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Avoiding Viruses

Using the Internet can expose your computer to a wide variety of viruses through e-mail, file transferring, and even possibly through Java and ActiveX, which are both programming languages used to enhance web pages. A virus is an executable program whose functions range from just being annoying to causing havoc to your computer. A virus may display an innocuous warning on a particular day, such as Friday the 13th, or it may cause a more serious problem, such as wiping out your entire hard disk. Viruses are found in executable (.exe and .com) files, along with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel macro files.

When you start downloading files to your computer, you must be aware of the potential for catching a computer virus. You can't catch a virus from just reading a mail message, but you can catch a virus from opening a file attached to a mail message. And even though most viruses take the form of executable programs, data files that have macros or Visual Basic code attached to them, such as Word or Excel files, can also be infected with viruses.


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