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Viruses: KEEP OUT

It seems as if almost everyone can tell of a time they got a virus on their computer. They didn't know how it got there. They didn't do anything to allow it onto the computer. All of a sudden, it was just there. Sound familiar? Everyone should know: it didn't need to happen. No computer should ever get a virus.

First, here is a little information. There are two categories of viruses: those that need the user's help to get onto a computer and those that don't. The first kind trick you into downloading them by looking safe and innocuous or just by saying they are something they aren't. The second kind is called a "worm" virus. A worm virus doesn't need user help at all to install on a computer. It gets there simply because the computer is turned on and connected to a network such as the Internet, a hotel network, airport network, coffeehouse or any other network where there is just one computer with a virus.

Prevent infection from worm viruses by using a properly configured hardware firewall. (This is not a software firewall which is just a program on a computer that can be disabled by a virus.) A hardware firewall is a little physical box that sits between a computer and the Internet connection. Just having a hardware firewall isn't enough though. It must be configured to act as a barrier protecting the computer from outside intervention. With a properly configured firewall, every interaction between the computer and the Internet physically passes through the firewall first. Thus, there is no possible way a worm virus can get to the computer.

People travel and people have homes. There are hardware firewalls for both situations. One kind, a VPN, will protect a computer wherever the user is in the world at any time. Imagine: a complete, 100% virus-free Internet connection all the time, no matter where you are. How good is that? On the other hand, if the computer always stays home, a single location firewall is perfect. Either way, a properly configured hardware firewall will keep worm viruses out of your computer.

More great security information will be detailed in future articles.
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