Friday, January 22, 2010

Keep your PC free from Virus

OK, you have hundreds of tips out there on the internet, but every blog has a right to have one of its own!
Computer security is a very vital thing. Why? Here are a few reasons:
•   Every time you lend your pen drive, your friend curses you for giving him viruses.
•   Every time you really need your PC, it’s down with flu!
•   Just when you thought bacteria were not that harmful after all, you learn that virus can be more lethal than the last time.
OK, enough blabbering, now on to the point. The fact remains, protection from virus is important, be it in your computer or inside your neighbor.

So here are a few tips:
Use an antivirus: Yes that’s the most basic tip. Everyone knows an antivirus is essential, but since it is really important, so I have to tell you to use an antivirus. So the first tip is, use an antivirus. Ok, I’ll keep it short. Free antivirus should be enough if you are a bit careful & follow all the subsequent steps. Avira is a very good free antivirus and should suffice for home use. If you are willing to go paid, ESET NOD32 is the best in my opinion. However, opinions do differ. Other good options are Kaspersky & Avira’s paid version. Kaspersky & Avira are cheaper than NOD32.

While using the Internet: Internet is the main source of virus infections. Most virus come through this route. All you need to do to prevent this is to stay a bit cautious & follow these steps:
•   Do not use Internet Explorer: No, I’m no enemy of Bill Gates & no rival of Microsoft. But you will find this all over the internet, IE is the browser with the lowest scores in security 7 features. So why use it? Opera, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome are good alternatives. Opera & Firefox are very secure & have very good features. I haven’t used the other 2, so no personal comment, the internet says they are good too. For sites which open only in IE, you can use Maxthon.
•   Do not click on suspicious links: whether it is on a website or your email. If you do not know what it does & there is some reason for being suspicious, do not click on it. Before clicking a link, always check whether it takes you to the site it promises. The real link is displayed in the status bar of the browser. Do not trust if someone offers you premium stuff for free. Remember, an email is not always from a person it seems. There are scripts which allows one to put any email ID in the ‘from’ field.
•   Pirated software & cracks generally contain virus. So do not use pirated software.

Pen Drives: Pen drives are real threats. Most of the time you plug in your friend’s pen drive, it wreaks havoc on your PC. My computer stops opening, the pen drive refuses to stop, executable clones of folders take birth and the worst of all, you can’t simply pull it out for the fear of damaging it. You are left with only one option, tear your hair out; no, not that, shut down the PC & pull it out.
•   So the first thing to do would be to disable autorun. It is disabled by default in windows vista & 7. In windows XP click start>run type regedit press OK. Navigate to
There set the value of "NoDriveTypeAutoRun" to ff (Hexadecimal). If it does not exist, create a DWORD value of that name.
•   Before you borrow a pen drive, ask your friends to create a folder named autorun.inf in the pendrive. This prevents the creation of autorun.inf file and hence the autorun of the virus. Before using a pen drive always remember to scan it manually. Most of the time scanning takes long enough to allow you to take a nap. So you can assume that if no virus is found in the first minute of the scan, there will be none inside.
•    USB Safely Remove: this one is a good software. It can stop a pen drive at any time terminating the process which locks it, allows you to pull back a drive prepared for safe removal etc. It also allows you to launch windows explorer with the pen drive open when a drive is plugged in. Autorun the pen drive while autorun is disabled!

Apart from these there are certain other things you can do:
Unlocker: If a file refuses to budge of its place as windows communicates its inability to delete it & you suspect it of being infected, wear a mask immediately. Alternatively you can use unlocker to delete the file. It will terminate the relevant process & delete the file.
Replacer: If a system file gets infected, you can use this to replace the file. The file can either be downloaded or borrowed from another PC.  Once used it to replace explorer.exe from inside windows.
Prio: This one adds a services tab in your task manager. This can be used to identify services associated with unwanted processes. Right click on a process & click go to service & stop it.
Shaplus Bandwidth meter: This you can use to keep a tab on your internet usage. Keep an eye on the process using your connection without your permission.
OK, now this is running too long, ask questions if you need further tips.

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