This is by no means a comprehensive list of safeguards against internet virus infection, but it may offer a few tips for those who are unaware of
these issues. I've already mentioned in a previous thread about not using the preview pane in Windows Outlook Express. There are several sites that
offer good information about the latest viruses that are making the rounds. I've just today had to reformat my hard disk and don't currently have
those in my favourites folders. I will access my backed up files and post them later, if anyone is interested.
Top 5 Threats:
There are more than 50,000 viruses today, new viruses come out daily, any of them could be the next LoveBug virus! The real-world global virus
outbreaks like W97M_Melissa, VBS_Loveletter (a.k.a. LoveBug), VBS_Fireburn, W97M_Resume and VBS_Newlove have shown how effective malicious code
technology can be .
To reduce the risk of virus infections, and of inadvertently triggering or spreading them to other people, put these safeguards into effect on your
machine today and they will help keep you using today's advanced computer information access technology without falling prey to viruses and other
malicious code! To make your system more robust, follow these practices outlined below to set up and configure your system. The general idea is to
make it difficult or impossible for viruses to run.
Disable the Windows Scripting Host Functionality
This is to prevent Visual Basic script viruses like VBS_LoveLetter from running, so that they cannot activate, spread or cause damage to files. A
typical PC does not need Windows Scripting Host (WSH) to function normally. You can always change your mind later and reinstall WSH by repeating these
steps and re-selecting "Window Scripting Host" checkbox.
Do Not Hide File Extensions of Known File Types
All Windows operating systems, by default, hide the known file extensions in Windows Explorer. This feature can be used by virus writers and hackers
to disguise malicious programs as some other file formats, such as text, video or audio files. For example, a malicious program file named
"readme.txt.exe" is displayed as "readme.txt" in Windows Explorer (see illustration below). Therefore users are often tricked into clicking the
"text" file and then into inadvertently running the malicious file. To avoid this confusion, you are recommended to change the Windows Explorer
setting to "Not hide the File Extension of known File Types." Important Notice: There are still some file extensions, which the Windows operating
system will always hide, such as the shell scrap files with the extension .shs.
Set Internet Explorer Security to at Least "Medium"
By default, the Internet Explorer Security Setting is set to "Medium." However, Trend has seen many systems where the security system was changed to
"Low" by a virus, Trojan, or hacker. In this regard, we encourage every user to ensure that their security setting is set to at least "Medium",
as this will reduce the risk of accidentally running a malicious file. At the "Medium" security level, Internet Explorer 5 will prompt users before
running potentially unsafe content. We also advise that users always save files to the local hard drive and then scan them with an up-to-date
antivirus product. If you don't have an antivirus product or your product is out of date, please feel free to use Trend Micro's free on-line scanner
HouseCall at housecall.antivirus.com...
Require a Prompt Before Opening Mail Attachments
(applies to Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express users)
We have seen many viruses activate because users were double-clicking on incoming email file attachments. In this regard, we advise that Internet
users save files to the local hard drive and then scan them with an up to date antivirus product (instead of double-clicking over the incoming email
file attachments). Afterwards, your system will prompt you with a warning even if you accidentally click on an email attachment or read an email that
has some embedded scripts. This registry fix applies to Word documents, Excel sheets, Excel charts, PowerPoint files and HTML files.
Enable Macro-virus Warning in MS Office 97 & 2000
(applies to Office 97 and 2000 users)
Apply All the Latest Microsoft Security Updates (I know there are several folks here who dislike Microsoft, but for the others)
in order to
close security holes that have been discovered since Windows was shipped and installed. Security updates will help prevent hackers from accessing
your system and prevent viruses from running on your system. Windows 98 or Windows 2000 users can also use the Windows Update feature to get all the
latest security updates. Simply click "Start" and then select "Windows Update".
Safe Computing Practices mainly make it more difficult for malicious code to enter or execute on client systems. Nevertheless, the recommended safe
computing practices are not intended to replace currently updated antivirus software. Users whose systems have been attacked by viruses or Trojans
can tell stories about what a hassle they can be at minimum ñ or about the important data they may have lost. In general, most viruses are mere
nuisances, but every once in a while a new virus comes along that uses a new technique and causes major computer problems or threatens data or data
security. These Safe Computing Practices will add a protective layer of defense to prevent viruses from running inadvertently.
Happy Surfing Y'all,