Is it Possible to Keep My Computer Virus- Free?

The simple answer? No.

It is really unlikely that you will NEVER get a virus on your computer. Hackers and viruses adjust and update with the times, just like anti-virus programs adjust to keep up with the viruses.

The truth is though, that 90% of the time a virus is caused by user error. Yup. Most of the time it’s your own fault if you get a virus on your computer. But don’t go and get all angry at yourself, because the fact is that in today’s world of fast-paced, constantly changing, globally accessible technology, it is really difficult to know how to protect yourself from all the different computer viruses out there, especially since they keep changing too!

There are some basic guidelines that you can follow that will help keep your computer virus-free. They won’t protect against every single virus out there, but by taking these steps you can dramatically reduce your risk of getting a computer virus.

Have a good anti-virus program

This might seem like an obvious first step, but you would be surprised how many people don’t think they need an anti-virus program on their computer. There are many different programs out there, so you want to consult with an IT professional before choosing which one to use.

Only use ONE anti-virus program

Believe it or not, an anti-virus program doesn’t work the same way a blanket does. If you are cold, the more blankets, the better. It is NOT the same with anti-virus programs. In fact, it is just the opposite. By having more than one anti-virus program working on your computer you are actually increasing the risk of getting a virus. If you have more than one program they will tend to cancel each other out, and you will have little to no anti-virus protection. It will also end up slowing down your computer and inhibiting performance.

Stop clicking on everything!

There are some really cool and interesting things on the internet these days. Fun games, insightful articles, helpful forums…but not everyone can be trusted. Just like we teach our kids not to talk to strangers with candy, we have to teach ourselves how to look past the yummy goodness that the ads or links present us with and be wary of what is under the surface. A good rule of thumb is, if you hover over a link or an ad, and the address it shows you is ridiculously long with a bunch of symbols and numbers, you don’t want to click on it. If you are really interested in that particular article or game though, just google search it. You are less likely to get a computer virus that way.

Backups, Backups, Backups

This is so important we just had to say it three times. As we said before, it is unlikely you will never get a virus on your computer, so you have to have a plan in place for when you do. You need to have backups.

They can be as simple as just using the program that comes with your computer and backing up to an external hard drive, or you can even use some cloud backup programs. However you choose to backup you computer, make sure that you are backing up regularly. Ideally, you want to be backing up at least once a week. You never know when a virus will strike and if you don’t have your information backed up you could find yourself set back a few months with your data. That means a lot of time and money wasted trying to get you back up and running.

One sad truth is that many people believe they are safe from computer viruses. Until they get one. It may cost a little bit of your time and money, but taking steps to keep yourself and your data prepared in case of a virus is much less of a hassle then trying to figure out how to rebuild your network.

Stay aware, stay educated, stay prepared. While it is not a guarantee of never getting a virus, you will dramatically decrease your chances.

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