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How do I protect myself against a computer virus?

What is a virus? A virus is any computer program that can "self-replicate" or make copies of itself and spread itself from one machine to another without the help of the user. Viruses are often programmed to carry out other actions separate from replication. These actions vary from the annoying (altering a computer's homepage) to the damaging (deleting files). Because viruses are computer programs, they can do anything a normal program can do, including deleting files, formatting hard drives, and overwriting the BIOS. Some viruses do nothing at all. Viruses can be spread via floppy disks or CDs, email attachments, or in material downloaded from the Web, although the majority of viruses that are currently a threat are spread by email. These viruses are usually hidden inside of attachments emailed to computer users, and the emails are usually labeled with intriguing subject lines -- "I Love You" or "Your email address is about to expire" -- designed to tempt users into opening them. When the attachment is opened, the virus is activated, and the user's computer becomes infected. Often, viruses are programmed to spread themselves by emailing a copy of the attachment in which they're hidden to all the other email addresses in an infected computer's address book. So once your computer is infected, all your friends and contacts are at risk as well.

Can Mochahost's servers become infected with a virus? Viruses are generally OS (operating system)- specific. Meaning, viruses created for a Window's application can do no damage on a Macintosh, and vice-versa.

Please note: Mochahost runs Linux servers therefore, the Mochahost mail servers can not spread a Microsoft or Macintosh intended virus. If you are receiving a virus through your Mochahost mail, you are receiving this from someone who is infected and the mail is simply passing through the Mochahost server.

Anti virus/spam protection is included for all incoming/outgoing emails going through MochaHost - however in order to acheive better results and for better protection we recommend that you install an anti virus/spam software on your local computer. We recommend that you check with your local Internet provider for available software protection for your computer, nowdays most of the Internet providers offer free anti spam/virus software packages.

The best way to avoid getting a computer virus is to never open attachments. Since most viruses are spread via email attachments, by not opening such attachments you will avoid getting many viruses. If you must open an attachment, contact the person who sent you the attachment to make sure they actually sent it to you. Because viruses often spread themselves via an infected computer's address book, emails from people you know aren't automatically safe. Also, check the type of attachment before opening it. Attachments that end with the .vbs extension (Visual Basic script) or the .exe extension (program files) pose a real danger and are often how viruses are spread. Finally, make sure to install and update antivirus software.

Companies such as Norton, Symantec, and McAfee offer many kinds of antivirus programs, some of which are downloadable from the companies' websites. You can use this software to scan attachments for viruses before you open them. To keep updated on the latest viruses on the Internet, you can visit one of the following pages: http://securityresponse.symantec.com http://us.mcafee.com/virusInfo/default.asp

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