The easiest ways for your computer to get infected

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Not everybody is an expert at computers. However, rookie and veteran PC users alike can get viruses from time to time. To prevent this from happening to you in the future, consider implementing some of the following tips and tricks that will help preemptively eliminate viruses from your PC:

Disable your browser from using Javascript: If you’re planning on visiting any suspicious looking sites in the near future, you may want to disable your browser’s Javascript. Many viruses are automatically installed via a script that is hosted on a webpage. When your browser visits that page, the script runs automatically, installing a virus on your computer instantly. Thankfully, most browsers have an option that forces you to manually approve each instance of Javascript. So, if you’re on a suspicious looking site, you can simply click ‘no’ to outsmart the virus.

Stop clicking on any pop-ups that say your computer is infected: If your computer time is suddenly interrupted by a rude antivirus notification pop-up, it could be a Trojan horse that is attempting to install malicious software onto your computer. Hackers and viruses are getting cleverer every year, and the latest security threats to your PC look like legitimate pop-ups from Windows antivirus software. If you want to make sure the threat is real, close the pop-up (or ignore it), and start running your real antivirus software immediately.

Do not assume that your antivirus software will protect you from everything: As of yet, there is no antivirus software that can protect your computer from 100% of incoming threats. Put simply, it’s impossible to differentiate every single virus from the legitimate functions of your PC. This means that even the best, most expensive antivirus programs will ‘only’ detect 99.4% of malware, while cheaper software will detect as little as 80%.

Update all your programs frequently: While being obsessive compulsive about updating your programs is unhealthy behavior, it is a good idea to frequently check for updates, patches, and drivers for any programs that you have installed on your computer. Most important out of all your programs is the antivirus software, for which developers frequently release updates in order to keep your computer up-to-date on any impending security threats.

Do not assume that Facebook is safe from viruses: We’ve all had Facebook friends who will randomly send us a message, or post on our walls with a suspicious link. Sometimes, these links are phishing schemes that are trying to steal information from your Facebook profile. Other times, it may just be a regular Javascript virus. Regardless, it’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to suspicious Facebook wall posts. Don’t click on them, unless you want to be one of those Facebook friends.

Do not log into a personal account from a link that somebody sends you: Depending on where that link originates, it could quickly collect whatever personal information you’re putting into any login screen. For example, an e-mail from your bank may appear to be legitimate, but in reality, it’s just a clever way to steal your account information, credit card number, or whatever other sensitive information may be stored on your online accounts. Instead of clicking on a link in your e-mail, go to the website in a new browser window and make sure the URL begins with ‘https’, which indicates that the browser session is secure.  

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