Do computer virus check-ups

An email from a friend this morning warned me about a new computer virus. The warning served a dual purpose. I was alerted to the potential danger of the virus. And I was reminded to update the virus definition file in my anti-virus program.

Most smart computer users have installed an anti-virus program after the scares of recent years. Reputable manufacturers even include an anti-virus program, usually Norton or McAfee, with every new machine. What they don’t do is remind users to update their virus definition files.

The latest virus, reported in early December, is called ‘Creative’, and automatically emails itself to the victim’s entire email address book. It arrives as an email with the subject ‘A great Shockwave flash movie,’ and comes with an attached file. It’s only triggered if you open the attached file, ‘creative.exe’. The virus then moves all of your ‘.zip’ and ‘.jpg’ files to the root directory, making them hard to find.

Way to beat viruses
It adds the following message:
‘Hi, guess you have got the message. I have kept a list of files that I have infected under this. If you are smart enough just reverse back the process. Iould have done far better damage, I could have even completely wiped your hard disk. Remember this is a warning & get it sound and clear… – The Penguin’

Whoever the despicable ‘Penguin’ is, his warning is apt. Here’s the way to beat all viruses:

    1. Have an anti-virus program installed on your machine.
    2. Keep it up to date with the latest definitions.

You can easily update your anti-virus program online at the sites listed below, usually free of charge unless your program is very old.

After today’s reminder, I’m adding a regular entry to my electronic calendar that will tell me to update my anti-virus program every couple of weeks. It’s the only way to stay virus-free.