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Tis the season... to avoid a computer virus

21st November 2016

Christmas is usually a time for giving… or in this case a time for receiving – a computer virus!

Every year around Christmas there is a significant increase in the number of PCs infected with computer viruses. It is not that virus writers are working overtime or that antivirus vendors are down the pub rather than curing viruses. Simply put, most people tend to let their guard down a little at Christmas, making it more likely that they may click on a malicious email link or open an attachment that they wouldn’t normally.

Who wouldn’t like to receive a festive e-card from the attractive girl in marketing? Or thousands of pounds’ worth of free Christmas goodies? Perhaps even a £1 million just for helping out the nice gentleman from Nigeria?

Be aware that some threats are so new they may not be detectable by antivirus or malware vendors. If you don’t know the sender, and can’t confirm the validity of the attachment, delete it!

Example Computer Virus Emails

Here’s some examples of potentially malicious email messages.

Email computer virus example 1

  • Look out for malicious attachments. In the above example the virus was so new the antivirus vendor didn’t detect the trojan attachment, nor did 55 other AV vendors. We recently spotted a ‘zero day virus‘ ourselves.
  • Look carefully at the From address too. You many notice that this email isn’t from the company it claims to be from. It may also be from an email address that you don’t recognise.

Example email computer virus 2

  • Notice how the email isn’t addressed to anyone specific. This is a common trait of phishing and spam email.
  • Look for obvious spelling and grammar mistakes like these.
  • The email will usually entice you into clicking upon a link, as the example above. This will either take you to a fake login page (and capture your real login details) or download a virus or malware to your computer.

Stay educated, stay informed and have a safe Christmas and prosperous New Year!

Download our festive poster below (click on the image)





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