Protection from viruses and malware

Viruses, worms, Trojans, and bots are all malware. Malware is code or software that is designed to damage, disrupt, steal, or in general inflict some other “bad” action.

You may have malware if:

  • your device responds more slowly than usual, stops responding entirely or ‘crashes’
  • a battery-powered device requires more charging than usual
  • unknown programs and toolbars appear on your device
  • disruptive pop-ups appear, requesting credit card details or the installation of unknown software
  • you’re frequently redirected to unknown websites on your device.

How to stay safe

  • Turn on auto updates for your operating system. If you use Windows, this can be done using Windows Update. If you use Mac OS, this can be done using the Mac App StoreMac App Store. Apple iPhones and iPads should have automatic updates enabled in the App Store. Android devices should have automatic updates enabled in Google Play.
  • Be wary when opening email attachments. Don’t open attachments from strangers or when you don’t recognise the file type. Even if you do know the sender, be wary - their computer may have been compromised and may be sending you malware.
  • Be careful downloading files. Don’t download files from strange websites. Make sure to download only from a legitimate and reputable source.
  • Backup your files on a regular basis. If malware destroys your files, at least you’ll have a backup copy. Make sure not to store your backup copy on the same computer you’re trying to protect.
  • Turn on the firewall on your computer. Both Windows and Mac operating systems have built in firewalls.

What about my phone or tablet?

Some malware can target devices like your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone. Prevent your device being infected:

  • Keep your device updated with the most recent version of software
  • Don’t plug your device into an unknown computer
  • Don’t use charging stations in public locations, these may be used to install malware – plug your own charger into a power socket instead
  • Only install software from the Apple App store or Google Play

One last note

Keeping your operating system up-to-date, firewalls, and regular backups are great prevention, but there’s never a complete guarantee against infection. If you encounter a problem that you're unable to fix, we recommend talking to a computer technician to see what can be done.

Want further assistance?

  • Call us on 0900 87233Available 24/7. Calls cost $1.99 + GST per minute.
  • Email us your questionWe aim to respond within 3-5 days.