You've probably heard about computer viruses that can delete files or even erase the contents of your entire hard drive. Viruses normally get stored in an area of your hard drive or internal memory that the computer doesn't usually access. They may be triggered by booting your computer, running an infected program, or detecting a certain date on your computer's clock. There are literally hundreds of viruses around. Most commercial anti-virus software is effective at detecting and removing viruses, but the time to use that software is before the virus can infect your computer. Viruses can get to your computer in several ways. They can be contained in files that you download off the Internet, or on floppy disks that are given to you by others. Commercial software is tested for viruses before release, and files from reputable Internet sites are usually safe. In addition to viruses, there are also hoaxes, usually sent by E-mail, warning you about non-existent viruses or claiming that the message itself contains one. Don't worry. You can't get a virus by reading a text e-mail. Files attached to messages, however, can contain them. Always use anti-virus software on any files that are attached to E-mail. With a few simple precautions, you can safeguard your computer against a computer virus.
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