Understanding threats in software files aren’t always easy. Hackers can insert malicious codes into any file, and they can go undetected, making you think they are safe. The file can be in any format such as images, word documents, spreadsheets and more. After corrupting a file, an attacker may distribute it through a website or email. The files can cause common problems such as consuming your memory or bandwidth, or making you think your computer is “freezing”. They can also install, alter or delete your files, have access to your computer and even worse, use your computer to attack others! Scared? No worries, here are a few steps that can help reduce your risk

  • Take advantage of security settings: Apply the highest level of security that still gives you functionality in your email and web browser.
  • Use caution when opening any attachments-never open unexpected attachments, even from co-workers or friends without double checking they weren’t hacked first. If you do not know the sender, do not open it!
  • Use updated anti-virus software: New codes are always being written so updated software is critical. Although they can’t spot everything, they can reduce the risk.
  • Double check any website files downloaded– If you do not trust a website, do not download its content.
  • Keep software up-to-date: If your computer offers auto updates, take advantage before hackers find vulnerabilities.