How does a virus begin to infest itself on a computer system? I would just like to know the beginning basics of it.

If you are an avid WorldStart newsletter reader, you know that we have done several articles on viruses in the past. We’ve warned you about what they can do to your computer system, we’ve talked about antivirus and other protective software and we’ve even given you updates on the latest threats that loom around us every day.

But, do you fully understand where viruses can come from? How do they get on your system and start invading through your personal property? How can that happen? Unfortunately, it can happen very easily and quickly. It sometimes catches us off guard and we don’t even know anything until a later; when it might be too late.

So, I just wanted to give you a little reminder/update about where viruses can come from so you can help protect your computer better and be a little safer. The most common virus freeloaders come in e-mail attachments. That’s good to know since we use our e-mail accounts pretty much every day. Just make sure you don’t open anything that came from an unfamiliar sender. Always know who the sender is and take caution.

Another common virus area is through downloads. If you come across something on the Internet that you think you just have to download, make sure it is from a reliable source. If it doesn’t include some sort of a virus, it could tag along some malware on your system. Also, you should never really click on any popups. They are usually infested with nasty things and you should always just exit out of those popups to keep your system safe.

Another cause of viruses is network sharing. If you’re on a network and you have everything set up to share with other users, you’re leaving yourself wide open for some threats. If another user receives a virus, there really isn’t anything to stop it from coming onto your computer. This is also true for wireless networks. If you are set up to go wireless, make sure your line is locked so outside users can’t get in. Some people might try to “bum” wireless access off of you and it can cause you problems in the long run. If it’s not absolutely necessary that you share a network, then don’t! That’s the best way to keep your own system secure.

There are so many computer infections swarming around us each day, so do everything you can to protect yourself. As always, make sure you have some sort of antivirus protection software on your computer and run your scans frequently. If you don’t, you never know what sort of trouble could make its way into your life.

~ Erin