Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
Most people these days understand what a virus is and how harmful it can be, but they are still somewhat unsure how computer viruses spread. The truth is that there are dozens of different ways in which a virus can spread from computer to computer, but let’s take a look at the most frequent ways in which people run into viruses, spyware and Trojans on the Internet.
1. Email attachments: Golden rule is that if you don’t know what an attachment is, don’t open it. You don’t have to take such drastic steps to protect yourself, however; simply use common sense when opening attachments in your email.
2. Rogue Websites: It is depressing to know that you may become infected with spyware or a virus by doing nothing more than simply visiting a website, but it is true. Many adult websites, gambling websites and other less than trustworthy websites will attempt to automatically access your computer when you visit them. They often install adware bugs that will cause a flurry of pop ups to appear on your screen. To stop these rogue websites, adjust the settings on your antivirus software and firewall so that no outside connections can be made and no programs can be installed without your express permission.
3. Networks: If your work computer is part of a larger network, you may find yourself with an infection through no fault of your own. Someone else on the network downloaded a bug by accident, and within minutes, the entire network could be infected. There isn’t much you can do to stop these kinds of infections, short of having your network administrator ensure that everyone’s antivirus software is up to date so that the invading bug can be removed as quickly as possible.
4. Phishing Schemes: Learning how computer viruses spread is important to keep yourself, and your personal information, safe online. Phishing schemes are one of the chief ways in which people end up with their identity stolen and a computer fill of viruses. A phishing scheme starts when you receive an email from a website claiming to be your bank or credit card company. You are asked to click a link and log in, but the truth is that you’ve just given away all of your personal information. Often times, when you visit these sites, spyware, adware and viruses are automatically installed on your computer. smartest thing you can do is to simply call your bank or credit card company if you receive an email saying there is a problem with your account instead of blindly following links in your email.
5. Infected Software: One of the great things about the Internet is how many free games and programs there are out there, but these free programs often come at a price. Too many rogue websites intentionally infect their freeware (like Kazaa) with trojan viruses so that you unknowingly infect your computer every time you download a free game or piece of software. The key here is to only download freeware or shareware from a trusted source like CNet that always ensures your safety.
6. Hackers: The Internet today is a much more law abiding place than it was ten years ago. Not only did most people not have antivirus protection and firewalls that could stop incoming attacks, most people didn’t even know what they were. Today, people understand the value of good online protection, but hackers can still pose a problem if you allow your protection software to lapse. The best way to beat hackers is to ensure that you have a firewall and up to date antivirus software.
7. Instant Messaging: It is difficult to find a computer in this day and age that doesn’t have at least one instant messaging service installed on it. Unfortunately, these programs are often targets of hackers who see an easy way to trick people into clicking links that lead them to rogue websites. Common sense can keep you out of trouble, however. Only chat with people you know and never follow links to sites that you don’t recognize. You should easily be able to keep Internet worms, viruses and other bugs at bay.
8. Fake Anti Virus Software: This is one of the most frustrating ways to become infected with a virus or worm. There are dozens of antivirus and anti spyware programs you can download for free on the Internet and a surprising number of them actually do exactly the opposite of what they claim. The product websites make outrageous claims that their product can protect you from a whole range of threats, when, in reality, their product will only make things a thousand times worse. Only download antivirus programs from trusted sites or from websites that you know are completely legit.
9. From Mobile Devices & External USB Devices: Mobile phones get infected by Bluetooth transfer etc. When u connects the mobile to computer you can be affected by those viruses even if you connect infected external USB flash desk or hard desk. Keep one antivirus software for mobile. Keep your antivirus software up to date at all times and you should be able to wrestle control back from any Internet bug.
10. Friends and Relatives: The social networking site Facebook has had to battle this very problem when their serves get a bug and automatically send out emails to everyone on the system that are infected. Often times, these emails are extremely generic sounding and come with suspicious attachments, but people often open them anyway since they have come from a friend or from a site they trust, like Facebook. Remember, if you get an attachment with an .exe extension or a .dll, don’t ever open it.
Learning how computer viruses spread is the best way we can put an end to their reign of terror online. It is only with the right knowledge and the best antivirus software that Internet users everywhere can beat online bugs for good.
Posted by Manoj on
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