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Keeping your Laptop Safe

August 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm

 

Today, many websites on the Internet carry viruses and other malicious software that can infect your laptop.  If your laptop becomes infected with these dangerous programs, it may act slow, shut down frequently, or stop working completely.  Fortunately, thousands of people work hard to protect your computer from harm by creating a number of antivirus programs.  With the right methods of protection and savvy computer habits, you can browse the Internet without worry.

How to Defend Your Laptop with Antivirus Software

Your laptop is an investment, and one of the best ways to defend your investment is to install antivirus software.  Most advanced antivirus programs monitor your online activities and flash an alert if you come across an infected website.  Virus creators are constantly writing new viruses, so you must keep your antivirus programs up to date.  Most programs do this service automatically.  You should frequently check your software to make sure it is receiving these crucial updates.

 You can also use antivirus programs to conduct regular virus scans on your computer.  If the scanner finds an infection, the program can safely remove it.  If you browse the Internet often, you should run scheduled antivirus scans.  You can schedule most programs to run at a certain time automatically when you’re not using your laptop.

Online Habits to Help Protect Your Computer

Computer viruses can also spread through email attachments.  If you receive an email attachment from someone you do not know, it’s wise to avoid opening it.  Even if you do know the sender, it’s a good idea to open it with caution.  Some antivirus programs can scan email attachments for viruses, so scan the attachment before you open it.  If you’re still worried about the attachment, ignore it.  Today, there are safer ways for individuals to transfer files.  Ask your friend to send the file another way.

 You can also avoid some infections by only visiting trusted websites.  Some Internet browsers have standard or optional features that will notify you if a website is unsafe.  Advanced antivirus programs can also provide real-time scanning of your browsing activity.  Be aware, however, that malicious websites sometimes masquerade as legitimate websites.  Always exercise extreme caution when inputting any financial or personal information into a website.  Some infected websites can steal your information for malicious purposes.

how to Determine If Your Computer is Infected

Some viruses silently infect your laptop, giving you little indications that something is wrong.  Others, however, make it fairly obvious that something is not quite right.  If your laptop is suddenly acting unstable, you may have a virus.  Typical symptoms of an unstable system include frequent crashing, sudden reduction in the laptop’s speed, problems accessing specific files, and odd error messages.  Unfortunately, many of these problems may also be symptoms of a failing laptop or other hardware issues.  After completing a full antivirus scan with an antivirus program, the program should let you know if your computer is infected.

The Next Steps

If you determine that your laptop is infected with a virus or other types of malicious software, you need to remove it immediately.  Unchecked malicious programs can wreak havoc on your laptop.  Some viruses are capable of infecting your email program, causing you to unknowingly spread the virus or malware when you send an email to someone you know.  Severe viruses can even lead to a complete system shutdown of your laptop.  For information on affordable Virus and Spyware programs please click here.

 To remove the virus or malware, install an antivirus program, if you have not done so already.  Update your program with the latest software changes and virus definitions.  Instruct the program to run a full scan of your laptop.  This process can take hours, depending on how many files are on your laptop.  If the software is successful in finding the virus, you can use the program to clean the infection.  However, some malicious scripts are very difficult to remove and can block access from an antivirus scan.  In that case, you will likely need to find a removal tool created just for a particular virus.  Once this program has eliminated the threat to your laptop, run additional scans with your antivirus software to make sure the problem is gone.  Your computer should now return to normal operation.”

About the Author:  David Malmborg works with Dell and enjoys writing about technology. In his spare time he enjoys reading, the outdoors, and spending time with his family.



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