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Keep a Clean Machine

How do I prevent getting malware on my computer?

  • Keep your anti-virus software, operating system, and web browser up-to-date.
  • Turn on automatic updates if available.  Software updates help protect your computer against the latest threats and vulnerabilities.
  • USB drives (flash drive, thumb drive) and other external devices can be infected.  Use your security software to scan them.
  • Install or enable a firewall.  Firewalls may be able to prevent some types of infections by blocking malicious traffic to your computer.
  • Don't follow links in emails making claims to good to be true.  The same goes for pop-up windows.  To safely close the pop-up window click the 'X' on the title bar, not the button in the window.
  • Adjust your browser preferences to limit pop-up windows and cookies.
  • Be very cautious when opening email attachments even if they are from someone you know and trust.  If it looks suspicious, contact the sender before opening it to make sure they sent it and it is legitimate.

Symptoms

  • Endless pop-up windows
  • Redirected to other web sites
  • Random Windows error messages
  • Computer suddenly seems very slow when opening programs or processing tasks (saving files, etc...)
  • Unexpected/unwanted toolbars or icons on your computer screen
  • Certain keys stop working