How can you protect yourself?

Follow the security tips below to prevent the spread of viruses.

1. Password protection
If several people have access to a computer then the computer should be protected with a password to disable activation by unauthorised persons. The screensaver should also be given a password to prevent unauthorised persons from gaining access to the computer in the user’s absence.

2. Anti-virus programmes and firewall
Each computer should be equipped with virus protection software and a firewall. These must always be active in the background in order to identify viruses promptly, before they can start to cause damage.
It is important to always have the latest signature files, which contain information on the viruses. Most software can be configured so that these files are automatically updated in the background when the internet connection is active, without the user having to take any direct action.

3. Current updates
The operating system and browser must always have the latest security features. Manufacturers offer so-called patches or service packs for this, most of which can be automatically integrated.

4. Do not work as administrator
If you are logged onto your PC as the administrator, then any malware can cause significantly more damage to your computer than if you are logged in only as a normal user. Only use the administrator account when necessary (e.g. to install software).

5. Avoid using filesharing programmes
Apart from legally problematic sites for downloading music files (or other files with protected content, e.g. software,…), filesharing programme are a primary means of distributing computer viruses and Trojans. Something similar applies to chat programmes.

6. Deal cautiously with e-mails
Unknown sender: Delete e-mails that originate from an unknown sender. Under no circumstances open any attachments in such e-mails!

Check contents: Carefully check the content of e-mails that originate from supposedly known or trustable senders for inconsistencies (e.g. English text from German-speaking companies; unusual, incomprehensible formulations which mostly require the disclosure of private data,…). Here as well, it is better not to open attachments that may cause potential damage.

Links: Links sent in e-mails should not be clicked on, as these could be falsified, i.e. the visible address could be different from the one that is actually loaded. You should therefore always type links manually into the address bar of your browser.