What is a computer virus?
You probably all know what a computer virus is but we just thought we would recap so we are all on the same page.
A computer virus, much like a flu virus, is designed to spread and leave you hugging a hot water bottle and craving a box of flu tablets. In this case, it is a type of malicious code or program written to alter the way a computer operates, so a trip to your local pharmacy is not going to cut the mustard.
A virus operates by attaching itself to one of your legit programs or a document that supports macros then it executes its code – aka. It's master plan. In the process it cause’s damaging effects, ruining your system software, corrupting files or completely destroying your data. These digital deviants are not here to play nice they can seriously mess things up!
How do they spread?
In today’s super-connected world you can contract a virus in a heap of different ways. They can spread through emails, attachments, downloads, scam links, social media and even dodgy App downloads to your mobile phone. Viruses can hide in attachments of social content such as funny images, gifs, audio bites and video files. So be careful what you are opening, because these things can spread like wildfire.
7 ways to combat viruses
Best practice to combat nasty viruses is to be cautious when you’re on the internet, downloading files, and opening links or attachments and even streaming movies. If you are on shady website where millions of pop-ups cover your screen then be sure you have the right precautions in place to avoid a virus attack. Just to be on the safe side below are 7 tips for you to combat your computer contracting a virus:
- Keep your software updated
Software makers like Microsoft routinely update their software to fix bugs that could potentially be exploited by hackers. Make sure you are running the most up-to-date version on your machines.
- Don’t click if you don't know
If you don’t recognise the sender of an email, don’t click on any links within it. It’s as simple as that! So, if the Prince of Nigeria is sending you emails about your millions in an offshore account, best just pop them in the bin and PERMANENTLY DELETE.
- Back up
We’ve covered back up before. If you have a lot to protect talk to us and we will get you safe and secure. Think about external hard drives, online backup services, or cloud storages. Protect your data!
- Use a strong password
If your password is ABC123 you’re in trouble. Pick a strong password, make it complex, a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Some people use the same password for everything, try not to. If you have trouble remembering to write them all down and leave them in a draw at home. Viruses can’t open drawers, they’ll be safe.
- Use a firewall
Just because you have antivirus software running doesn’t mean you have a firewall. Both PCs and
Macs have built-in firewalls, be sure to check that yours is enabled.
- Use a pop-up blocker
You can stop pop-ups in your browser, go into your security settings and turn pop-ups to OFF.
- Antivirus software is available
There is free software out there that will help to protect your computer, but if you are a business
running multiple machines and you want to keep everyone safe we have our preferred solutions
– AV Defender
– PC Protect
These days protecting yourself from viruses and lost data is much easier than it used to be and doesn’t cost the earth. Take a few minutes today to make sure you’re protected.
Talk to us if you need any assistance building walls around your data we would be more than happy to help. Talk to either Jasmine@prop-it.nz or John@prop-it.nz and we will make sure your technology lives a long and healthy life. You’ll be glad you did.