Getting a computer virus is just no fun. Not only does it mess up the operation of your computer, but it puts your private information at serious risk. Nobody wants that!

But how do you go about avoiding such a predicament? Well, here are four common virus traps that you should look out for in your best efforts to avoid a virus!

Pop up ads

We all hate pop-up ads. Pop-up ads, in addition to being generally annoying, can pose a threat to your computer if you click on the wrong thing. Many of these pop-ups lead you to scam websites, which contain malicious links and may even trick you into downloading a virus.

For example, something that has come up a lot recently is the faux-antivirus pop-up. This pop-up leads you to a page that imitates the appearance of antivirus software, warning you that you have a virus on your computer. It then tells you to “Click Here” to download antivirus software. Whatever you do, DO NOT CLICK on this link. In fact, don’t click on any links inside a pop-up ad. More often than not, this will download a virus onto your computer.

Scam websites

When surfing the web, there’s a whole host of websites out there ready to trick you. These scam websites fool you under the pretence of being legitimate.

A good example is movie streaming. When you’re looking to stream a movie online or download it onto your computer, the process of finding a legitimate link for it can get risky. Jumping onto a scam website that claims to have “fast, free movie downloading” can stick you with a malicious computer virus.

Spam email

Spam email is tricky to deal with. In worst case scenarios, spam emails will try to scam you into either giving up your private details and passwords, or downloading viruses onto your computer. That’s why it’s always important to stay vigilant when checking your emails. If you have even the slightest suspicion that an email might be a scam, do not click on any of the links within the body of the email, and especially not any attachments! Malicious links are a surefire way of catching a virus.

Messages/Emails from trusted friends

Most of the time, you don’t expect a good friend to wish a computer virus on you. And (hopefully) most of the time, they don’t. But if they themselves have had the misfortune to be hit with a virus, there are ways for the virus to exploit your relationship to try and latch itself onto you.

One such way is by hacking into your friend’s email or social media accounts and sending you deceitful messages with malicious links inside. It could be a harmless-looking, “Check out this cool photo I took of you!”, with a mysteriously-named file attached to the email. Getting an email like this from a good friend, why wouldn’t you want to open up the attachment? Well, the answer to that is that there could be a virus going around, and your friend has got the bug!

If you get an email or message from a friend that suspiciously doesn’t sound like their usual talking manner, or includes a weirdly-named attachment without a preview, do not click on any links or download any attachments. Ask your friend about it first, check to see if the email or message was straight from them, and shoot them a quick warning that they may have caught a computer virus.

There are so many new, innovative ways for scammers to trick you. Next time you find yourself surfing the web or checking your emails, make sure that you exercise a little extra caution before clicking on anything.

Have you ever been scammed online? How did it end up for you? Share with us below.

Image source Shutterstock.


  • Thanks for the article, we really need to be careful with these scams.

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  • Yes I have! Somehow I ended up,being email spammed by American emails. I would unsubscribe but they just kept coming. I ended up gave to write letters to them (there were addresses in the emails) and threaten them with further action if they didn’t stop. They stopped!

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  • Yes, through a car sales site. the buyer was trying to scam money off us, but we realised it was a scam and stopped all communication and reported the scam to the relevant authorities. They tried to say we would be in trouble if we didn’t go through with it. They even had fake paypal emails as well saying that they had paid the money.

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  • i seem to get a lot of junk emails at the moment it is so annoying and time wasting.

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  • Thank you for sharing. I’ve been trying to tell my kids and hubby about all these. I am the one who have to clean up and check everything all the time. Now i can show it to him that it’s really true.
    If we are not going to be careful they will just multiply and trapped us all in.

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  • Thanks for sharing these with us. I find I usually learn more on a site like this than I do from the computer guru who is rushing to finish and go on to his next client.

    Reply


  • Thanks for sharing, so important to be aware !
    My husband started his own computer business this year and virus removal is one of the things he’s called to do most….

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  • We always need to be vigilante and wary. I had someone hack my computer which resulted in me losing years of files. And only a few months ago, somebody hacked my bank account as a result of me purchasing from a reputable Australian company online. It’s not pleasant and it’s inconvenient.

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  • Thanks for the article and the heads up.

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  • It’s important to be very alert.

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  • Thanks for the tips. I received an email from Telstra (not) that looked just like the proper site saying I had paid twice (hadn’t). Just after details for (fake) refund so they could scam me. Hate people who do that.

    Reply


  • You always have to be aware when you’re online. I’ve had several virus emails from friends – but they would never start off their email the way the virus email does.

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  • I use Norton 360 and Adware Malaware. They help me a lot if, my mistake, I go to untrustable websites. I’ve received messages from friends whose email account had been hacked. Of course I didn’t click on the link and I contacted them via Facebook to let them know what happened and I advised them to change immediately the password of their e-mail account.

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  • Thanks for the tips in this article. Very helpful.

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  • Great tips. The latest scam is the iPhone one, saying that you have been chosen to win an iPhone. Don’t click this it’s a scam, it seems legitimate as they show photos of people who have won these phones, don’t fall for this one!

    Reply

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