.

  9. Setup at least a software firewall like zonealarm, don't use Windows XP's built in firewall since I believe it does not protect against outgoing requests, you'll have to disable that first, then upgrade to zonealarm, or any other reputable firewall. This will provide some protection against a virus or trojan trying to get more directions or instructins from the internet.

  10. Ideally also have a real hardware fire wall like a router. That's only if you have a broadband connection, of course.

  11. Think about not using Internet Explorer, which is extremely insecure, and easy to exploit. There are two really good browsers out there now, Firefox or Opera.

  12. Spam and Viruses are very closely related. Never open any piece of spam for any reason, and never click on any link in any piece of spam for any reason. Many 'spam' emails contain images etc that are actually scripts running on bad sites.


If you carefully follow each of these steps, you should start getting a lot fewer virus infections.

Good luck, jeff
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lucky
Status: New User - Welcome
Joined: 03 Oct 2003
Posts: 4
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Hey, thanks a lot, I'll try to start doing those things more, I already changed over some of my settings, updated my norton antivirus like you said, it wasn't updated right, I had to do it 3 times until it said it was done.

Again, thanks for the advice, I'll let you know how it works out, Lucky
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Take a look at nod32
techAdmin
Status: Site Admin
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 4012
Location: East Coast, West Coast? I know it's one of them.
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Make sure you also read the how to clean your computer of viruses and spyware thread. That has additional information that you'll probably need to resolve this problem.

I would recommend against using Norton antivirus, think about using nod32 instead, that's been getting very good reviews.

You can download the windows 2000/XP version here.

Make sure you completely uninstall Norton antivirus completely and reboot before you do this of course or you could get serious problems.

I don't like MacAfee or Norton Antivirus at all, norton bogs down your system way too much, it's really noticeable when you first install norton, your system slows down a lot, and never recovers. MacAfee I've never liked, something about it just doesn't seem right.
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