How to Avoid Computer Viruses

how to avoid computer viruses

Computer viruses can make your device “sick,” slow it down, or even steal your personal information. They’re a real pain, but there are steps you can take to avoid them.

The best way to security awareness topics viruses is to keep your operating system up to date. This includes your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Cyber hackers are constantly finding ways to exploit software “bugs” and vulnerabilities, so the development teams at Microsoft, Oracle, and others regularly release updates that fix these problems. Make it a habit to download and install these updates as soon as they’re available.

It’s also a good idea to practice safe Internet browsing habits, and to use your antivirus regularly. A virus scanner acts as a virtual vaccine against the myriad of digital threats, from phishing emails to malware. Some antimalware programs will also help you spot malicious links, videos, and ads.

Viruses spread by infecting files and system areas of your computer or network router’s hard drive, and then making copies of themselves. They can be spread by email attachments, visiting a malicious website, or viewing pictures with embedded viruses.

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Some viruses are so harmful that they can actually brick your device. That’s why it’s a good idea to back up all of your data. Performing weekly or daily backups of all of your important files can help ensure that you won’t lose any information if your computer gets infected with a virus. If you have an external hard drive or the cloud, you can store your data away and still access it if your device is infected with a virus.