How Do Viruses Spread?

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The most common way that computer viruses spread is through e-mail, specifically e-mail attachments, so it's important to know the source of e-mail attachments. Find out how people can unintentionally spread viruses through external hard drives with help from a Web designer in this free video on computer viruses.

Part of the Video Series: Web Site & Internet Help
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Noah, and I'm going to explain how viruses spread. The most common way a virus is spreading that people usually talk about is through email. Especially through email attachments. It's very easy for a virus once it's received by somebody to make that person's email account send an email to everyone in the contact list with the virus as an attachment. This can either be as a picture in the email or just any type of file really. So whenever you get any emails, but especially ones with attachments, you want to make sure that it's really from the source and that it's a valid email, not some kind of virus. Finally, there are lots of other ways viruses can spread though. A very easy way for them to spread is through an external hard drive. Because of the very fast transfer speed of an external hard drive, and because a lot of the time people will put large amounts of files, or even a backup of their whole hard drive onto their external hard drive. So when you plug in an external hard drive to your computer that's from somebody else, you might want to do a complete virus scan on it first before opening up any files or copying anything from it. Even unintentionally the person could easily have put a virus on his external hard drive if he had one on his computer. This can also be the case with simple little flash drives like this. Although the transfer speeds are slower, and they can contain much less files, if somebody happens to copy a virus onto it, you can still get that virus from using this little tool.


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