The vast majority of viruses in the workplace come from non-work related sites. Well established business websites are rarely the cause of a virus infection. The following are some examples of websites to avoid while on a corporate network.
Social networking sites are targets for people promoting the spread of malware and viruses. These types of sites are targeted because of their large user base. Once an account has been infected, it will attempt to spread to everyone in that user’s friends list by sending links or files that would tempt the user to click or open these links and files to further spread the malware.
Webmail has long been a target and tool that virus writers use to spread their code. It provides anonymity by offering free accounts with little or no proof of identification. Webmail is not as thoroughly filtered by virus scanning software than most corporate mail servers, this leads to employees infecting their work computers because they are checking personal email that does not get scanned by your servers.
If in doubt, do not open the email or attachment. Many people get virus infections from their friends, family and coworkers because these people have been infected and the virus is now sending out emails to everyone on their contact list. If your aunt Betty doesn’t know how to send a picture attachment then there is good reason to believe that something may be amiss. If you’ve never seen the name before, use caution, it may be spam with links to virus infected webpages.
There are many sites that at best are deemed questionable. The less known a site is, the less likely it is to be secure. For example, Amazon.com vs. shopping123.com. Small, insecure sites are targets for the placement of viruses and malware, once these sites are infected, anyone visiting the site will be infected. If you stick to large, well-known, work related websites, you greatly reduce the risk of infection.
If you do happen to get a virus, the best thing to do at that point is to shut the PC down. Most viruses have been known to retrieve additional code or other viruses from the internet making the problem worse over time. Infected PC’s that have been left on and used for days have been found with dozens to several hundred infected files and different variations of viruses. Others that have been shut down quickly were much more easy to remove, saving you time and money in the long run.