Virus and Malware Avoidance Strategies

What I am going to say is going to sound very obnoxious, but stick with me for a minute and it may save you a trip to your friendly neighborhood computer repair shop in the near future.

There is only one way you can absolutely guarantee that you do not get a virus on your computer: DO NOT TURN IT ON !!!

While at first this sounds like the old joke in which a computer user calls technical support and the person on the phone instructs the computer user to pack up the computer and ship it back to the factory, because he is too stupid to own a computer, that is not where I am headed with this article.

People use their computers for various important tasks every day, and many of those tasks are low risk. Shopping online, writing an article, checking email for work, online banking, etc... While it is possible to get a computer virus any time you are connected to the internet, or even when you are using a removable storage device, it is relatively low risk. If you are not backing up your data, please take a moment and CLICK HERE to read my article on data backup strategies, because data backup is really important.

Higher risk computer use includes visiting suspicious websites, or clicking on any link in any email that you think is suspicious.

The solution I propose is that you do not use your computer for anything other than low risk activity, and instead use your computer for work only. This is especially true for people who use their computers for work, but also relevant for home users that have important documents and pictures on their computer that they do not want to lose.

Instead of using a computer for high risk activity, try using an iPad instead. While an iPad is not free, it is not that expensive either. Additionally, while the iPad is not 100% immune to getting a virus or malware, very few iPad viruses exist and most threats are eliminated by updates to the iOS. In the event that your iPad does get infected or hi jacked, the threats can usually be eliminated by closing the browser and restarting the device. In extreme cases, the device may need to be restored and wiped clean. Even if you do get a virus on your iPad, the major advantage remains that the virus is not on your primary computer. In essence, your iPad is the sacrificial lamb that will take the damage, but since your are not using your iPad for work or to store important data, the damage should be limited to just doing a restore on your iPad in order to wipe it clean.

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