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Get Tech-Savvy and Protect Your Computer

Technology has seamlessly embedded itself into people’s daily lives, becoming an essential tool instead of a luxury. Electronic devices like computers are everywhere nowadays, and while there are numerous advantages to owning one of these intelligent creations, there can be disadvantages that people may experience. People who have owned an electronic device for a long time, as well as those new to technology altogether, should obtain as much knowledge of what they own to avoid falling victim to things like online viruses. A virus can be frustrating and time consuming if not dealt with quickly, and if people do not take measures to protect their computers, more viruses will come back in the future. 

A virus comes in different forms, but its goal is always to cause harm to a device or person. Norton informs that a computer virus operates with the help of a file or document. It is a code that changes the way a person’s phone or computer functions. The way a virus spreads is by coming in the form of a link sent by text or email, an online downloaded file, or through content like gifs or video files. Before opening email attachments, people should proceed with caution. As stated by Computer Hope, hitting “Accept” on a pop-up notification without reading the fine print is one way a virus can make its appearance. Downloading content from unreliable sources such as pirated content or games and opening email attachments or unfamiliar links can all pave an easy path for a virus to infect a device. 

Regarding emails, for example, is legitimate, the Canadian Bankers Association states that a person can be confident they are legitimate by checking a few signs. If the email asks for personal information, which is something one should never disclose by email, then it is likely a virus. An email that tells someone that someone will close their account soon or that they must act quickly is another example. Finally, if the email does not explicitly say the person’s name or if there are multiple spelling errors, there could be a virus attached to it. 

Once a virus has hold of a computer, it instantly has several effects on it. According to Norton, pop-up windows and strange emails can fill the computer, and it could freeze, crash, or perform slowly. Saga reports that if a computer is taking too long to start up, there is a sudden lack of storage space, files are missing, or if error messages pop up or the computer crashes, it has a virus. Another sign is if a person hacks a social media account through a virus and friends start receiving strange messages that the person did not send.

While viruses can come in any form, via email is one that is quite common. Any person who detects a virus on their emails should follow some easy recommendations by Saga. First, they should change all passwords and make them interesting. Also, a strong password can have numbers or a mnemonic. Afterward, the person should contact their email provider to report the hack and receive help and information on the source of the virus. One step that may be important depending on the effects of the virus is notifying friends. If friends are receiving messages not sent by the owner of the email, the person should communicate this to everyone and warn them not to open any links attached in those emails. One of the last measures to take is to improve security. Saga recommends that people keep their software updated and have one that is anti-virus. To protect sensitive information and avoid dealing with an infected computer, everyone who uses an electronic device should be cautious online when faced with unfamiliar messages or activities. 

Andrea Leyva is a student at Florida International University, majoring in Communications. Her interests include learning about the behind the scenes of movies and tv shows, reading, and listening to music. She also enjoys hanging out with friends, watching plays, going to theme parks, and traveling. Andrea is very excited to share what she is passionate about through her articles!
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