According to AV Test, over 350,000 malware and potentially unwanted applications are registered every day, and that number is projected to increase. Contracting a computer virus can be incredibly difficult to deal with and result in loss of important data and files.

Being aware of the signs that point to a possible virus that could infect your computer is important to ensure your computer is operating at maximum capacity. At Auburn IT, we want to help your computer stay secure against possible attacks.

There are many things to be aware of about computer viruses, so here is a rundown on computer viruses and how to avoid them:

Computer Virus 101

A computer virus is a type of program that has the ability to replicate itself and change the operations of a computer. Not only can they change the host computer's operations, they often spread to other computers and continue to wreak havoc.

Some common signs your computer has contracted a virus include a slowed computer, changes to your homepage, unwanted pop-ups, frequent crashes and many other computer malfunctions that affect your computer negatively.

Computer viruses come in multiple forms like boot sector and web scripting viruses that can cause serious damage like stealing your information, creating new files and exposing your computer to even more harmful viruses.

While not all viruses will completely shut down your computer or leak your information, they can still cause long term effects that make your computer run slower and make your computer vulnerable to more attacks.

So, how can you avoid computer viruses?

Avoiding Computer Viruses

Taking proactive measures against computer viruses is essential in having a healthy computer. Here are are some simple tips to avoid contracting unwanted viruses:

  • Strong Passwords: The days of having your password as “password” are over. Having simple passwords can lead to your computer being more vulnerable against viruses and hackers. By creating complex and different passwords for each site you use, your data is more likely to be secure from common viruses.

  • Updates: Updating your computer and its programs often is especially important because new versions often employ the latest technologies to protect your computer. As new viruses come about, installing these updates is a quick way to protect your computer. At Auburn IT, we offer services to keep your programs up to date and protected.

  • Backups: In addition to updating your computer regularly, backing up your computer is equally as important when it comes to viruses. While it may not stop a virus, it reduces the damage of a virus if your data is backed up.

  • Antivirus Software: Viruses are not stagnant. They are able to morph and adapt, so installing antivirus software is an easy way to take preventative measures against potential viruses. There are many free antivirus software offers to help protect your computer from viruses.

  • Pop-Ups and Attachments: There are many harmful pop up advertisements and concerning email attachments that are put on the internet everyday. Try to avoid clicking on unknown links no matter how good an offer looks. The bottom line is if a website or link looks fishy, follow your instincts.

Viruses can be frustrating and in some cases, detrimental to your computer’s health. At Auburn IT, we provide continuous updates and maintenance on your devices to ensure your computer is functioning at its full potential. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your personal or professional IT needs.

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