You Are Unknowingly Infecting Your Computer By Doing These
There are two ways by which you can fall sick. One is by exposing yourself to the sickness-causing agent, for example, shaking hands or sitting next to a person who is suffering from a cold or getting drenched in the rain can bring in the flu. The major reason behind this form of sickness is that you have a weak immune system that does not enable your body’s defense system to fight the disease back. Second is when you are inherently or genetically prone to a disease of which you have no control about. For example, cancer can attack anyone anytime. Although there are several theories, no specific reason has been revealed as to why a person gets cancer. Similarly, your computer, personal laptop, and even your phone can be easily attacked by a virus or a spyware and can crash anytime leaving you at a complete loss of data. These days all the important information, documents, work and personal related data are stored on one’s phone or computer. Therefore, you can imagine the amount of work you have to undergo in case your computer or phone crashes all of sudden.
However, a computer crash, similar to a human sickness may be caused in two different manners. One is by subjecting your device knowingly or unknowingly to the causative factor, while the other is where you have no control over it but the crash was bound to happen. Although the latter rarely happens and even when it does, it is mostly because the computer is performing poorly, or the system is quite old or broken. However, the former can be controlled to a great extent and preventive measures may be employed to prevent your system from crashing. Did you know that most of the system crashes that happen are voluntarily done or that people are being ignorant of the certain don’ts that must be practiced while operating a computer or phone? Here is a look at the different ways by which you might be infecting your computer/phone knowingly and unknowingly and that could have been averted if you were a lot more careful.
When you open links or attachments from an unknown source or through e-mails that are spoofed
This is the most common way by which people infect their computer. Although you are told not to receive anything handed over to you by a stranger, this rule is broken in the digital world. Many people have this itch to click on links and download attachments that come in e-mails even though they do not recognize the sender. Hackers and spoofers target this weakness and infect a person’s e-mail account and system with a virus. No matter how genuine and authentic an e-mail may appear to you, you must forbid yourself from clicking on unwanted links and downloading files that do not concern you. By doing so, you are just a click away from infecting your system.
When you download music files, videos, or software from malicious or unauthenticated websites
People use their computers and phones either for work or for entertainment purposes. However, these days, most work-based systems are well protected with strong antivirus but it is the personal systems that crash soon. It is because people are constantly browsing downloading songs, videos, and software. A common source of a virus attack is browsing on problematic and inappropriate sites. However, not everyone indulges in unauthorized websites. Therefore, the other source is downloading content from malicious sites or virus trapped sources. As you are aware, the internet is an open source. Hence, the danger is not limited but can emerge from anywhere, even from the most trusted source. For example, you may unknowingly infect your computer by simply downloading a Google Chrome file or a Mozilla Firefox file from the authenticated source.
When you browse on social media
How many people do you know who does not have a Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / Instagram / Google Plus account? The answer may be one in a thousand. However, most people we know are active social media butterflies, as we call ourselves. However, this is another common way by which people infect their systems. Clicking and sharing links and posts from others is the best way to transfer a virus. It is almost like a chain of handshakes passing the flu virus from one person to another. If one person has it, then everyone on your contact list has it – be it likes, posts, tags, and even viruses.
When you click on the online advertisements
Where there are cases of online browsing and social media, there are buckets of online advertisements. Websites and social media live off these ads. Hence, it is only natural for people to click on these ads. However, not all ads are safe as you think they might be. There is a new concept of advertising called the “mal-advertising” where inappropriate or malicious content is displayed through online ads. These are used as online mediums to transfer a virus from one system to another without leaving any trace or evidence. Criminals and hackers often place attractive proper-looking ads on some of the authenticated trusted websites to appear credible. Once the ads have attracted a good amount of user base, malicious codes are incorporated into these, which then affect each computer that accesses it.
When you download unpatched software
Another less common way but not the least way is an infection from unpatched software that has many vulnerable security holes. These may be unknown to the developers of the software and the vendors of the antivirus. Hackers take advantage of the security holes that are present in the software and infect user’s systems because of the least barriers to entry. Therefore, it is important to understand what precautionary measures must be taken to prevent the easy attack of viruses and what safety measures must be employed such as installing good antivirus software on your system and running scans regularly.