As the world moves further and further into the technology age, it has become increasingly easier for people to take advantage of these advancements for one reason or another. Most often, people use modern technology to spread a virus they created to other peoples’ computers, and most of the time they do so by email. The motive behind these “cyber attacks” can either be to hack into another’s computer and extract files, to steal someone’s identity, or just to take over someone’s computer because they want to. The way they pull this off is, when you download and open an email attachment, the virus spreads from the attachment to your computer, doing whatever the person who created the virus wanted it to do. Luckily, for everyone with a computer, there is a way to prevent this from happening.
First, and most importantly, if you receive an email and have no clue who it’s from or why you got it, then just delete it because there is a possibility it could be a virus and harm your computer. Even if it says you were picked to receive one million dollars, don’t open it. People do this all the time, sending spam email in order to make you open it and either spread a virus or try to get you to compromise your personal information and steal your identity. However, sometimes an email can seem harmless enough so you open it and see there’s an attachment. Naturally, you download it and open it, and in return, you computer now contains a virus and who knows what the virus will do to your computer.
If you want to avoid this from ever happening, the first thing you need is a trusted anti-virus and security software. Norton or McAfee work well. Install this onto your computer and you are immediately much safer from harmful viruses. Now for dealing with the emails. If you decide that a particular email attachment is safe and you wish to download it, go ahead and do so. However, make sure to save it to your desktop, this makes it easier to find and easier to delete if you don’t want it later. Once it’s on your desktop, right click on the icon and find the thing that says “scan now”. Click on it and the software will begin running a scan on the files, searching for a potential threat. If the file comes up clean, it is safe to open it and view it on your computer, if not immediately delete it and empty the recycle bin, never touching that file again.
Viruses are something that everyone tries to avoid while browsing the Internet or reading our emails. Fortunately, if you stay alert and don’t fall for the scams that have become increasingly common, you should be able to do whatever you like on the computer and not have to worry about a virus invading you privacy and taking over your computer.