This is just a very simple information to prevent Viruses coming into your system. Well, my friends and acquaintances always ask me how come my PC don't get virused even though I don't have any Anti-Virus software installed, I'm always connected to the NET, and always plugging USB storage devices to my PC. They also always ask why I don't install Anti-Virus software.
First, let me tell you the reason why I don't have Anti-Virus software. The reason is my PC is slow. Yeah, it's just a Sempron 2400+ with a 256mb memory. I can't afford to install softwares that takes too much system resource as you can see so my alternative is know how to prevent viruses from getting in without having an Anti-Virus software and believe me, people complain to me about slow PC every time and my answer is always there's a virus, malware, adware, spyware, you're Anti-Virus is making your system slow... yeah, I also blame startup programs that are unneccesary. Anyway, let's move to the next topic which knowing how to prevent viruses from coming in.
Did you know that most viruses comes from USB storage devices? Yup, that shouldn't be news to you because before, viruses comes from diskettes if you don't remember. This time, with the born of plug-and-play and autoplay, the virus has become even more dangerous. Everytime you plug-in a USB in your drive, you are inviting prone to virus attack. There are viruses that hides themselve as a folder by looking like a folder icon that has the same name of the real folder in your drives. At first, you'd thought you're clicking a folder, but actually, you are clicking a program disguised as a folder and that program digs itself to your windows system that everytime you restart your windows, it would also run in startup. Problem with Anti-Virus is, not every time you are connected to the Internet so not every time your Anti-Virus is updated. Let's move to the next one...
One important thing to notice is, everytime you plug-in a USB Device in your PC, Windows Autoplay always kicks in, making you choose whether you want to autorun your USB, play, browse, etc... I'll make this CLEAR, always... I mean ALWAYS cancel that menu. You'll never know what will happen next specially if you don't have USB Anti-Virus security... Always assume that the USB storage you plug-in your PC has a virus and always check it. If you don't have any Anti-Virus to check it then you have no choice but to manually check it.
First is Open "My Computer" browse the drive using the left menu. If you don't find anything suspicious in the drive, don't let your guard down! Enable "Show Hidden Files" (Tools Menu==>Folder Options==>View Tab==>Choose to show hidden files) and make sure you check the contents of your USB Storage. If you found "Autorun.inf" and some suspicious programs in your USB drive, that's a sign that it might have viruses. Never! I mean, NEVER ever just click things that are suspicious. You're inviting those viruses yourself. And mostly, they come from "Window's Autoplay"
Now we come in questioning Window's Autoplay... do you even need to see that Autoplay menu whenever you plug-in a USB storage drive?
You can disable it by (Windows XP)
1) Going to "Start Menu>All Programs>Administrative Tools>Group Policies"
2) Once you opened the "Group Policies" dialogue box, go to "User Configuration>Adminstrative Templates>System"
3) You'd see that there are configurations at the right side that you can change... Look for "Turn off Autoplay", double click it.
4) You'd open another dialogue box and this time, Select "Enabled" then choose Turn off Autplay on "All Drives"
5) Press Okay, and you're all done! No more annoying Autoplay that would welcome you to put viruses in your system!
Anyway, even now, I'm still not using any Anti-Virus even though I'm using a fast PC right now. I'm not against using it but since I'm familiar with how it behaves (Virus and Anti-Virus), I didn't need to install such software. Anyway, Windows 7 also has the Autorun feature and is also open to many virus. There was this case where my coworker's PC suddenly wouldn't open the Explorer after logging in her Username and Password in the Windows Logon dialogue box, it's just black screen, even "Safe Mode" result in BLACK SCREEN and the only visible thing is the mouse cursor. CTRL+ALT+DEL, doesn't work and you can't run anything... like I said just BLACK SCREEN only or maybe BLACK SCREEN DESKTOP WALLPAPER only. My initial idea was that "explorer.exe" might have been corrupted or something, but the problem is, why Task Manager is affected? I tried booting to a CD to repair "explorer.exe" and scan for possible viral infection but that didn't do anything so my idea switched to "Registry" problem... I've search the NET for WINDOWS 7 BLACK SCREEN problem, but most of them leads to booting in "Safe Mode" and repairing the registry or network setting or, system restore or some other alternative which is already out of the solution because... well... I'll say it again... Safe Mode also leads to BLACK SCREEN. So then... my final card... REPAIR WINDOWS USING THE WINDOWS 7 INSTALLER...! And do a RESTORE AT SOME PREVIOUS POINT! 2 Previous Points to make sure...
I just laughed out what happened after that... REPAIR WINDOWS still lead to BLACK SCREEN! I wanted to prevent FORMATTING the HD as much as possible so I suggested to REINSTALL WINDOWS without formatting... Well, at least the files were still there, and the only thing to do now is reinstall the software that is needed for Work. What happened still baffles me even now...
Well anyway, for Windows 7 users, disabling Autoplay is very easy! Just go to "Control Panel" then go to "Autoplay", then disable Autoplay according to the setting you want. The "View by:" setting in my Control Panel is configured to "Large Icon" so I can easily find the what I want to click (much like how Control Panel looks like in WinXP). If you can't find Autoplay, there's a "Search" button for Control Panel :p, you can use it! Just press "CTRL+F" then type in Autoplay... XD Search buttons are the beast!