Viruses

This document will provide you with information on Viruses in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) format.

How often should I check for Windows or Macintosh updates?

Normally, Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 are scheduled to run by default with little user intervention. To verify if Windows updates are automatically scheduled, please refer to your manufacture documentation or visit Microsoft.com for further assistance. Macintosh operating systems (Mac OS X 10.5 and later) will check for updates automatically and inform the users of what updates are available. To verify what version of Mac OS X you have or how system updates work, please refer to the manufacturer's documentation or visit Apple's website.

What is an open port or proxy?

An open port or proxy allows unwanted and potentially dangerous traffic to enter and exit your computer. In most cases this goes unnoticed to the user.

I have another question regarding viruses that was not answered here. How can I get additional help?

You can call our customer service department to speak with a representative. Customer Service will attempt to answer any question related to viruses that was not covered here.

What is downstream protection?

Downstream protection means that your anti-virus program is scanning for viruses built for other operating systems as well as its own. Example: you have Macintosh and receive an email containing a Windows virus. The virus itself will do nothing to your Macintosh, but if you forward that email to a Windows user it will infect their system. If your anti-virus program has downstream protection it will identify this attachment as a virus.

Will my anti-virus program resolve open port or open proxy issues?

No. By default, some ports are already configured by the operating system or additional security applications to allow and pass safe traffic through to your computer (example: Web pages, email, newsgroup, uploading your personal web site and games). Similar with proxy servers being disabled. However, if you enabled access to allow other traffic in/out of your computer, you will need to configure and secure the system. If you received a virus enabling an open port or creating a proxy configuration, you will need to disable access to block unwanted spammers, hackers, etc. from silently entering and exiting your computer.

What is a virus?

A virus is a very small computer program capable of embedding itself into files and computer programs. There are several types of viruses, some are very simple but yet annoying, while other, more advanced viruses will attempt to crack passwords, spam a network generating thousands of emails, install key loggers, etc. If you are on a network and you open an unsafe attachment, very good chance that you are transmitting the virus throughout the network.

My anti-virus program is telling me that my subscription ran out, am I still protected?

Not fully. With most anti-virus protection programs, you are protected from the older viruses to that date. However, thousands of new viruses are created weekly and you will be vulnerable to them. To avoid the risk and headaches associated, keep your subscription current and uninterrupted.

Who can I contact to report an abuse related issue?

Abuse by PenTeleData customers can be reported to the abuse department. Abuse by non-PenTeleData customers should be reported directly to the abuser’s ISP abuse department.

What is a mass mailing worm?

A mass mailing worm is a type of virus that infects your system and uses your email program to send out thousands of emails from your email address.

I have a non-Windows operating system; can I still get a virus?

Yes. Although there are less viruses for non-Windows operating systems, viruses do still exist.

How can my computer become infected?

A virus can infect any end user by several methods, the most common are received via email (unsafe attachments), file downloads, infected web servers, pirated software, flash drives, etc.

What can I do to protect myself from getting a virus?

Purchase and install a good anti-virus protection program. As important as purchasing and installing, you need to keep it current, including purchasing the annual subscriptions. There are several good programs on the market but most carry all the same benefits. Still unsure, review customer reviews before buying. Keep in mind that no program can 100% protect you, there can be faults with any program allowing a virus to potentially pass through.

Should I have more than one anti-virus program installed?

No. Having more than one anti-virus program installed will result in poor computer performance, as well as conflicts within the programs themselves. Keep your current anti-virus protection up to date and active 100% of the time.

How can I check my computer for a virus?

Most, if not all, anti-virus applications run in the background monitoring your computer activity. Newer protection programs scan incoming and outgoing mail as well. In the event a virus is attached to a message or the computer detects a virus, a warning will appear asking for user action to either clean or quarantine.

What are some basic symptoms that my computer might be infected with a virus?

Basic symptoms will vary depending on the virus itself, however if you notice that your computer is running slower than usual on start up or during normal use, Pop-up advertisements appear for no reason, computer restarting, reports of messages being sent to users in your address book with strange attachments, inability to connect to the Internet and/or your anti-virus program just disappeared or is no longer running. Try restarting your computer; if the symptoms are the same, you may want to update your anti-virus application and manually run scans.