Server Management

Viruses 101

VirusHow to Protect Yourself

Almost every small business has at least one; some have more. I’m talking about that employee who downloads free desktop backgrounds and screensavers, or freaks out and clicks on the obnoxious blinking pop-up that says, “You have 72 Trojan found on your computer, run a scan now!”

While most semi-computer savvy workers can smell a virus threat from a mile away, it only takes one less-than savvy individual to download a virus that can potentially affect your whole network. Holding a meeting with your employees to go over some basic email and internet business etiquette may save your company the headache of having to deal with worms, viruses or security breaches. Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list to get you started:


  • Do not download any programs that have not been approved by your administrator, including any games, desktop backgrounds, themes, or screensavers. Many of these less-than-reputable sites also install additional malware or viruses.
  • Never disable your firewall or antivirus without first checking with your administrator or supervisor.
  • When logging into secure websites, check the address bar to be sure it’s a secure site (a lock logo, https). This is to avoid fake phishing websites that look like the real thing.
  • Turn your computer off over the weekend.
  • Don’t click on unfamiliar pop-ups, and become familiar with your computer’s programs and updaters (or have your MSP take care of updates).
  • If you are updating programs, be sure to uncheck the boxes that want to install additional toolbars or programs (this is typically more of a nuisance than a security risk).


Email –

  • Do not open email from people or companies you don’t recognize.
  • Do not open any attachments you are not expecting or do not recognize.
  • Do not click on unfamiliar or unexpected links, even if they are sent by someone you know. (ex “Click here –” )
  • Never track a package that you didn’t send. Some scams appear to be from the post office or UPS and want you to open a file or click a link to accept or track a package.
  • Email with very obvious poor grammar should be a red flag.
  • The rich prince from Indonesia who is hiding and needs your help with transferring $450,000,000 really doesn’t need your help. It’s a scam.

Scanning your computer regularly for viruses is also a great way to be proactive. If an employee has any question that something might be awry, an administrator or supervisor should be contacted before continuing.

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