Computer Technicians Offer Virus Immunity Tips

The Love Bug. Bug Bear. Mydoom. The names may be cute, but these viruses have terrorized computers throughout the world, slowing down networks and flooding E-mails with bogus messages. We can't completely eliminate computer viruses, but there is a way to keep you from being the next victim.

Computers line the counter at Simple Solutions in Biloxi, their owners in search of a solution.

Technicians say out of the many computers they've worked on in the years, 70-percent of them have one big problem--viruses.

Sue Westgate of Coast Computers agrees, and says the madness begins with the "click" of a mouse.

"Usually, a bored computer programmer who has nothing better to do decides that he's going to create this menace to society and he decides to release it on the world," said Westgate.

Westgate has already worked on computers this week infected with the recent "Mydoom" virus.

She said if your computer is hit with any virus, it's best to take it to a professional because you could eventually make it worse.

But you can protect your computer with a little virus immunity.

"One big prevention, especially if you have Windows XP, is to run your Windows updates.You want to do all the critical updates. That will prevent a lot of them. There's a bunch of different viruses it'll prevent. Also make sure you have an anti-virus on the computer. Usually the icon will be running down at the bottom. Make sure you keep it up to date. I usually recommend now once a week," said Westgate.

She says home computers are more vulnerable to viruses, so while surfing the Net, use common sense.

"Make sure if you get an e-mail in and especially if it says 'you sent an e-mail' and you didn't, don't open it. Just delete it. Chances are it has a virus in it. If you ever get an e-mail from Microsoft and it has an attachment, do not open it. Microsoft does not send attachments ever," said Westgate.

Microsoft is offering a $250-thousand reward for the capture of the person who created the MyDoom virus.