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Keeping Your Computer Healthy

Maribeth WardTech Tips0 Comments

Keeping Your Computer Healthy

Here at WynWay we see a lot of sick computers infected with all kinds of viruses. Keeping your computer healthy is similar to getting your child vaccinated ahead of time. There are things you can do to prevent problems and things you shouldn’t do. We’ve compiled some do’s and don’ts below to help keep your computer safe and secure.

Install an antivirus program and keep it up to date. These programs scan for viruses trying to get into your email, operating system or files. New viruses appear daily, so set your antivirus software to install updates automatically.
Keep your computer updated. Make sure your Windows receives security updates from Microsoft.
Use a firewall. This will help alert you to suspicious activity if a virus or worm attempts to connect to your computer. It can also block viruses.
Use your browser’s privacy settings. You can adjust your privacy settings on your browser. Make sure they are secure.
Use the pop-up blocker on your browser. Many are created by advertisers but they can contain unsafe code. Blocking pop-ups can prevent most of these from showing.
Turn on the User Account Control (UAC). When changes are going to be made to your computer that require administrator-level permission, UAC notifies you and gives you an opportunity to approve the change. This can help keep viruses from making unwanted changes.
Create a unique, strong password for each of your online accounts.

The first rule of email is simple. If it doesn’t look right, don’t open it.
If a bank or credit card company emails you and tells you your account was hacked, Delete the email. Most banks call you if there is an issue, many will text you at your request but they don’t email you.
If you get an email telling you to send money somewhere, Delete it.
If you get an email telling you that you’ve money, Delete it.
If you get an email from someone you don’t know, Delete it.
If you get an email from someone with an attachment that you weren’t expecting. Delete it. If it’s a family member or friend, call them and ask about it before you open it.
If you get an email with an attachment that is compressed and/or password protected, Delete it.
If you get an email with broken English or poor grammar, it’s most likely a scam, Delete it.
Watch out for electronic greeting cards and Evites. If they want you to click a link, don’t.
If something doesn’t look right, Delete it. Whenever you are in doubt, throw it out.

Extra Tips
You may be even more likely to catch a virus surfing the web than in your own emails. Make sure when you are online you are secure. Start by reviewing the security features of your favorite sites like Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook.
If you visit a website and they offer to scan you computer for viruses, leave that site immediately. It’s a scam to install something on your computer and that is never a good thing.
Never install any software from a website unless you know exactly what it is and you went specifically to that website to install it. Some websites will prompt you to install software to either scan your computer for malicious software or allow you to watch a movie. Be very, very careful of anything like this.
Don’t install free games found on the internet. It’s best to stick to Flash-based games that work in your browser. Avoid the shadowy side of the internet–porn sites, hacking sites, BitTorrent sites and applications, password sites for porn and application sites, etc. These are full of nasty malware and viruses just waiting to be installed on your computer.

If you do find your computer moving slow, acting up or having pop-ups that weren’t there before, you may be infected. Bring your computer to WynWay and let us nurse it back to good health. We can also help you install antivirus programs and passwords to keep your computer secure. Visit our website or bring your device into our office Monday to Friday between 2:30 and 7 p.m. We are located at 122 E. Washington Street in downtown Greencastle.

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