Networks and Internet
One of the major functions of computer networks is to provide users with the facility to share files, but if files can be shared, so can viruses. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that can be taken to minimise the risk:
- Put an access password on any shared resources that allow others to write to your disk and configure your system so that write access is limited to a single directory, making it easier to scan incoming files for viruses.
- Scan files that you receive over the network if there is a possibility that they can contain viruses, eg: .com or .exe files, Word or Excel files, etc.
Virus infection over the Internet is also a major problem. Many vendors make software such as trial versions, drivers, updates and patches available over the Internet. Downloading files from reputable companies is generally safe, but the Internet can also be the source of pirate or bootleg software and low-priced software which may be counterfeit. These files may be infected with viruses, deliberately or otherwise.
The following precautions can help minimise the risk of infections:
- Only download software form reputable sources
- Scan everything you download with an antivirus program
- Be careful when using automatic updates. Many programs will allow you to specify that downloading and or execution of updates must be manually authorised.
Next: Antivirus Programs