Have you heard of the Conficker virus? It is set to wreak havoc on computers on April 1st, 2009. What will it do? No idea, but I know it has infected PCs like the plague. Will it steal your data? Erase your hard drive? Turn your machine into a spam bot? We’ll see.
To make sure you don’t have the Conficker virus already, you can download various free scanners to scrub your hard drive for the virus signature. Using Google will help you find the programs. If you can’t visit eset.com or any of the other anti-virus websites, hunches are you are infected.
Per lifehacker, you can protect yourself by:
How Do I Stay Safe?
Staying safe from this, and many other viruses and worms, requires a combination of keeping your computer updated and using anti-virus software. Here’s a couple of quick tips to follow:
- Make sure your system is fully patched using Windows Update, and update MS08-067 has been applied.
- Make sure your anti-virus is fully updated, enabled, and you’ve run a full scan.
- Make sure you are using strong passwords (see our guide to choosing great passwords).
- Disable the AutoPlay feature—which Conficker uses to infect systems.
- Make sure your firewall is enabled when you are on untrusted networks.
- Make sure your data is backed up—if you aren’t sure what to use, see our five best Windows backup tools.
Are you looking for ways to clean up your computer? As you surf the Internet, you are prone to downloading Trojans, viruses, adverts, cookies, and just a bunch of other random Internet junk. Spybot helps clean your computer of spam, well at least most of it. This is what the website has to say for itself:
Spybot – Search & Destroy detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications. Spyware silently tracks your surfing behavior to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you haven’t intentionally installed, if your browser crashes inexplicably, or if your home page has been “hijacked” (or changed without your knowledge), your computer is most probably infected with spyware. Even if you don’t see the symptoms, your computer may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging. Spybot-S&D is free, so there’s no harm giving it a try to see if something has invaded your computer.
The best part about this program it is easy to use, uses minimal system resources, and its free! What more can you ask for? Check it out here.