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Saturday, March 28, 2009

avast! is ready for 1 April; are you?

April 1st is a date often targeted by the creators of malware and this year will be no exception. There are currently a lot of reports in the media about potential new virus threats and speculation about the potential impact of new viruses such as the Conficker worm. However, provided your computer’s operating system and your avast! antivirus are up to date, the risk is very small and there is no need to be unduly concerned.
To ensure you are protected against any potential new malware threats, before March 31st you should make sure that your antivirus program and virus definitions are completely up-to-date and that you have installed all available Windows security updates. We recommend checking that avast! is set to update itself and the virus database automatically – to check this, right click your avast! a-ball in the bottom right corner of your screen, select “Program settings” and then “Update (Basic)”. Here you should make sure that the virus database is set to “automatic”.
Also, whenever you switch on your computer, make sure that avast! is actually running. Some viruses are designed to specifically target antivirus programs and to turn them off, however avast! contains strong self-defense which is designed to prevent this. If avast! is running, you should see the normal blue a-ball in the bottom right corner of your screen. If it is switched off, it will contain a circle with a red line through it.
And finally, make sure that you have the latest Windows security updates. In particular, the Conficker worm takes advantage of a Windows vulnerability which Microsoft fixed in late 2008. Users of Windows Vista or XP (SP2 and higher) should have had this update installed automatically.
Source: avast! news

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