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Archived article from the year 2000
"Your data has a social life too"


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Every year, millions of people catch a computer virus. Some catch two or three, which makes you wonder if our race is really as clever as it's cracked up to be.

An introduction to viruses

If you're running a PC and Microsoft software you must protect against viruses. They're very common and pose a big threat.

It's email that's most dangerous, especially email attachments. The virus sender may even be somebody you know and trust, because the virus can send itself using their name and address.

There's no substitute for running virus protection software. You'll also need to periodically update the data file that comes with the program so it's able to recognize new viruses.

If you don't do this, and you open email attachments, you will almost certainly catch a virus at some point.

Even if you run a virus protection program properly, you're still at risk when a new kind of virus comes out, because your system won't recognize it.

So you still need to be careful when you open email attachments.


Safe procedures for email

Assess your risk

Email and attachments

Web downloads

Anti-virus software

In Microsoft Word documents


Personal data
Mobile phones


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