You receive an e-mail from a trusted friend and colleague. It contains information; or has attached a file; for which your friend has asked your advice. You double click the file; or follow the advice. Boom! You've just been infected with a virus. Did your friend do this intentionally? No! In fact; your friend had no idea you received this email! Most likely; your friend isn’t even the one who SENT the e-mail in the first place.

This is typical of the most recent epidemic of virus programs.

How do they work?
Basically; they come attached to an email (or as text); they ask you to do something like erase a file or click a link; or you open the attached file; and they go to work on your system. They write to your system registry (the program that tells your operating system where all of your settings can be found); attach themselves to your address book and then send themselves out as a new email without your knowledge. When the virus sends itself to others in your address book; it “masks” who the e-mail originated from with someone else’s e-mail address from your address book… So even though the e-mail originated from your computer…. It“looks” as if it came from someone else… This is nearly impossible to track down. We can only hope the person who has the virus finds out; and takes care of it. The best thing for you to do if you receive an e-mail like this from an unknown person; is to forward it on to If you do know the person the e-mail appears to be from; ERASE it. If you do open the e-mail attachment; and a virus warning appears; the most important thing to look for is that the notice says “Quarantine Succeeded”.. Your Norton Anti-Virus succeeded in catching the virus. To prevent infection; it is extremely important that you have anti-virus software on your computer and keep it updated regularly (minimum once a month). When your subscription runs out for free updates; renew it - it will be worth the price!!!

  • Norton Anti-VirusOne of the most popular anti-virus programs is Norton AntiVirus made by Symantec. Norton AntiVirus has a 'Live Update' feature built into the software allowing the user to automatically update their protection by simply choosing Live Update from within Norton Anti Virus. For specific instructions on how to use Live Update; visit Symantec's stepby- step tutorial
  • McAfee VirusScanMcAfee has an 'Online Update' version of their software which you can subscribe to for a small annual fee; in addition to their 'boxed' software. To update the boxed software; visit McAfee's site for instructions on how to unzip and install the updates.
  • Where to Buy Anti-Virus Software?If you don't already have antivirus software loaded on your computer you should purchase one to ensure the system will not be infected. The two best known anti-virus products on the market are McAfee VirusScan which also has an Online Version and Norton AntiVirus. These should both also be available at your nearest computer software retailer (such as Best Buy or Office Depot).
  • Think you're infected?If you think you're infected; you can visit one of the sites listed above for information about the virus you think you may have (this is also a good idea to do when you receive one of those common hysterical e-mail spams warning you that life as we know it will soon be over because of the latest virus hoax.) Three good places to go for virus information are the Symantec Antivirus Research Center; Hoaxbusters at the U.S. Department of Energy's Computer Incident and Advisory Committee's web site; and McAfee's Antivirus pages.


Additional Help

Free Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware - Microsoft Security Essentials.
For Spyware only: or
For Computer Cleanup:
For Speeding up PC: Auslogics Defrag -
Still have a virus? Check out the Norton Anti-Virus FIX page to download removal tools…Download Removal Tool

Help Desk does offer limited hardware/software laptop repair free of charge - Stop by with your laptop; power-cord; and any recovery CDs you may have.

If you have a current active Warranty on your laptop; then the 1st route is to contact the manufacturer for any repair work.

If you still have questions; don’t HESITATE to cal the Help Desk. 796-3870.