There are many ways that spam, viruses, and malware can get on your system. When they do get on a machine, they will often cause the user a lot of headaches, and can cost a lot especially if the machine needs to be replaced. More importantly, you do not want to be the one who let the virus in that caused errors to others on your network. Although there are plenty of ways that a virus can get on your system, we have listed some of the most common ways below.
1) Opening E-mail attachments. One of the most common ways that a machine becomes infected with viruses and other types of malware is by opening e-mail attachments. Even if you think you have received an email from a co-worker, client or friend it may not be safe. Email addresses can be faked, and a lot of times without the sender even knowing.
2) Downloading infected software. Downloading software from the internet can contain viruses or other malware. If downloading any type of software, make sure you are downloading the software from a reliable source, and check all the prompts to understand what exactly you are installing on your machine.
3) Accepting pop ups without reading. When on the internet, users need to be very careful when a screen pops up asking to be clicked. Users should read these very carefully before jumping to any actions.
4) Using older browsers. If you are using an older browser, you may be exposing yourself to risks. Consider switching to browsers such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera, as they are much more secure than older browsers and will help to protect you online.
5) Pirating software and music. If you are going to websites and downloading copyrighted, music, movies or software for free you may be putting your machine at risk. Many of these sites contain viruses or malicious software that can affect your machine.
6) Not running the latest updates. Most operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows and other operating systems, prompt users for updates, and these updates are always for a reason, normally having to do with security. Ignoring these updates and continuing to run on an out of date operating system, can put your computer at a huge risk of becoming infected. If you are still running Windows XP, these updates will stop on April 8th 2014!
7) No antivirus spyware scanner. If you are running a computer with Microsoft Windows it is highly recommended you have some form of antivirus and spyware protection to keep your system clean.