It seems quite a few of you are having one kind of trouble or another lately. Here are three tips to, hopefully, reduce your chances of trouble in the future.
1. Sign up for an antivirus subscription. Symantec and McAfee products are quite good. Set them up to download updates automatically. New bugs are always coming out and automatic updates are easy. You don't have to do anything to get them but power up and, if you have a dial up connection, connect the internet. If you don't get the updates you may pay or it in down time. Make sure you have the latest version of protection, too. Don't save a couple bucks and pay in hours of system recovery time.
2. Don't use Internet Explorer.
Experts say you are more vulnerable to spyware and other attacks by using it, so why bother. There are better options available for free. Firefox is more secure and includes a built in pop up blocker. <http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/>. There are other free choices, too.
3. If you have a choice, don't Use Outlook or Outlook Express. If you do use Outlook make sure you have the proper protection in place. There is special security software, often bundled with other anti-virus or security software, designed to keep these critters from using your address book to spread themselves to other PCs.
If you do these three things, you improve your odds of survival, but it is still no guarantee.