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Frequently Asked Questions

 What is a computer virus? 

 A computer virus is a malicious computer program that infects the computer memory or hard disk. Some are comical and will simply change the display on your monitor while most are designed to do damage to the data on the computer. Boot sector viruses are especially damaging since they rewrite the information needed to start up and access your computer’s hard disk. Trojan horses are destructive programs disguised as something harmless like a game. Worms are programs written to replicate themselves until the computer’s memory or hard drive is completely used up at which time the computer crashes and becomes inoperable. A good place to learn more about computer viruses is CERT’s web site (http://www.cert.org/)

 How do I keep from getting a computer virus?

 If you buy no other piece of software for your computer, buy a virus protection program. Some common programs are Norton AntiVirus and McAfee ViruScan. Don’t share disks or other files without first checking the files or disks with a virus protection program. This includes downloaded files from the Internet – know the source of the file before you download and activate the virus protection plug-in for your browser.
AVG Free is a solid free virus protection program for home use. 

 What is a firewall?

A firewall is software or hardware that checks information coming from the Internet or a network, and then either blocks it or allows it to pass through to your computer, depending on your firewall settings. Even if you think there's nothing on your computer that would interest anyone, a worm could completely disable your computer, or someone could use your computer to help spread worms or viruses to other computers without your knowledge 

 Do I need a firewall? 

Yes. A firewall offers you complete control of what happens on your computer. Windows computer usually come with a software firewall ready to use.