Common ways to catch a computer virus

Computer virus detected

Computer viruses are annoying. They infiltrate your system and are potentially catastrophic. We’ve listed some of the most common ways for users to inadvertently catch a virus.

Lack of antivirus software

Computers without antivirus software are defenceless. Without protection, your computer will be unable to detect, diagnose and defeat viruses, making it susceptible to harm. Check out our blog on 6 Security Tools to Protect your Computer for our recommendations.

 Not installing updates

Important updates should be installed as soon as you’re alerted to them. Many of the updates you are notified about are security updates for your operating system and software – keeping them updated will protect you.

Illegally downloading

Downloading software from the internet is dangerous, especially if you don’t know who you’re downloading from. Malicious viruses and spyware  can be hidden in music and film files, pirated software etc., so make sure that you trust the source.

Opening dodgy email attachments

Never open an email attachment from an email address that you don’t know. Read our blog on How to Spot an Email Scam  to find out the warning signs.

Turning off safety features

Web browsers and email services have security features built in to protect you – don’t turn these features off! One day you’ll accidentally download an attachment or click on a pop-up you didn’t expect, and disaster could strike. It might be inconvenient to be constantly warned about potential hazards, but believe us, it’s worth it.

Accepting things without reading them

You’re probably familiar with the prompts your browser gives you when you’re surfing the net – advertisements, updates, etc. Read them, and understand them, before you accept them.

For example,  a message may pop up telling you that you have been infected with a virus and must download a plug-in to prevent it – don’t fall for it! If you don’t read it, or you don’t understand it, then ignore it. One of the most common example is when you update a program and are asked if it’s alright to install additional programs – these ‘additions’ can be used to monitor how often you use the program, so be careful.


A lot of these factors call for common sense – think before you click!

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