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11 Apr

What can I do to protect myself from computer viruses and Trojans?These days, practically everyone's online, downloading and exchanging files, and developers are in such a hurry to get their Web sites up or their files out that checking for a nasty bug is more of a courtesy than a requirement.What it does then depends on the malevolence of its creator.Some viruses are nothing more than a practical joke.Unfortunately, 'keeping it current' means updating it weekly, at least but most products today allow one to automate this process, but file downloads can be large and slow.Factors to consider when buying an anti-virus package include cost, quality of tech support, how frequently the package self-updates and the platforms supported by the program.

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Just ask Choice Point when it took a million charge in 2005 after cyber criminals hacked into their systems and stole sensitive data from thousands of customers.Protect Yourself There are a few basic rules that computer users should follow to short-circuit viruses.The best known bit of advice is this: Never open any attachment unless you know who it's from and why they are sending it.They may bring up a message like "Merry Xmas" or melt your display.Most of them though, either start destroying your system or your files immediately or on a date specified by their creators—like the much-publicized Michelangelo virus, which erases important pieces of your system on March 6.