Computer viruses are on the rise…
I know this isn’t Binky Patrol related, but in the past few weeks there have been so many nasty viruses infecting a lot of your computers, I thought I would give you a few tips on recognizing them quickly – before it is TOO LATE! and you have unknowingly infected your friends too.  I receive about 10 emails each week with sad stories of Binky friends who have had their hard drives ruined, lost files, etc. due to viruses.

Most viruses come via email. 

  1. Most viruses come from another computer with a virus and these viruses seek out the address book in email programs; launch themselves to everyone on the list.  This is why 90% of the viruses you receive will be from people you know or whom have you in their address book.  They don’t send it out intentionally, it is the virus that they just picked up.
  2. Also, most viruses attach themselves to a common file on that infected computer and send it along with the fake message. 
  3. Be on the look out for files/attachments with an extra “suffix” on the end:  Such as — filename.doc.pif, filename.jpg.ini.  You may recognize the .doc, .jpg, .gif – but if there is something after it (.whatever) – most assuredly it is a virus!  The subject will be somewhat vague, such as:
Im_sorry_try_this_instead; Heres_what_I_promised_you, etc.
Delete it into your “trash” and then empty the “trash” or “recycle bin.”
When in doubt, don’t open.  You can always shoot off a quick email to the sender – if you know them – asking them if they sent you an attachment.  They are most likely not aware that they have sent a virus to everyone they know.
-Susan Finch

This in  from Carol Green, President and Founder of Newborns in Need: 
At Newborns in Need we recommend our volunteers download AVGuard from
it is free and if you are interested, they are offering their professional version to non-profits for free.


The other main entry for viruses into home computers is via files
from the web. If you have children, they can download files and you might
not know it – try to explain to them why they need to get permission to
download.  The viruses that flood email are messy but the viruses from
executable files (attached to email OR from a download) can be horribly destructive.

It can’t be stressed too much that every computer should be running a Virus
Detection tool. If you installed a Virus Detection tool but have not recently updated it, then it may not be looking for the latest viruses!
These tools can be configured to scan files for viruses before you either
open them or use them. Get the latest tools and keep them up to date. The
manufacturer of the Virus Detection tool should maintain a web site with
latest upgrade and information on all of the latest viruses.

Do check out the web sites below left regarding Viruses because there can be manual steps you can do to fight viruses. For example, we had a nasty virus at work that kept reinfected computers. Fortunately, there was a simple way to “innoculate” a computer by placing a certain dummy folder where the virus would place its nasty executable. The Virus Detection tool didn’t do this “innoculation” step, we had to do this manually.

The PCGuide home page points to an article about this latest virus. This virus can randomly grab a document on your PC and attach to the email it is blasting all over. If you have really sensitive documents you might want to consider encryting them – see your MS Word help.  In the article I learned
that the virus can stash itself in you recycle bin. That’s nasty because I
bet the Virus Detection tools aren’t looking there (look for another
upgrade). You can open your recycle bin by double clicking on it and then
you can empty it.
-Connie Ishida, Oregon

Check out these websites for more information:
Here are two great antivirus sites:

If you want to learn more about viruses:

If you want to learn more about other aspects of your computer try the home
page at: