This is Two Minute Tech Tips, I’m your host Lester Steward. In this series we are discussing Business cybersecurity and what you need to know to protect your business.

The simple computer virus. The pioneer option for infecting a user’s PC or network. Viruses come in a few different forms, but the basics of a virus is, it’s a program that can be harmless or it can damage files. Viruses were a big deal a few decades ago when the only reliable way to trade files was using a floppy disk or file CD. Unlike today’s infections, viruses only looked to cause chaos.

A standard virus needs user action to work, it can’t just show up on your PC. Opening a file that’s infected will usually do the trick. A virus worm on the other hand doesn’t need an application to run. The purpose of this type of virus is to cause the PC to run slow and use up resources. They can also allow attackers to remote into the PC to steal personal data. These worms can come from a website that’s infected or from another PC on the network.

Another clever virus is called a Trojan horse. These buggers will be attached to a legitimate looking application that was “free” on the internet. While your happily playing Mahjongg with the brand-new application that you found on a random website, the virus is in the background gathering all your data and trying to find ways to other devices on the network. You may also find later that most of your personal files are locked or corrupted.

Scary stuff, so how do we combat these viruses. The first step is easy, get an anti-virus. And don’t grab one that is for free, just pay for the thing, they are usually not expensive. Oh, and a business should most definitely pay for a business level product. Next, while viruses used to come through file transfers from floppy disks, now they are usually found in email attachments or links inside emails, be careful what you click on. Lastly, stay away from anything “free” you always pay one way or another. Be smart and keep safe.

On the next episode I’m continuing this discussion with more info about malware and all its attributes.

If you need any information on this subject, please let North Tech Group know by visiting our website and give us a follow-on Facebook or Twitter, where I post more tips to staying safe online. Thanks for joining me, Lester Steward for your Two Minute Tech Tips, helping you keep safe in your cybersecurity world.

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