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Orange County Credit Union provides a broad range of banking products and services like checking, savings, loans, and investments for every season of life. Through our blog, our aim is to equip readers with helpful advice that will enable them to reach financial goals.

How Did My Computer Get a Virus?

Articles

Welcome to the Orange County's Credit Union blog - Simple Banking.  It’s been said, that people who bank at credit unions feel financially empowered. Whether it’s one-on-one conversations or free financial educational workshops, at the Credit Union, we’re with you all the way.

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How Did My Computer Get a Virus?

Sandra Diaz

A virus is simply a program that infects your computer. It can do anything – delete or corrupt files, delete data or files on your hard drive, or use your e-mail to spread the virus. The most important factor in preventing your computer from getting a virus is YOU! There’s no expertise or special training required. You can avoid many attacks with just a little knowledge and sound judgment. 

Here are some of the most common reasons: 

Opening an infected e-mail attachment. 
Don't open an attachment unless you're expecting it. Call or text your friend and confirm
they sent you the attachment. If you receive an attachment from someone you don't
know, delete the e-mail. If you receive an e-mail with a compelling message about
security issues or problems with your account that can be resolved once you download
the file. STOP! Look up the company's phone number and call to verify if it's a real e-
mail. Organizations should NEVER send you unsolicited attachments via e-mail.

Downloading software from a malicious Web site. 
If you visit a Web site and you get a pop-up message that wants you to "Run" 
something and you don’t know what it is or why you need it, hit "cancel." Only download
software from trustworthy sites. If you’re considering downloading it, research it first
to see if anyone has reported it as malicious. If you don’t understand or trust it, don't
move forward. 

Not having anti-virus software.     
Installing and regularly updating security software is essential in preventing viruses from attacking your computer. An anti-virus program monitors all your online activities and helps protect your computer from unwanted software. You should also have firewall protection – it helps block viruses from even reaching your computer. You’ll want to make sure that your security software updates itself and runs every time you log on to the Internet. 

Not keeping up with security updates & patches.
It's important to keep your anti-virus software and operating system (ex: Microsoft
Windows) current. If it's outdated, it gives hackers the opportunity to take advantage of
software flaws and leaves your computer vulnerable to viruses. Many programs, 
including Microsoft Windows, can be setup to automatically download and apply updates.