When I’m on site or remotely remediating computer virus problems, I usually get asked that question. There are high risk sources that make a computer vulnerable to malware. Some of those sources can be porn sites, free software sites, pirated music and movie sites, torrents, etc. Those are typically easy to stay away from and most people understand those sites to be a place to expect malware to get into a computer. The viruses found in those places, especially the pirated sites, are by design thanks to your U.S. Government. But what about the people who don’t make use of those high-risk sites? There are ways the casual Internet user can pick up viruses. These infections come from a method similar to fishing. You are browsing the web and all of a sudden you see a message saying, “Your computer is at risk. Click here to scan now.” There is a flashing triangle with an exclamation mark and the message is in bright red letters. Your first inclination is to click on it because you think it is a legitimate message. Once you click the message, you are infected. Suppose you get that message and you click the ‘X’ in the top right corner of your screen to close the message. You still infected your computer. How? The entire window of that message is a big YES button. Clicking on the message anywhere will infect your computer. The best thing to do in that situation is to press ALT and the F4 key simultaneously. This will close the active window on your computer. If that doesn’t work, go to the Task Manager and End Task your browser window. Neither Microsoft Windows nor your web browser will alert you to update your computer or inform you that your computer is at risk. This is always a trap to get you to infect your computer with malware. Browsing the web for free leisure games is another way to get infected with a virus. Many of the free games and other free programs come with extra software that you may not intend to install. If you don’t read the messages when clicking the Next button during the install, you may end up with pop-ups that lead to malware infections. Make sure you have an anti-virus program that you paid for on your computer. The free anti-virus programs are the perfect example of, “you get what you pay for.” There are a lot of different viruses and malware out there but it’s important to remember that no anti-virus program will protect you 100%. Some anti-virus programs work better than others. I’m a fan of Symantec Endpoint Protection and Vipre Anti-Virus. Your best virus protection is your vigilance. If you find yourself stuck in a situation where your computer is infected, give us a call and we will be more than happy to get you though it.