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Don't be scared of the Love Bug

Everyone's talking it up, but there's an easy way to avoid the Bug

Computer experts have rebuked claims in a new report that email users have learnt nothing from their experiences of dangerous email viruses like the Love Bug.

The report by IT research firm IDC showed that about a third (37 percent) of business email users would still open the attachment of a message with the title “ILOVEYOU”–the message used by the Love Bug.

But a spokesman for IT security company F-Secure said that the most sensible solution would be to show people how to turn off a function in their applications that allowed viruses to replicate.

Viruses such as Melissa and the Love Bug use a utility known as Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting – known as VBScript – to bulk send emails to other users. It was originally developed as a language to link parts of documents to the web. But the utility can be turned off easily with little effect on the average user.

“There are almost no circumstances under which the average user will use VBScripting,” he said. He added that in most circumstances the only purpose VBScripting had in Windows applications was to "propagate viruses".

“Presumably, its more commercially viable to produce one all-embracing product…its intended to be useful but there are always people who will take that and exploit it,” the spokesman said.

How to turn off VBScript

Here's how to do it for Windows 95 PCs:

1. Open "My Computer"
2. Select "View/Options"
3. Find "VBScript Script File" from the "File Types" tab.
4. Select "Remove".
5. If you get a confirmation dialog, select "Yes".

For Windows 98 PCs:

1. Click on 'Start' button.
2. Go to 'Settings' menu, then 'Control Panel' and click left mouse button
3. Double click on 'Add/Remove Programs' icon
4. In the 'Add/Remove Programs' dialog window click on 'Windows Setup' tab.
5. Then put the cursor on 'Accessories' and double click left mouse button
6. Find 'Windows Scripting Host' option. Click on the checkbox near this
option to disable it.
7. Click 'Ok' button
8. The Accessories dialog will be closed. In the 'Add/Remove Programs'
dialog window click 'Apply' button

For Windows 2000 PCs:

1. Open "My Computer"
2. Select "Tools/Folder Options"
3. Find "VBScript Script File" from the "File Types" tab.
4. Select "Delete".
5. If you get a confirmation dialog, select "Yes".

For Windows NT:

1. Open "My Computer"
2. Select "View/Options"
3. Find "VBScript Script File" from the "File Types" tab.
4. Select "Remove".
5. If you get a confirmation dialog, select "Yes".


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