Avoiding Viruses and Worms

What is a virus?

Virus: A man-made computer program that, when opened, infects your computer and attempts to spread itself to other computers. A virus will often attempt to spread via e-mail automatically by sending copies of itself to everyone in your address book.

Worm: Shares most of the traits of a virus, but is able to spread on its own without human interaction.

A person must open the virus-infected program in order for the virus to spread. Viruses can be attached to other legitimate programs and run without the user being aware of their presence. That's why it's important to follow some simple rules!

How do they spread?

Viruses are mainly spread via e-mail, although some websites can infect your computer as well. Worms seek out non-infected computers by searching the network, and then spread themselves by exploiting security weaknesses.

Computer users often install viruses on their computers by accident. Because viruses spread themselves automatically, they often come from friends or family members without their knowledge. Even though an e-mail came from someone you trust, you may still be in danger of contracting a virus! The purveyors of viruses actually depend on this "trust factor", tricking you into opening the e-mail or its attachments.

For example, let's say you get an e-mail from a friend including an attachment. When you open the attachment, thinking your friend or family member sent it on purpose, your computer becomes infected with the virus. The virus then spreads itself to your family and friends, using your e-mail address book to trick them into believing the message is a legitimately from you.

How do I protect myself and my computer?

Your financial institution has taken strong measures to ensure the security and safety of your account and its overall online banking system. By staying alert to potential security threats and keeping in mind the suggestions listed above, you can help us keep online banking extremely safe and secure. Follow the good practices and use the knowledge we've provided here, and you will be much more prepared to enjoy the conveniences of online services with peace of mind!

These helpful tips are provided by Digital Defense, Inc., a computer security company working with your bank as a responsible member of the community to help insure the privacy and security of our nation's financial information.