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Why does my computer keep getting infected with viruses?

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posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 09:46 PM
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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.

** Start**

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.




posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 09:48 PM
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although most of your speculations early on are incorrect there is one that i would like to point out, google ads are quite safe and reliable



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 09:52 PM
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reply to post by witemajick
 


I've seen google ads offer links DIRECTLY to rogue software sites. Go ahead though. Indulge in whatever you feel I've stated incorrectly.



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 09:53 PM
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im using antivir and spybot s&d

i had no problems with viruses for 2 years...

the best protection is...stop clicking on any stuff before checking it :=)

on the streets you dont wanna go in any dark corner ..why people do it on the internet?



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 09:53 PM
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Google a program called Malware Bytes - download / install and run it. It will help clean alot of the issues you are talking about.



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 09:57 PM
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windows xp.



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 09:59 PM
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Has anyone ever considered the possibility of viruses being introduced by the very companies that sell anti-virus software?

After all, what good is AV software without the existence of viruses?

The only things I use is 'CS' - Common Sense


Peace



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 10:08 PM
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When I was using Windows (both XP and Vista) the only time I ever caught virus was once while surfing ATS (I presume from the ads) and once from Facebook app. program (that was on a work machine, oops) and both machines were protected by various software, both free and proprietary. So, obviously nothing is guaranteed, not even the software that claims to protect you. Best defense is a good offense, be diligent. I've since switched to Linux and life is far better on this side of the road, but that is also a personal preference and not the best choice for everyone.



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 10:10 PM
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reply to post by Beyond Creation
 


That's exactly what I believe. Some of the infections are so nefarious to remove - the way they are designed indicates extremely intimate knowledge of the operating system. That degree of knowledge in programming could be applied to creating better software instead of f&*#*ing people's computers up. So far this month, I've cleaned 87 computers, and more are scheduled to arrive later on in the week - it shows no signs of letting up, and computer users don't make it any easier when they KNOWINGLY bypass whatever protection they have.



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 10:10 PM
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my favorite is comodo security (free) with spybot search and destroy (free)
never had problems
but the best is always "dont click on everything" only trusted links/files

when they make a virus, it takes time to get on AV list, so no AV is enough



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 10:16 PM
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reply to post by Beyond Creation
 


People have oft asked me what's the best protection for their computer, and I've replied "Common Sense" is the best defense. They then ask if they can buy it in the store, or get it free online somewhere.
It's difficult to suppress a facepalm.



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 08:12 AM
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try use ProteMac Netmine protemac.com... protect from viruses mac



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by Beyond Creation
Has anyone ever considered the possibility of viruses being introduced by the very companies that sell anti-virus software?

After all, what good is AV software without the existence of viruses?

The only things I use is 'CS' - Common Sense

Peace


Absolutely true. I knew a man who worked for Norton Systems, and he told me that when you install Norton, you are installing a virus on a timer. Avira Anti-Vir is the best, it's free, and you can download it HERE. Get the Free, personal version. I repair computers, and most of them come with a nice virus on them. I always ask, like Porn? If the answer is yes, then I advise them to go with Linux. Virus free, and a lot more stable than any Windows platform.



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 05:32 PM
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reply to post by sykickvision
 








edit on 19-1-2011 by Beyond Creation because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 20 2011 @ 02:57 PM
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Originally posted by Beyond Creation
Has anyone ever considered the possibility of viruses being introduced by the very companies that sell anti-virus software?

After all, what good is AV software without the existence of viruses?

The only things I use is 'CS' - Common Sense


Peace


Yes and there was an article way back in the day on one of the Security IT sites I used to read, and some programmers came out and said they were hired by big companies to make viruses. And they would introduce the fix. I mean, its the same scam that people who sell cheap versions of fake anti virus software do. They introduce malware that infects your browser. Your browser directs you to a site to buy the "software that will fix your problems".



posted on Jan, 20 2011 @ 03:30 PM
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This is why everyone should forget Microsoft completely, and download and install one of the Linux Distos for free. I can do anything a Windows user can do, and more, I have office, I can go to any website without fear of compromise, and every morning when I boot up, I am secure in the knowledge that I will not see a blue screen, and I do not have a virus.

distrowatch.com...

linuxtracker.org...

Use Linux for two weeks, you will laugh at Windows users from that point on.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 10:12 PM
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reply to post by autowrench
 


To me, Linux is irritating. It's not irritating because of itself, it's the nature of it and it's behavior coupled with the incompatibilities with certain cameras, wireless cards, printers, and lack of choice in certain software to accomplish various tasks. It's hard to recommend it for use as a school computer, for certain schools websites support IE only. The simplicity of itunes is replaced by software that works sometimes, and isn't nearly as user friendly. Linux WILL crash. I have seen video drivers randomly disappear, and refuse to reload even though the hardware hasn't changed. Gimp as an image editor is like trying to knit while wearing boxing gloves. Some required packages for device installation (such as certain printers) require several acrobatic feats from the command line - something that even I with a quarter of a century working on computers have grown to loathe.
The software community for linux has got to come a long way and make a lot of progress to ever have an edge on MS. Granted, MS has it's problems - but it's problems and shortcomings are netting me over a hundred grand a year. It's very rare that I encounter anyone that tries linux out for a while and decides to stick with it. One of my clients tried it, and wound up bringing me every computer & laptop they owned to switch over.
Another one tried it and liked it but had some school work to do which linux wouldn't support - not even with wine, so we created a virtualbox session to cope with that.
Linux requires more RAM to run than windows, unless you go with a fluxbox or lxde session which to me seems....rather windows 95'ish and unstable. I hate the idea of not being able to put an icon on the desktop.
Gnome is a hog, and runs slower on a machine with 2.5gb ram than xp does on the same machine with 512.
I don't think I've ever seen a stable instance of kde4. Now the compiz effects are slick and tight and will make the unknowing drool with delight when you spin the desktop around & zoom in & out with virtual screens, flip windows, and explode them when they close. Cool, absolutely. Practical? Eh......



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