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10 top tips to keep your PC safe from email viruses

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Email is a vital tool for most businesses and many of us don't remember how we ever lived without it. Unfortunately though, it is also a popular way to distribute computer viruses and malware.

However, there are some steps you can take to protect your business' IT systems and data.  

  • Only open email attachments from people that you know.     
  • Only open email attachments when you have been told to expect one.     
  • Never click onto a website link contained in an email unless you can completely trust the sender of the message and the web site it is linking to.     
  • Never respond to spam email messages – it will lead you to being targeted by other spammers.    
  • Never respond to emails that appear to be from your bank requesting passwords.    
  • Don't forward junk email, spam or "chain" emails – it wastes time and can make you a target.    
  • Be very careful which websites you visit – certain "unsavoury" websites, which you may be prompted to click through to from an email, can download malware without you even knowing it.     
  • Never install software from a website unless you are 100% happy you trust the vendor or provider.    
  • Always check the website address (called a URL) and make sure it is correct – some hackers will alter the URL of a more respected site very slightly and redirect you to a rogue site.    
  • If in doubt – don't! What is the worst that can happen if you don't reply to a suspect email or download an attachment? The consequences if you do can be far more damaging to your business.     

Further information

To protect your business from cyber-attacks and data loss, click here

Make sure your business is cyber safe, click here

About the author       

This article was first published as part of Computer viruses and malware on Business IT Guide, part of e-skills, the Sector Skills Council for IT and telecoms. The Business IT Guide has been developed in collaboration with industry experts to help small businesses find the right IT solutions for the issues that affect them.