Spam, Scams, Viruses! What are they?

And how to avoid them

Spam, Scams, Viruses! What are they?

Dear Ms. Tech,

Can you explain to me what a computer virus is? Is a virus the same as spam? I’m not sure what they mean. I just know they are both bad! Sincerely,

Girl in Makurdi

Dear Girl in Makurdi,

A computer virus can get into our phones or computers. It is just like when a sickness enters the body. Nobody wants a computer virus. It can make our devices do things we did not ask for. It can even send out emails in our names! Viruses can make your device shut down. This can make us lose things like pictures, music or games.

Viruses are passed from phone to phone (or computer to computer). We can get this virus when we open files or links. Avoid opening files and links from people you do not know. Be careful when using Bluetooth to receive files. Make sure the person sending the file has no virus on his/her device. Ask him/her if they use anti-virus software to protect their phones.

We can also install anti-virus software for our phones. Look for anti-virus software in your phone’s app store. Examples are Google Play or the Opera app store if you use the Opera mini browser.

If you receive something from a friend that you don’t think he or she would usually send, be careful. His or her account could be infected. Ask your friend if he or she sent it before clicking on it.

Viruses can cause our social media or email accounts to send “spam” to our friends. Spam is unwanted messages sent to many people. I am sure we don’t want to send such messages to all our friends!

So it’s important to be sure about a link before clicking. If your mobile or computer starts acting strange, take it to an expert (such as one at a technical shop) as soon as possible!

Love, Ms. Tech

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