There are many ways for your computer to get infected by malware. When people think of spyware and virusses and malware in general, they often think of email. They would look at the suspicious looking email that they would get from people that they don’t know and these emails would have suspicious looking links, you click on the link, it would look like nothing happened to your computer. In reality, some potentially harmful pieces of software are actually being installed on your computer. More likely than not, when you click on that suspicious looking link, you actually taken to a page that installs seemingly innocent looking code on your computer. Eventually, you would use your computer in such a way that you might trigger that code and that you actually end up clicking some permissions that enable the harmful code to download obviously dangerous software like viruses and spyware.
You would think that email is the most common way to get infected, you would be wrong. In fact, the most common way computers are infected is through surfing the web. According to recent report released by Trustwave, 74% of the respondents to their survey got malware through just simple plain old web surfing. Email was substantially behind. Email only accounted for 64%. In terms of social media, you’re much safer clicking links via Facebook because only 14% reported malware. And web 2.0 applications are registered in the same range. So What’s the take away from all of this. Well, the big take away is that there is really no such things as 100% safe web surfing. if you are going to one website to another and you’re clicking links and you’re just following the discussions or you’re just clicking the recommendations made by your friends, you will eventually run into a website that will try to attack your computer. That’s a fact of life. There is no 100% way to navigate the internet. That’s the price we have to pay for having such a robust universe of digital content. Does this mean that you should be paranoid when doing web surfing? Absolutely not, while 100% safe surfing is not possible, safer web surfing is. You just have to be very careful about what you do. First and foremost, you have to make sure that whatever version of Windows you’re running, make sure that its properly patched. This means that its latest update are installed. This also include making sure that your Java component is properly updated and, most importantly, you have to have a trustworthy anti-spyware and anti -malware scanner and cleaner running at all times. Check our software review section and look for Kaspersky or Bitdefender. These are the market leaders when it comes to top notch protection against malware. However, malware can still be installed due to human weakness. Make sure that if you are getting prompted by your computer to do certain things, use your brain. Use common sense. Don’t just click everything. Also, if you’re installing software, make sure you read the terms and conditions and read each installation page carefully. You might be just clicking away and then there’s certain boxes that are pre-clicked and all of a sudden you’re computer is filled with adware. At the end of the day, it all boils down to you. Be a responsible web surfer.