Viruses are mostly passed on via infected e-mail messages. As they spread rapidly, they pass themselves on as e-mail messages and, due to the flood of e-mail messages this creates, they could cause a complete collapse of the e-mail system. Also, when you download games and other programs from dubious sources, a virus may be transmitted.
The virus could then delete or change files in the affected computers. So-called Trojans or worms may stay on your hard drive without you even knowing it for long periods of time and might at one point send secret information to a hacker, who then gains access to the affected computer.
How do I know if my computer has a virus?
Harmless viruses only play a tune or display a message on your screen. More destructive viruses might delete files or even damage your computer. Trojans are especially harmful since they can secretly transmit your e-banking information or passwords to hackers and you won't even notice. You can detect Trojans only with the help of anti-virus software.
How can I protect myself from viruses?
Use an anti-virus software program and make sure it is running every time you go on the Internet. There are constantly new viruses in circulation. Therefore, we recommend you update your virus definition files on a regular basis. If possible, do this on a daily basis or after receiving an automatic notification from the manufacturer of your anti-virus software.
Always make sure your operating system, browsers with plug-ins and e-mail program are up to date by installing service packs and safety updates on a regular basis.
Always be alert because even the best anti-virus software cannot provide 100% protection. Never open e-mail attachments thoughtlessly and protect your most important data on a regular basis.