Virus Protection Tip

Another way you can protect yourself from viruses in Windows is to ensure you have your computer set to show File Extensions.   File Extensions are the characters at the end of every filename in Windows, after the last fullstop.  For example, “statement.doc” (a Word document) or “setup.exe” (an executable file or program).  Every file on your computer has an extension, which tells your computer what type of file it is so it knows how to open it.  However, by default Windows doesn’t show these extensions, so the above file you would just see as “statement”  or setup” on your computer.

As you are allowed to also have full stops within the file name itself, the problem arises where virus makers can send you files that look like something they are not.  For example, the filename “statement.doc.exe” would appear as just “statement.doc” if your computer is set to not show extensions, and you might reasonably think it’s a Word document, instead of the virus program that it is.

If you set your computer to show file extensions, you won’t get caught out by this.  Instructions here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/865219

The only thing you need to be careful of if you set this is when you rename a file you make sure you leave the file extension as is, or Windows won’t know how to open it.

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