There are some simple steps to have a safe personal computer even though new virus threats erupt daily.
That was the message Joe Corasaniti, IT consultant with the Ridgefield Group, brought to the Steubenville Kiwanis Club as the guest speaker at its Jan. 21 meeting held at the YWCA.
He was introduced by Mike Gray, who has lined up January's programs.
Steubenville Kiwanis Club members Mike Gray, left, and Cas Adulewicz, right, with guest speaker Joe Corasaniti, IT consultant with the Ridgefield Group
One of the ways to demonstrate good computer hygiene is to always update your software, not to ignore or exit out of those alerts that announce updates are available.
"What those software updates are meant to do is close security holes in the software or fix a problem or 'bug' that may cause it to not run correctly, so it's always important to run those and keep everything up to date and safe," Corasaniti said.
Software recommended include Microsoft Security Essentials and Avast in the antivirus department, according to Corasaniti, and as for maintenance, CCleaner removes "junk" files, temporary files and cookies and fixes registry errors. Virus scanners such as Malwarebytes and Super Anti-Spyware also keep a computer healthy and its owner happy.
In terms of regular maintenance, PC owners should run updates from Windows, Adobe, Java and their antivirus program; regularly run a 'quick scan' with their antivirus every week or two; and run CCleaner weekly.
"A lot of people get viruses, and the No. 1 question is how did I get that virus," Corasaniti said.
There are a lot of ways, he assured, including through e-mail; when you're browsing the web, and there are popups and toolbars that want to be installed but need denied; through social networking sites, including Facebook; Instant Messaging; and through file sharing.
When you download, only do so from trusted websites, from a software developer's site or from Download.com, with everything from it pre-screened for viruses and Malware.
With e-mail, never provide personal information through e-mail; delete suspected spam without opening it; don't open attachments that look strange or weren't expected; and use an e-mail program with spam/junk mail filtering capabilities.
When you're on the web, if you really feel unsafe about a link, it's best to type the address into the browser rather than click on the link because often times the link can be malware. He also advised to look for the "https://" when entering account info and don't provide any confidential information to any unsolicited requests.
In addition, don't accept "free" offers or click "error" messages in your browser. Only allow authorized programs to connect to the Internet.
Corasaniti provided an illustration of a fake antivirus that might appear on the screen. Although it may look legitimate, don't be fooled.
Some other advice included only running one antivirus and creating a secure password with at least one uppercase and one lower case letter and a number.
Cas Adulewicz presided at the noon luncheon meeting where Steubenville High School Key Club member Emiley Maslowski attended with adviser Ross Ivkovich. Julie Robinson, Indian Creek Key Club adviser, brought Hannah Siemer and Miranda Risdon. Several fundraisers to benefit IC student Justin Cummings, who was injured in an accident, were announced. Justin Cummings Benefit Day at ICHS will be held Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the high school and include a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a corn hole tournament, a food stand and silent auction and items for sale.
The club is continuing to plan for its Trivia Night fundraiser on March 10 at 7 p.m. at the Steubenville High School Commons. The cost for a team with a maximum of 10 people is $100, and a team can buy up to 10 mulligans at $2 each. If you'd like information or want to register a team, call Tom Timmons, the club's secretary-treasurer, at (304) 797-8055.
The club took a field trip today to the Schiappa branch of the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County with Alan Hall, library director, as the speaker. There will be no Kiwanis meeting on Feb. 7, the day of Gov. John Kasich's State of the State speech being held in Steubenville.