Learn to recognize a virus

The most powerful and effective anti-virus protection isn’t software you can buy. Instead, its a computer users ability to carefully read a web-site and e-mail message to delete fake messages. Consider that a well trained user that carefully checks e-mail and web-sites can use a computer without anti-virus software, while an untrained user with anti-virus software that clicks on every e-mail and web page is going to get a virus.

Here are some tips on how to become a better anti-virus user:

Start by treating all new and unrecognized e-mail as fake. Whether an e-mail comes from a known friends e-mail address or a corporation, it can be a fake message.

Watch for multiple extensions on attachments. When an attachment to an e-mail has a compound filename with multiple extensions, its a sure sign its a fake. For example, an attachment named “readme.pdf.exe” is actually an executable file due to the .EXE extension, and not a PDF that would be opened with Acrobat.

Preview e-mail links by pointing to them with the mouse, rather than clicking on them to see what web-site they display. Clicking will launch the web page and start the virus installation, but pointing to a link will reveal the destination and help identify a fake web-site.

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