Internet Security FAQs

Virus Prevention Tips

The threat of viruses infecting our computers is a serious matter. Luckily, the steps for avoiding an infection on your equipment is relatively simple.

The first step in preventing infection is by installing anti-virus software on your desktop computer. Windstream does have an antivirus program on our mail server, and this prevents most viruses from being delivered, but not every virus is transmitted exclusively via email. A good antivirus system will scan your machine regularly to clean it from any infected files. Some popular antivirus systems are Norton Antivirus, Panda Antivirus and McAfee.

Make sure all necessary security patches are installed. Windows vulnerabilities are constantly being discovered. Visit http://www.microsoft.com/security/ often to ensure you have all critical patches needed. Viruses continue to exploit old vulnerabilities because many users do not apply patches regularly. Neglect leaves your system at risk, and also that of anyone in your email contact list.

Another cautionary note is to be wary of emails with attachments. Viruses lurk in attachments. We recommend not opening attachments from email addresses unknown to you. It is generally not possible to get a virus simply by receiving an email, but do not open any attachments that are unfamiliar to you, especially if it ends with .exe, .pif or .scr. Also, beware of any file with multiple extensions, like .jpg.exe or .jpg.scr.

Install a firewall for your PC. Internet connections are not safe without one. Finding one that monitors both inbound and outbound connection attempts is essential. Firewalls are necessary even if you have a dial-up Internet connection. If you have broadband, your system is even more vulnerable to attack.