IT Support London | 11 Top Tips To Avoid Virus Infection

 

Granite’s 11 Top Tips To Avoid Virus Infection.

Yesterday we visited a prospective client to carry out our usual system audit, prior to proposal. This process works for both parties, as it provides a fresh set of eyes to review the key areas of I.T infrastructure.

Unfortunately, we uncovered a widespread virus infection which had not been contained, and was in the process of destroying our prospects company data. From prior experience, it is likely that our prospect will face many hours of downtime in order to contain the virus, and cleanse the damage caused.

Here are Granite’s 11 Top Tips to avoid infection on this scale.

1. Basic Protection.

Ensure that every device on your network has a reputable Anti-Virus product installed. This includes any device that accesses the internet, or has shared access to a server or company data. Sounds basic, but you would be surprised how many companies let devices slip through the net.

2. There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!

Avoid free Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware products. Almost always they are either ineffective (because of the lack of development funding), or come with a catch, perhaps they only run basic scanning or cleansing. It is becoming increasingly common for so called “free” products to dupe you, and in fact report on false infection, or issues you do not have. The purpose of these products is sometimes to infect your machine, or get you to sign up to something that is irrelevant or useless. Speak to Granite about reputable and reliable vendors.

3. Ignorance.

Don’t just install an anti-virus product and assume it is doing its job! Updates (sometimes referred to as virus signatures) are provided regularly by the vendor. These need to be downloaded and updated accordingly. Your I.T Company should be managing this for you, and ideally have a centralised installation that updates all of your devices.

4. Under The Bonnet.

It is important that your anti-virus product is configured properly. At Granite we see too many products that are installed, but poorly configured, leaving a client vulnerable to infection, or unnecessarily slowing your PC or network down. 

5. Action.

It’s not just about identifying a potential threat, you need to deal with it accordingly. Some products will quarantine potential infections, some will just warn you, and others will delete an infected file. There is no blanket approach here, so seek the advice of your I.T Company.

DO NOT ignore these warnings, they could be part of something far bigger, and it’s always best to get your I.T Company to check them out and give you a clean bill of health.

6. Using Your Loaf.

Use as much common sense as possible. If you are web browsing and a page looks suspicious, close it, and run a full scan! Likewise, if you are lured into an offer or advertisement that looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is, and has something more sinister behind it. Think before you click, and if you suspect that you have visited a dubious page, run a full scan of your device immediately, and contact your I.T Support Company.

7. Measure Twice, Cut Once.

When scanning your PC or Network, and don’t rely on just a single scan for peace of mind. Even if a virus is identified and cleaned, run at least one subsequent scan to make sure you gain consistent results. 

8. I Wonder What This Is.

Be wary of e-mail attachments. Do you know the sender, are you expecting an attachment from them, and can you identify it as a known document type (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF etc.) If you receive an e-mail that has a Zipped attachment (.zip or .rar for example), or an executable attachment (.exe), exercise extreme caution! If in doubt, speak to your I.T Company before opening these document types, or anything else that is unknown. 

9. The Silent Assassin.

USB memory sticks and similar are prime candidates for spreading infection. Think twice about either using your memory stick in another computer, or introducing someone else’s to yours. If in doubt, ask your I.T Support Company to scan the memory stick before introducing it to your machine. The only way to keep your device and data virus free is to scan anything introduced to it.

10. The Classic Scams.

Whilst most of us are now wary of e-mails from banks, or calls from companies that claim to have identified infection on your machine, beware of this type of scam. The idiots behind these things do them because there are still too many people that are unwittingly conned. Banks do not send out e-mails asking you to verify your login details, or provide your PIN or account details. Equally, 3rd parties cannot tell if you have a virus or identify so called “performance issues” with your PC. If you receive an e-mail from you Bank asking for any of the above, speak to your I.T Company. If you receive a call from someone saying they are from Microsoft or alike, telling you they have identified issues on your machine, tell them that you are going to report them, and terminate the call.

11. Guaranteed Suicide.

Torrent sites and P2P file sharing programs are without doubt the worse possible candidates for virus infection. Not only are they largely illegal, they also expose your machine to Spyware, Malware and Virus infection. We have seen more data lost, and infection caused by these types of site, than anything else. You have been warned! 

If you need professional advice on keeping your business data safe, give us a call and speak to the experts. If the inevitable has already happened, we can help you get back on your feet. Prevention is always cheaper and less painful than cure. Give us a call today on 08454 60 60 33 or e-mail hello@graniteconsulting.com