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How to Avoid Spreading Worms April 13, 2015

Posted by melihbilen in Security.

Most people call all malicious software as computer viruses. This information might be true in terms of user language but there are different kind of malicious programs such as computer viruses, computer worms, trojans and bots. Let’s look at definition from Wikipedia in order to understand what the basic difference between viruses and worm is. Under title computer worms, it defines these programs as “A computer worm is a standalone malware computer program that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers. Often, it uses a computer network to spread itself, relying on security failures on the target computer to access it. Unlike a computer virus, it does not need to attach itself to an existing program” [1]. Therefore, most basic difference is how they spread. Since, worms do not require user action; they can easily move one computer to another via network connection. Think about it, nowadays all of our devices are connected to the internet and we are using our email accounts in everywhere including business, school and personal issues. Hence, computer worms generally spread through e-mails. Generally they use attachments as their mid-stop. I’m going to give some basic ideas to be protected from these kinds of actions.

Be careful when you open an attachment

Since, worms are using e-mail attachments, you should be very careful when you open an attachment. If you do not know the sender, then definitely you shouldn’t open that attachment. However, today’s worms can spread through somebody’s address book. You can get an infected attachment from somebody you know while he has no idea about this e-mail. You should be very careful about file extension of these attachments. They may use files with double extension such as “.txt.vb” or “.jpg.exe”. If your operating system is hiding file extensions, you see only something like “.jpg” at the end of file name. When you see .jpg part, you think that it is picture file. However, it is not picture file your operating system hid the actual extension which is .exe . As soon as you click that attachment file it is going to try to execute a harmful program. Therefore , you should make file extensions visible.

Use an anti-virus program, anti-spyware program and firewall

All of these programs help you to protect your device from malicious software. Although there are free versions of these programs, you may want to use paid versions if want to be more protected. You should never turn-off your firewall in your operating system.

Updating your OS Regularly

Companies releases some security updates when they realize that their software has open doors. Because of this reason, you should update your operating system or other programs.


[1] http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Getting-a-Computer-Virus-or-Worm-on-Your-Windows-PC

[2] http://email.about.com/library/weekly/aa050800c.htm

[3] http://spaf.cerias.purdue.edu/tech-reps/823.pdf





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