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Use Anti-Virus Software

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Anti-virus software protects your computer from cyber viruses that can spread to your computer through email, instant messages, and file-sharing programs. These viruses can delete files or cause your computer’s programs to work incorrectly. They can also put unwanted text, video and audio messages on your computer.

A good anti-virus program will find and delete any virus that’s on your computer. They will also repair damaged files. Once your anti-virus software is installed, make sure you keep it up to date.

Try these reliable programs:

  • Norton Security Scan/GooglePack: this is a collection of free software that includes virus protection. You choose to download only the programs you want. If you’re willing to pay for more features, try Norton 360.
  • Windows Live OneCare: get a free 90-day trial to see if you like it.
  • Avira Free Antivirus: Avira has both free and paid versions.  The free version can scan your computer and destroy viruses, but the paid version has more features for preventing viruses in the first place.

Using your anti-virus software is easy:

    1. Open your anti-virus program. You can find this on your tool bar, desktop, in your start menu, or by searching your hard drive.
    2. Follow the instructions step-by-step.

If your anti-virus program cannot repair an infected file, it may take one of the following actions:

  • Quarantine the file and stop it from being used, or
  • Try to delete the file

If an infected file cannot be deleted, your virus-protection program will tell you what steps to take next.

Other ways to protect your computer from viruses:

  1. Install the latest security patches offered by your operating system (like Windows). 
  2. Don't Open Junk Mail.
  3. Install a Firewall.
  4. Only Download from Trusted Sources.

The most common types of viruses are:

Worms: A worm is a program sent by email, that copies itself and spreads as quickly as possible. Worms can steal information from your computer and send it back to an online criminal.

Trojans: A trojan is a downloadable program that looks like it’s good for your computer (like free virus protection) but is actually designed to damage your computer and steal your information.

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