How Do Viruses Get On My Computer?

One of the most common questions I get from customers is, “how do viruses get on my computer?” I really wish there was a simple answer, but the fact of the matter is that it’s different in every case. So, I am going to at least share with you some of the most common things that I found to make a computer vulnerable to virus infections. Keep in mind that a computer virus is engineered to take advantage of user oversight or weaknesses in the system, that way you can see how the following points apply.

Outdated Software & Computer Viruses

Outdated software can lead to virus infections. This includes outdated operating systems, Anti-virus software, outdated apps etc. The recent attack on Mac computers is just one example of how outdated software can lead to a virus infection. Needless to say, it’s very important to make sure that all your important active software and apps are up-to-date.

Poor Anti-virus/Low Grade Security

Image: Computer VirusesThis is self explanatory as you can imagine. With tons of new viruses being engineered to try and evade even the top virus protection on the market, your anti-virus has to be able to keep up. There is a huge misconception out there that the most expensive anti-virus is the best; but that is not always true. I have seen free anti-viruses that work better than paid ones. So, it really boils down to doing a bit of research before choosing your anti-virus. Maybe it’s just me, but I think some of these free anti-viruses really put their best foot forward in their free version, “hint, hint.” If you do a search for “the best free anti-virus,” I am sure you can find some hidden treasures.

User Error Leading To Virus Infection

Ever wondered how some viruses get on a computer even when there is a perfectly good anti-virus? How do these viruses get on a computer? Considering that all software and security settings are up-to-date and set as they should be, the only other way viruses can get on your computer is by user error. Computers with multiple users on one account are more at risk because it’s hard to control what other users do. You could try to contain the situation by creating user accounts and limiting user privileges. However, sometimes even that is not enough.

The only way to minimize the risk of viruses getting on a computer by user error is by educating the users to exercise caution. Computers are nice tools, but they fall short of judgment. A computer can not tell the difference between what is real or fake unless a human being tells it first. It’s up to every user to stay informed about computer and online security in order to make up for what the computer lacks in judgment. This will play a huge part of keeping viruses off your computer.