Support materials for existing tops customers.

Preventing viruses, worms and Trojan horses

Following are some tips that will help keep your practice data secure. There are no known viruses on Mac OS X, and there are no known worms like those that have plagued Microsoft SQL Server. Most of the following measures deal with human behavior. Uninformed use of computers is the greatest danger to security.

  • Viruses are small programs that attach themselves to other programs and computer document files. Like biological viruses, they replicate or make copies of themselves in an effort to spread as widely as possible. In addition to replicating and spreading, viruses can range from benign (they don’t harm your data or system) to malicious.
  • Worms behave differently. They also replicate, but they don’t need to attach themselves to other programs or documents. In addition to replicating and spreading, worms can also range from benign (they don’t harm your data or system) to malicious.
  • Trojan horses are programs that do not replicate but attempt to lure the user into running them, usually by pretending to be something else. Trojan horses may be benign or malicious.
  • Macro viruses exploit the ability of some standard software like Word to run small programs called macros.

Passwords are an important part of computer and network security. Learn how to choose good passwords here.

Your practice router

Your router has been configured by the tops installation team. It has a firewall and is set for maximum security. Don’t change the settings. If you should need a new router, contact team tops for help in configuring the new router.

Your topsOrtho workstations and Windows PCs

Follow these practices to minimize the possibility of getting viruses, worms and trojan horses on any PCs you have (and your Macs, too…just in case anyone ever successfully writes a virus):

  • Don’t double-click or open any file sent to you via email or instant messaging unless you were expecting it. If an attached file does arrive with an email addressed from someone you know, it may still have been sent by a virus that read your friend’s email addresses and mailed itself to everyone in the address book. If you weren’t expecting the file, call your friend to be sure they sent it.
  • Don’t copy or pirate software from friends or coworkers. After all, you don’t know where their software has been.
  • Don’t download software from sites other than the manufacturer’s site. Again, you don’t know what you’re getting.
  • Never click a web link in a spam email. These will sometimes take you to web sites and download software to your computer without your knowledge.
  • Get a free email certificate from an internet security company like Comodo. This certificate will work with all modern email programs and allows you to send email to any friend who also has a certificate. The beauty of email certificates is that any certified email is guaranteed to have come from the address that it shows. You can also encrypt emails so that the exchange of sensitive patient data is not compromised and remains HIPAA-compliant.
  • Never buy anything online if you got to the web site by clicking a web link. Only do business on sites you’ve reached by entering the address yourself. It is possible for a website to disguise itself as an official site of a legitimate company, but not if you typed in the address yourself.