Computer viruses are programs that spread or self-replicate.  They usually require interaction from someone to be activated.  The virus may arrive in an email message as an attachment or be activated by simply opening a message or visiting a malicious website.  Some viruses consume storage space or simply cause unusual screen displays, while others can destroy information.

Follow these best practices:

  • Check that your anti-virus software is updated at least every week or set it for automatic updates.  New, fast spreading worms and viruses are released every day.
  • Before installing or using software from any source, check it for viruses with a current virus scanner.
  • Store removable media, such as CDs/thumb drives/diskettes as “write protected” whenever possible to help prevent infection by viruses.
  • Do not load free software on your computer from an untrusted source.
  • Consider blocking extensions such as: .bat, .cmd, .exe, .pif, .scr, or .zip through content filtering software.


Cyber Security Tips are provided by Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC),