posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 09:46 PM
After hearing this question asked for the gazillionth time, I wrote a short document in Word to outline
the most common reasons their computer gets infected with viruses. I kept this short, to one page length, since I hand this paper out and didn't
cover the reasons behind it. The format here has stripped my bold, italic, & underlines but the meat of the matter is still here.
Why does my computer keep getting all these viruses???
To conserve space, only the sources are listed here – not the reason behind them
1. Myspace and Facebook Apps – Reading spam messages on either – Clicking on advertisements in either. Especially anything claiming to give you
something extra in a game that sounds too good to be true.
2. Downloading MUSIC from limewire, azerues, frostwire, or any other source of MP3 files. This is not recommended at all.
3. Downloading any software from the internet that you should normally have to pay for.
4. Downloading anything such as free cursors, wallpapers, themes, zwinkies, smileys. If you don’t know what these are – don’t ask. You do not
need to know.
5. Adult websites. Porn sites.
6. Clicking on advertisements anywhere. Especially banner ads, or sidebar ads.
7. Failing to keep your system updated. Make sure Windows automatic updates is running. Keep Java updated. Keep Flash Player updated.
8. Using Internet Explorer to browse the internet. A lot of viruses target IE. A browser such as Firefox (www.getfirefox.com) will be safer, can
block advertisements, and warn you beforehand if the site you are about to visit contains viruses.
9. Coupons. Be wary of anything offering savings while shopping that you have to download and install on your computer.
10. Online games. Even reputable game sites such as Gamehouse or Pogo contain advertisements that will lead you to sites which can infect your
computer. See #8 for info on advertisements.
11. Getting tricked. The biggest thing about this is knowing that your computer will NEVER EVER NEVER EVER EVER EVER legitimately give you a pop up
telling you that your computer is infected and that it needs to download something to clean the infection.
12. Opening attachments in emails – even from people you know. If you weren’t expecting it, then be suspicious. This includes any message from
anywhere saying they have pictures of you, or videos of you doing *whatever*
14. Flash drives. Some trojans can spread like wildfire using flash drives and Windows "automatic run" feature. It is much safer to turn this OFF
and learn to access your drives through Windows Explorer.
There is absolutely no software available that will give you 100% protection against all viruses and malware.
(Except for linux & mac, I know this but the GP isn't ready for linux & not everyone can afford a mac)
Your best line of defense is knowledge.
Your second best line of defense would be a “crystal ball” and a
“nanny” to keep you from going down the wrong path.
Both of these are available for installation on your computer, in the form of WOT (Web of Trust) and K9 Web Security.
This paper does not emcompass every single method to get infected with a virus. Only the most common ones are listed here.