Computer viruses can be scary, which leads to my myths being spread around them, here are the 20 most common computer viruses myths.
20 Most Common Computer Viruses Myths
1. Myth: There are no computer viruses anymore now that software is built with security in mind
Reality: well even if all programs were patched to handle win32 APIs securely, the biggest threat would still be the users themselves.
Viruses don’t have to come from a specific software you can get them from many different types of files, which means you can get a virus from anywhere such as USBs, internet downloads, and social media.
Also, even if all the programs you use are able to handle win32 APIs with no issues you’re still going to have a chance of getting a virus when downloading files from the Internet because not every creator uploads their software securely.
You also have to be careful when you post things on social media because viruses can come from there.
2. Myth: any piece of software is designed to create viruses
Reality: Windows is the platform for most computer viruses, however, this doesn’t mean that all programs are capable of creating them.
It’s true that some programmers are able to make viruses but it’s not something common. Most of the time viruses are unintentional side effects from a program that wasn’t created for this specific purpose.
3. Myth: only low-quality programs get viruses, high-quality ones do not
Reality: High-quality software has a higher chance of not getting a virus but there is still a small percentage that can get affected by viruses.
This is because the software itself has a higher chance of being free of errors, but there are still cases of program designers making programs with low-security standards that get affected by viruses.
4. Myth: if you’re running Windows you are safe from computer viruses
Reality: the majority of computers have Windows installed so this would be the easiest platform to target, however you can still get a virus from any other type of systems such as Mac or even Linux.
5. Myth: you have to restart the computer when changing the BIOS settings
Reality: well it’s better if you do a reboot after making changes to the BIOS but it is not necessary. You may also want to configure your BIOS settings in order to be able to load it in your memory when booting.
6. Myth: computer viruses are the only threats you face when using a computer
Reality: well they’re not but it’s true that they pose many threats which is why anti-virus applications exist today. There are lots of things that can affect your computer, even things that are not related to viruses.
7. Myth: only the most advanced anti-virus software can protect you from threats
Reality: well there are many types of threats that an application has to be able to handle in order to protect you against everything.
Virus protection is just one of the many features expected from anti-virus applications. Other threats they have to protect you against are spam, identity theft, hackers, and even scams.
8. Myth: my computer is not connected to the Internet so I’m safe from attacks
Reality: well they can come through other ways such as USBs or directly via emails if someone manages to take over your computer by opening a backdoor.
It’s also possible for a hacker to take control of your computer even if it’s not connected to the Internet, all they have to do is enter your WiFi signal, and then that would be enough for them to use it as their own.
9. Myth: I can watch anything on YouTube without worrying about viruses
Reality: well it’s true that YouTube has lots of content but you shouldn’t watch anything on there. Some videos may be harmful which is why if you do go on the website, then you should only watch content that they allow (such as known channels like BBC or CNN).
10. Myth: I can download any game from the Internet without worrying about viruses
Reality: well no program downloaded from the Internet is safe from viruses, even if they are games. Some of them may have hidden viruses that will only activate when you play the game which means it would be too late for you to realize there was a problem.
11. Myth: all USBs come with their own version of anti-virus software
Reality: not all USBs have anti-virus protection. If they do, then it may be a basic version that is enough to protect you from viruses on normal files but it’s possible for malware to infect USBs too so you would need something more advanced.
Usually what happens is that if the person in charge of deploying USBs decides to add in their own anti-virus protection then it would be better for you.
12. Myth: I can download pirated games and music for free off the Internet without worrying about viruses
Reality: Just like with all downloaded files, you should avoid pirated ones since there is a high chance they contain hidden viruses which you would unknowingly be installing.
13. Myth: I can install all sorts of applications from the Internet without worrying about viruses
Reality: it’s a myth that old or trusted apps cannot have viruses. Just because a program has been around for a long time doesn’t make it safe, in fact, it could even contain backdoors to your PC.
14. Myth: I can install any version of Windows without worrying about viruses
Reality: well there are lots of viruses that affect windows, regardless of the version you’re using. All it takes for a virus to enter your computer is for you to open an infected file or website and then it would be installed onto your machine even if your operating system is Windows 8.
15. Myth: I should always click on the “skip”, “ignore” or terms and conditions buttons when installing an application to avoid viruses
Reality: The Terms and Conditions are necessary for the installation process to run smoothly. By clicking on any of them, you’re ignoring a vital part of the application which means it would be installed incorrectly.
16. Myth: I can do whatever I please on my computer without worrying about viruses
Reality: just because you have an anti-virus application on your machine doesn’t mean you can do anything with it.
You should always be careful with what you download, install or open no matter how protected you think your machine is.
17. Myth: I can play any video or music downloaded from the Internet without worrying about viruses
Reality: It’s true that most videos and songs are safe from viruses but there are some exceptions.
For instance, it’s possible for a hacker to hide a file that would only activate once your favorite song has been played, which means it would be too late for you to realize there was a problem.
18. Myth: I can go on any website without worrying about viruses
Reality: It’s true that some websites are safe but they’re not all virus-proof. For instance, if someone is able to upload an infected file onto your favorite website then your computer might pick up the virus.
19. Myth: I can use software without worrying about viruses
Reality: it’s true that you would usually only get viruses through downloaded files but there are some exceptions.
For example, if you used to write your own programs and upload them onto the Internet then someone could reverse-engineer them which would allow them to add in a virus without you even realizing it.
20. Myth: I didn’t install the virus myself so I don’t have to worry about it
Reality: It doesn’t matter if you installed the application yourself or not because once it is on your PC, then that means the infection has already been activated. You would need to take your computer to a specialist for complete virus removal.
Those were the 20 most common computer viruses myths, which myth caught your attention? let me know in the comment section below.