How to Recognize and Prevent Computer Viruses

A computer virus is a malicious program or a string of code that is designed to invade a file, program, or software system and it typically destroys data in the process (or renders it inaccessible or otherwise useless). However, viruses can also be used as the starting point to a hack, by creating a weakness in your systems that gives cyber criminals an opportunity to not just destroy your data, but steal it or expose it in ways that could devastating on personal and business levels.

How Viruses Work (and Spread)

Viruses can take many forms, but they all share the dark intention of destroying files, programs, devices, or even full networks once they’ve found a way in. Much like a virus that would attack your body, computer viruses are capable of spreading by attaching themselves to documents or files and are designed to execute replication of the malicious code. Computer viruses are also problematic because they are sneaky and frequently designed to mimic trusted files or sources or are infused into processes you use everyday, such as:

  • Attachments (in email or text messages)
  • Website downloads
  • Game downloads from third-party app stores
  • Social media links
  • Online advertisements

How to Prevent Computer Viruses

As divisive and devastating as computer viruses are, there are some things you can do to prevent viruses and keep your computers, devices, and data safe.

Use a firewall

A firewall is computer security that acts as a barrier against threats to your devices and network. It monitors incoming and outgoing traffic to ensure that known threats don’t find a way into your systems.

Implement a trusted virus detection, prevention, and protection software

Using an anti-virus software on all of your computers is a safeguard against viruses, and some systems also detect and prevent malware and other known cyber-threats as well. This software can scan and detect threats to your system and block them before they attach and replicate in your computer.

Be cautious with your clicks and carefully consider links, attachments, and downloads

While there are technical solutions you can use to prevent viruses, you must also take an active role in preventing them. Use caution whenever you’re considering clicking on a link or opening an attachment. In general, you should never click on or open any sort of attachment from an unknown source or that you’re not expecting from someone that you do know. Avoid clicking on ads (especially pop-ups) and make sure that anything you download online is from a reputable source with an https address.

Amp up your business cyber security

Protecting your business from viruses and other cyberthreats is vital to ensuring that your company data is not destroyed or breached. Working with a professional, experienced cyber security company like Raven Computer, will protect your devices and networks can help you protect against new and developing online threats and keep your business secure.

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