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Avoiding viruses and malware infections.

Malware and virus attacks continue to get more sophisticated and dangerous.

By following the below tips, you can reduce the chances of becoming a victim.  Be vigilant and compute safely!

  • Be careful where you click.  Many viruses or malware are installed via a “drive-by download.”  That is, just by visiting a site or clicking an ad, a malicious program could be downloaded and executed on your computer.  The damage may not be immediately evident.
  • Pop-up “anti-virus warnings.”
    Fake pop-up anti-virus. Don't click on anything! Close the browser instead.
    Fake pop-up anti-virus. Don’t click on anything!

    When browsing a questionable site, you may see something that looks very much like an anti-virus program suddenly pop-up, prompting you to click the “clean” or “fix” button to repair some infection.  These pop-ups are trying to trick you into clicking a button which will install the real virus.  They are actually web pages designed to look like a real anti-virus (AV) program.  If you see this, Close the browser tab you are using and run an AV scan on your computer.  Never give out your credit card number to have the “infections” removed.

  • Be very cautious about clicking on banners or links for free games, screen savers, desktop images, media players, etc.  Only download applications from reputable sites.
  • Email attachments.
    • Never open attachments from people you don’t know.
    • If you receive a suspicious attachment from someone you do know, contact them to verify it’s legitimate before opening.
  • Phishing Emails.  These are emails that try to trick you into following a link to a website where malicious software may be automatically installed (drive-by) or the site may attempt to get you to enter some private info that could be used in a hacking or identity theft attempt.  This might be an email from the “IT help desk” asking you to update your university password…  Look for awkward wording or grammatical mistakes, incorrect FROM: address, or if the destination website seems odd.  IE:  www.amaz.on or www.amazon-I-won.com.
  • Unsolicited Calls.  Beware of phone calls from  “Microsoft help desk employees” or anyone else.  They may try to convince you that your computer has a virus or malware installed and instruct you to go to a specific website or enter some lines of code into your computer. Don’t.  Hang up immediately.  If someone calls purporting to be from BSU/NTC help desk, get the name of the employee, then call 218 755-3777 and ask for that person.