Introduction: Basic Guide on How to Protect Yourself From Viruses for Windows 7
In this instructable, I will go over the basics on protecting your computer from all those nastly lil viruses out there on the internet and I will teach you ways on how to protect it and give tips.
Step 1: What Is a Virus?
So what EXACTLY are those little things that do bad stuff on your computer? Well a virus is simply a file that infects another a file and when an infected file is ran, it also runs the virus.There's MANY types of computer viruses.
Types of viruses include:
- Polymorphic Viruses - Polymorphic viruses change characteristics as they infect a computer.
- Stealth Viruses - Stealth viruses actively try to hide themselves from anti-virus and system software.
- Fast and Slow Infectors - Fast and Slow viruses infect a computer in a particular way to try to avoid being detected by anti-virus software.
- Sparse Infectors - Sparse Infectors don't infect very often.
- Armored Viruses - Armored viruses are programmed to make eradication difficult.
- Multipartite Viruses - Multipartite Viruses are viruses that may fall into more than one of these categories.
- Cavity (Spacefiller) Viruses - Cavity (Spacefiller) viruses attempt to maintain a constant file size when infecting a computer in order to try to avoid detection.
- Tunneling Viruses - Tunneling viruses try to "tunnel" under anti-virus software while infecting.
- Camouflage Viruses - Camouflage viruses attempt to appear as a benign program anti-virus scanners.
- Virus Droppers - Virus Droppers are a special category of programs that place viruses on computers but are not by themselves an actual virus.
Step 2: How to Protect Yourself From Viruses Part. 1 - Configuring Your Computer
First thing you'll need to do is make exploring your computer easier. First thing you want to do is go to your control panel. To do this, press the windows start button and hit control panel. Than once in control panel, you want to change the view of it. So in the top right corner, there is a drop-down box that says "View by:" and click it. Than click the small icons button. Your control panel than should look like picture 3.
Step 3: How to Protect Yourself From Viruses Part. 2 - Firewall
First thing you need to have activated is Windows Firewall. To go to the firewall, hit the firewall button in the control panel. This guy helps protect your computer from hackers. If your firewall looks like the first picture, than skip to the Windows Update step. If it looks like picture two, than just hit "Use recommended settings" and the Firewall will turn itself on.
Step 4: How to Protect Yourself From Viruses Part. 3 - Windows Update
Windows Update is VERY important to your computer. The updates released by Microsoft help keep your computer working properly and keep your computer safe.
To go to Windows Update, go to your control panel and select Windows Update. If it says "Windows is up to date" than skip to the Folder Options step. If it looks like the second picture, than the first thing you'll need to do is hit "Change settings" on the left tab. (Red box shows where it is on first picture)
Hit the drop-box i selected in the 3rd picture and choose what you want to pick. It's really based on personal option.
Once you do that, it'll scan for updates. If any are found, than install them whenever you can.
Step 5: How to Protect Yourself From Viruses Part. 4 - Folder Options Customization
This step will help you notice things that virus authors do to trick you into running their malicious program. Most users don't know this little trick.
First thing you want to do is go to your control panel and click "Folder Options"
A Folder options windows will open and it will look like picture 2. Hit the view tab and go down to advanced settings. Once you see advanced settings, click "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" in the "Hidden Files and Folders" section. under the "Hidden Files and Folders" section, there is some more options. uncheck "Hide empty drives in the Computer foler", "Hide extensions for known file types", (optional not really needed unless you like to explore the computer) and the "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)"
If you see "desktop.ini" on your desktop and folders, it's normal and don't delete them.
Step 6: How to Protect Yourself From Viruses Part. 5- Anti-Virus
Anti-Viruses are REALLY important to computer security. Just go online and download one. An anti-virus I recommend is Avast! Anti-Virus as it has many tools to protect your computer and a powerful scanner. If you want something a little less industrial try out MalwareBytes Anti-Malware. MalwareBytes is a strong and powerful anti-malware (I consider it anti-virus as it also detects viruses as well)
Step 7: How to Protect Yourself From Viruses Part. 6 - Optional Stuff and Tips
- Your computeris almost really secured! The rest of this is just optional. I wont go into detail for these
- Web of Trust "WOT displays a colored traffic light next to website links to show you which sites people trust for safe searching, surfing and shopping online: green for good, red for bad, and yellow as a warning to be cautious" and you can download Web of Trust add-on for Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari internet browsers.
- Ad Block Plus is very helpful for blocking ads on a sketchy site. If you don't want to block ads on a certain website, Adblock Plus has a feature that'll allow you to display ads on the website. If there is an ad you want to block, Adblock Plus has a feature that'll allow you to block that one ad.
- "VirusTotal is a free service that analyzes suspicious files and URLs and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware." It uses 57 different anti-virus and anti-malware engines to analyze a file and uses 63 different url anti-virus and anti-malware trust engines to tell you if a file is safe or not.
- Don't click ads on pornographic sites
- Don't download pornographic videos
- If you pirate something, make sure to scan it and look at the comments of the pirate.
- Don't click links or download files from emails you didn't ask for, expecting, or are in your spam box.
- Keep your computer and anti-virus up to date.
- NO file is safe. If it feels suspicious, scan it or don't open it.
- When installing programs, don't EVER click through it. read through EVERYTHING as a lot of programs will ask you to download other stuff you never asked for.
- Use common sense while exploring the internet.
Two tips below made by Verence
Don't open any email attachment from people you don't know and that have been sent without you asking for it.
(Feel free to put other tips in the comments section. I will add them to this list and give credit)
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