How to Protect your PC from the Conficker Virus

With Microsoft offering a $250,000 bounty for catching the latest virus author, it goes to show you the havoc its caused to businesses and home PC users around the world. Conficker has been the thorn in Microsoft’s, Symantec, and other software giants side for the past 6 months. What makes this virus so difficult to deal with is that it keeps mutating into something more and more and more…complex. For this reason it is vital for you stay up to date with all your virus, spyware, and malware software updates. If you don’t have any you should download them…immediately.

It is hard to tell what is scheduled for the major release date of the latest conficker strain on April 1st but one thing is certain – it will not be no April fools joke. AttacksĀ can range anywhere from taking over users pcs, sending mass spam, to stealing credit card and account information.

Precautions to take to protect your PC

As mentioned previously you MUST at the bare minimum have virus protection software and a firewall enabled on your PC.. Once you have downloaded this or purchased the software it is essential to get the latest updates. Symantec puts out an update every 5 minutes just to give you an idea of how important updates can be. It is recommended that you leave the automatic update feature enabled on the software you choose.

Secondly, make sure you refrain from clicking on any pop up messages that say “click here” or anything that says “click here” for that matter. This includes messages from friends at social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Linkedin. These messages could say something like “check out this funny video, check out this site, ect” It is imperative that you get confirmation from your friends and family that they did indeed send this message before you click on it. It is a good practice to send them a follow up message or a quick phone call. It may seem silly but worth it for such a big price to pay.

See the diagram below for a useful overview of the virus and other preventative measures.