Support & FAQ

How does a computer get infected with a virus or spyware?


There are dozens of different ways a computer can become infected with spyware, viruses, and other malware.

  • Accepting without reading
  • "By far one of the most common ways a computer becomes infected is when a user accepts what they see on the screen without reading the prompt before proceeding."


  • Opening e-mail attachments
  • "Computers can become infected when users open e-mail attachments that contain malicious code. Even if the message is from a co-worker, friend, or family member, always use caution before opening a link or downloading an attachment. As a general rule, do not open e-mail you were not expecting to receive."


  • Not running the latest updates
  • "Many of the updates, especially those associated with Microsoft Windows, are security oriented. Always keep your operating system and programs up to date."


  • Pirating software, music, or movies
  • "If you or someone on your computer is participating in a bit torrent program or some other unlawful exchange of copyrighted music, movies, or software, you may be at risk. Sometimes these files and programs contain viruses, spyware or malicious software in addition to what you believe your are downloading."


  • No antivirus spyware scanner
  • "If you're running a computer with Microsoft Windows, we highly recommended you have some form of antivirus and spyware protection. This software removes existing (if any) viruses and helps prevent future infections."


  • Downloading any infected software
  • "When acquiring any software (programs, utilities, games, updates, demos, etc.) via the Internet, make sure you're downloading the from a reliable source. Be sure to run your downloads through your antivirus and spyware scanners upon completion. As we stated in a previous section, during the installation process, reading all prompts about what the program is putting on your computer."
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