I hear all this stuff about viruses? How concerned should I be?

Sereen W Asks...

I hear all this stuff about viruses? How concerned should I be?

Dear Sereen W:

I get confused too! There’s a lot of terminology out there but essentially a virus is: “a program that copies itself and infects a PC, spreading from one file to another, and then from one PC to another when the files are copied or shared.” Viruses are just one type of malicious software (malware) which is an umbrella term used for any software that is meant to hurt your computer or steal your information. 

This doesn’t mean that you should be afraid. As long as you take simple steps, you can still take full advantage of all the internet has to offer. 

Install a good antivirus application and make sure it is up to date. I always stress that you should make sure you know what the protection you’re buying covers. Not all antivirus software is made equal. For example, not all antivirus software is designed to catch spyware. Spyware is anything that collects your information without your knowledge with the intent of using it maliciously. 

If you want to learn more about malicious software,  this is a simple and easy to follow article that outlines the different types of malware out there.