Wednesday, February 10, 2010
All day yesterday we wrestled with a virus attack on my computer. To make it more fun, my resident computer expert was clear across the country on that other job he does...you know, the one where they pay him. I had to do all the techy stuff. Really this virus didn't know whose computer it was messing with. Stand between me and my blog? No way. Get between me and my Facebook friends? I think not.
So, here's a few words of warning.
Update your virus protection.
Go to Avast and download the current version. It's free and effective. Sign up for the free updates. I've gotten sloppy about updates and running regular scans. If you run into a nasty bug, go to a clean computer to download instructions and a fix from the folks at Malwarebytes. They helped me oust the nasty yesterday.
Back up. Back up. Back up.
Back up everything on your computer. As I wrestled with the bug yesterday, I was confident I had all my work backed up elsewhere. If I'd needed to get a new hard drive, I would have still had all the words from all my fiction saved in other places. All our photos are on both The Pilot Guy's laptop, my laptop, our external hard drive, with some on Photobucket. External hard drive. Disks. Stone tablets...whatever. Just back up.
And a few words about computer security....
“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.”– Stephen Hawking
“The only truly secure system is one that is powered off, cast in a block of concrete and sealed in a lead-lined room with armed guards.”– Gene Spafford
“Being able to break security doesn’t make you a hacker anymore than being able to hotwire cars makes you an automotive engineer.”– Eric Raymond
“Passwords are like underwear: you don’t let people see it, you should change it very often, and you shouldn’t share it with strangers.”– Chris Pirillo
Happy and safe computing!