The right software and firewalls protect us reasonably well but there is still a bit of work you have to do to keep your computer safe.

Computer viruses are not unlike the common cold.

Imagine yourself in a garden with a high fence. Inside the fence are all of your colleagues. No one has a cold. You are all healthy and working well. The fence is your protection against those with a cold on the outside. For the most part the germ ridden air flows over the top of your fence and leaves you and your colleague germ free on the inside.

Then comes a knock on the door. It looks like the postman. You open the gate, take the parcel he gives you and shut the gate. But when you look more closely you realise it isn’t actually addressed to you. It is a wrong delivery and it brings with it the germ infested air from outside. Your protected space is no longer free from infection.

Most computer viruses are downloaded by the user.

This may sound fanciful but the reality is that most computer viruses are downloaded by the users themselves, whether they realise it or not.

How can you protect yourself and your business?

  • Make sure your antivirus and antimalware software is fully up-to-date.
  • Regularly run a full system scan.
  • Take a moment to question emails and attachments before you open them.

A staggering amount of infections are coming through emails that are designed to get you to click and open an attachment or unzip a file. Some are even designed to look like they come from someone you know.

If you are not expecting an attachment or the email sender address looks a little odd don’t open it. Instead take a moment to pick up the phone or email the sender yourself to confirm they did send you an attachment. A few minutes of checking could save you hours, possibly days of lost time and income that may result from a computer virus.

But I’m an unlikely target.

We understand that antivirus, antimalware and firewalls can seem expensive at first glance. Many practice's can’t see how they would be a target and therefore choose to save by not investing in proper protection.

Before you make that choice just take a moment to think like the bad guys.

Are you more likely to target the large mansion with the sports car on the drive and the heat sensor alarm system, the three drooling guard dogs, the automatic lights and the spiked fence or the small house next door with no fence, no lights, no guard dogs, no alarm and a window slightly ajar?

Sometimes it really is necessary to keep up with the neighbours.

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