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Web guide

1.5 Safe surfing

1.5.1 What is a computer virus?

The Internet can be a fun place to explore, but if you don't want to suffer serious computer damage you need to avoid computer viruses.

Just like a medical virus a computer virus can cause all sorts of different symptoms on your PC. A virus is a little computer program that has a built-in ability to copy itself from one computer to another. It does this by e-mailing itself, or hiding in another computer program.

When infecting a PC a virus can delete and destroy your files and it can also use your e-mail and its address book to deliver itself to your friends and colleagues.

Use the following rules to keep your computer virus free.

  • Install (and keep up-to-date) some anti-virus software.

  • Install (and keep up-to-date) a personal firewall.

  • Get the latest patches and updates for your operating system.

  • Make back-ups of important files.

  • Never automatically open e-mail attachments.

  • Download or purchase programs from trusted, reputable sources.

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