DJ’s Guide to Computer Viruses: Preventative Measures

How do we prevent viruses?

Fkn duh. Anti-virus.

Most computers will come pre-installed with a trial version of some kind of anti-virus. You can use that if you want, but once the trial period runs out, you’ll need to either pay up or get something else. And if you ask me, there is no reason to pay for anti-virus. There are a lot of perfectly good options out there, but presently, the one we go with at the office is Microsoft Security Essentials. It’s free, doesn’t eat up processing power, and it’s simple as shit. Great.

What’s that? You’re on a Mac? Ha, I thought those didn’t get viruses? Sorry, buddy, caint help you. Anyway!

Regardless of what anti-virus you’re using though, you need to keep it updated. If it says it needs to update, update it. To not do so is to basically say NO THANK YOU I WOULD RATHER BE EXPOSED TO THE LATEST STRAIN OF COMPUTER HERPES.

However, you do not need more than one anti-virus program. You’ll note in the previous section of this guide, I advised unchecking the box in Malwarebytes that offers a trial of it’s Pro edition. Malwarebytes itself is a “passive” program in that it only runs when you open the program as opposed to the Pro version which is active and always running in the background. Reason being, running more than one active anti-virus program will slow your computer down immeasurably and it will not provide any significant benefit in exchange for that. It’s like wearing two condoms. Sounds good in theory, but it’s actually not a good idea. They don’t find different things, they’re all keeping up with the same shit. So pick one and only one.

See, the people developing your anti-virus aren’t the only people trying to keep you from getting infected. Because the doorway to virus infection is usually somewhere in the code of something else. Viruses typically are written to exploit “holes” in the code of popular programs and services in computers.

That’s why your computer always wants to update. And while installing updates constantly is a pain in the ass, this is precisely why you should do it.

Ideally, you’re keeping all the shit that needs updating updated, but the things you absolutely need to let update are as follows:

Adobe Reader
Adobe Flash

People complain most about Flash and Windows, but those are probably the most important to keep up to date which is why they are updated so often. I get a lot of people who are paranoid about Windows Update breaking things, but that happens far less than they act like. Ultimately, it’s worth more to have lower odds of catching a virus to me.

But wait. Lower odds? This isn’t 100%? Nope, sorry. To continue with the safe sex metaphor, there is no 100% way to prevent virus infection except never ever accessing the internet. The developers who are keeping your anti-virus databases up to date? They can only write updates to counteract viruses when the viruses themselves have been written. So there’s always going to be a period of time when there’s a new virus that your anti-virus doesn’t know about. 99% of the time, you won’t catch it before they write the preventative code. But you could. It happens.

But now you’ll be wearing your computer condom so your odds of infection will be very slim.

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August 2020