Ways of Spreading Viruses
- File attachments to emails. If the attachment you want to view has the extensions:
.bat, .reg,.dll, .pif, .scr, or .exe, you may have caught a virus.
Watch out of addresses containing double extensions. For instance, in the following URL : "mypicture.jpg.scr", even if the "jpg" extension may suggest you are downloading an image, it is the last extension that should be taken into account.
- File sharing and Network Neighborhood. There are chances to become virus infected if you have file sharing turned on with write permission. You can reduce the risk if you mark your files and directories as "Read only".
- Instant Messaging, ICQ, IRC . You are always at risk of catching a virus when you accept a program from someone over a network.
- Downloading software. If the server or file is infected you will catch a virus if you download the file.
- Floppy disks or CDs. If you save an infected file to a floppy disk, and use the disk in other computers, those other computers can be infected too.
How to Avoid Catching a Virus?
Catching a computer virus is not such a difficult thing to "achieve". Unfortunately this causes lots of problems to computer programs or files. Computer viruses not only damage files and programs, but they also expose sensitive information stored in a computer, which makes people easy preys for hackers.
Learn what to do to avoid catching a virus.
Rule number one: Do not open suspicious messages. Delete them!
- Do not open email attachments from persons you don't know, as they may contain viruses. Even if the sender seems familiar, but the heading sounds strange, still do not open the email. It could be sent deliberately to harm your computer system. Check with the person/company who send it and have them confirm the email.
- Do not open email attachments that contain unfamiliar, strange or unsolicited subject or text, even if they come from familiar persons. They may be virus infected. More, if the sender's PC is virus infected, the virus will spread to everyone in his or her contact list.
- Do not open multiple identical messages from the same source that arrive in your inbox within a few seconds.
- Do not send email attachments you have received or programs you have downloaded on the Internet unless you are 100% sure they are virus free.
- Do not open emails with an attachment that has no text messaging explaining what the attachment is about.
- Do not open duplicate emails from the same person. One of the email may be a regular one (with text), while the other one may contain no text.
- Do not open email attachments containing the following file extensions: .exe, .bat, .reg, .scr, .dll, or .pif.
- Do not open email attachment with two file extensions, for instance: resume.doc.pif or Love-letter-for-you.txt.vbs.
- Do not open emails apparently received by mistake, that are addressed to other persons than you.
- Do not trust emails whose headings hint at sharing confidential information about certain banks or stock exchange.
- Check both the physical addresses and phone numbers provided to see if they are real and belong to the persons/organizations mentioned in the message.
- Once you open an email that seems to come from a legitimate source, proceed to do an in-depth research: look for supplementary, invisible texts comprised in the original one. Emails containing the above-mentioned features (supplementary, invisible texts comprised in the original message) are usually used in order to avoid anti-spams.
- Use and regularly update antivirus software on your computer
What Anti-Virus programs should I use?