sheepdip (sheep dipping or a footbath)

In computers, a sheepdip (or, variously, sheep dipping or a footbath) is the checking of media, usually diskettes or CD-ROMs, for viruses before they are used in a computer or network.

In computers, a sheepdip (or, variously, sheep dipping or a footbath) is the checking of media, usually diskettes or CD-ROMs, for viruses before they are used in a computer or network. A sheepdip computer is used only for virus-checking. The computer makes use of one or two antivirus programs that are kept current on a daily basis.

Sheep dipping is generally used only for data on external media, not for data directly downloaded from the Internet. However, when files or programs are downloaded from the Internet, an ideal approach for safety's sake is to put them on removable media initially. The removable media can then be run through the sheepdip before transferring the data to the hard disk of a proprietary computer.

In sheep farming, sheepdip is a chemical bath given to sheep to rid them of vermin or sheep scab or to clean their wool before shearing.

This was first published in June 2007

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