Viruses, spam and phishing FAQ
How did my computer get infected?
There are several different ways a computer can become infected with malware. Most users do not know where they got the malware from, or if they are even affected. Below are the most common ways a computer becomes infected.
Accepting without Reading – One of the most common ways a user becomes infected is by
accepting or accidently clicking on something without fully understanding what it is. Typically
you will come across advertisements or pop ups that cause this to happen. Always use caution
with pop ups or unknown sources.
Opening e-mail attachments – Emails attachments are another common way users become
infected. Phishing emails or attachments can infect a user by directing them to an unwanted site, tricking a user to enter in personal information or installing an unwanted program to their
computer. If you are not expecting an email or see one from an unknown email address, be
careful when opening the email. For more information about phishing please click here.
Out of date programs – Computers programs routinely put out software or firmware updates. These are not only to help increase performance or add functionality to a program but to help patch possible security flaws and vulnerabilities within the program. Always ensure your programs are up to date.
No Antivirus – Users sometime overlook the need for an antivirus program. Though never a
100% guaranteed way to stop malware infections, running an antivirus will help prevent
infections as well as remedy current infections on the computer. It is always suggested to have
an antivirus program installed on your devices connected to the internet. For more information about Cogeco Security Services, please click here.
Downloading infected software – When downloading any software from the internet or peer to peer programs there is chance the software itself is infected. Always ensure you are
downloading from a reliable source and reading all prompts that appear when installing, to
unsure no unwanted add-ons or issues arise.
Open wireless network – With the growing convenience of wireless devices, you need to ensure your wireless network is secured. Wireless security protocols need to be up to date and
passwords and usernames should be changed often. Do not share usernames and passwords.
The computers in your home maybe clean, however unauthorized access may cause issues with
your network unexpectedly.
If you would like to scan your computer for viruses you can use Cogeco's free Online Virus Scanner.