It’s easy to blame yourself when it comes to getting a virus but the truth of the matter is viruses and malware find places to hide all over the internet and can be tricky to avoid. While it’s difficult to say exactly how your computer got infected, we can take a guess at what may have happened. Below are some of the most common ways viruses and malware make their way onto your device. Practice safe Internet habits and do your best to avoid these danger-zones:
- Never use P2P or file-sharing programs. These programs, which, as the name suggests, allow users to share files between each other, are probably the biggest culprits in the malware game. Essentially, when using these programs, you are inviting infection into your computer with open arms as there is no way to know whether the files you are downloading is clean and safe.
- Never open an attachment from an unknown source. Ever. It’s really that simple. Opening attachments from people you don’t know is a surefire way to allow viruses and malware access to your computer.
- Never open an attachment that ends with .exe, .com, .bat, or .pif. It is incredibly unlikely that the average computer user would ever have need to receive an attachment in this format.
- Don’t be bated by popups. These advertisements are, for the most part, riddled with malware or are working to scare you into purchasing software you do not need.
- When using an instant messenger service, be careful when clicking links. It’s not uncommon for infections to send messages to you via your contact list.
- Don’t visit Warez or Cracked sites. Period.
- Never install a download from anything other than a verified source.