Forwarding of virus warnings from friends are generally always hoaxes [Great Resource: Symantec's Virus Hoax Page] - especially if they tell you to forward to everyone you know. Delete those emails and do not forward them! Definitely ignore those forwarded emails instructing you to delete files on your computer - they could be critical files that your computer needs to operate. Only warn friends if you KNOW you have a virus that you have inadvertently passed on to them. Rely only on your virus software and your software provider's Web site for real warnings. If you get one of these emails from a friend or associate, go to your virus software provider's site and read what they have to say before you unnecessarily alarm folks or, even worse, delete files off your hard drive. There are many urban legends purely in existence to annoy experienced users and make others look silly.
Several of the latest viruses actually use email addresses farmed out of your address book or In Box to send the virus and propagate itself to all those listed with your name in the FROM: field. Later viruses can send out the virus with your friend's names in the from field! Yikes! The need for a 24/7 real-time virus protection software is no longer a choice -it is your responsibility to remain virus free. You will also need to update your virus files regularly so that your computer is protected from the latest releases. Check out: Microsoft Security Essentials for these purposes.
- Get an active program that is always "ON". This will catch any viruses as they are being downloaded so they can be quarantined and cannot infect your system.
- Update your virus patterns daily or every time you log on. These updates can be downloaded from the Web site of your virus software manufacturer. Norton has a scheduler to tell your computer to do this automatically! You need to ensure your system is protected from the latest viruses which may have just been discovered since you were last online. New viruses are identified daily!
- Never click on any attachment or an .exe (example: Happy99.exe, free stuff, click here or ILOVEYOU) file attached within an email without making sure the attachment has been checked for viruses. Even if the mail appears to from someone you know very well! They may unknowingly be infected and are not aware of the virus on their system which has just spawned an email with their name on it and addressed to you. The email may look like it is from your friend just to get you to open it when in fact it is an email generated by a virus.