It’s estimated that 32% of computers worldwide are infected with some sort of malware and 74,000 new viruses are created every day. So, it’s obviously important to keep yourself safe when you’re online. Here are five of the most common ways that computers pick up viruses.

1. Email attachments containing malicious code

Even emails from trusted friends and colleagues could contain malware within attachments. It’s essential to be cautious about any attachment you open via email, particularly if you weren’t expecting the email or if the message seems strange for any reason.

2. Using pirated content

Music, video or computer programs downloaded illegally often have nasty little surprises inside their code and there are often viruses contained within the files downloaded using file sharing software. Illegal downloads may make it seem like you’re getting something for free, but it could cost you dearly.

3. Not having anti-virus software

Having anti-virus software is like going to the dentist, we know we should do it but don’t always get round to it. Any time your computer is connected to the internet it’s potentially at risk, so you need to be running anti-virus software to keep yourself safe.

4. Clicking on pop-ups without reading them

When messages appear on your screen it’s easy to just click to get rid of them. If you’ve stumbled onto a malicious website then you could be clicking to download unwanted software to your system. Exercise caution whenever you get a pop-up message that seems strange, particularly if you’re on a website you don’t trust.

5. Running old versions of software

The major software developers and the hackers fight a cat and mouse game. A virus exploits a hole in software and then the software developer patches up the hole with their latest update. If you’re not keeping up to date then there’s a possibility you’re vulnerable to attack.

Protecting your business IT systems is a big job and it’s a good idea to get experts to help keep your IT systems safe. Bits and PCs can provide IT support for London businesses, helping keep your computers up to date and protected from viruses. Visit our business section for more information about computer support in London.

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