How you infect your PC with viruses by browsing the internet

In several articles on the topic of computer security I have tried to find the best ways and the best programs to clean and disinfect a computer from viruses and malware, but how do viruses get into a computer "> How to protect your PC from malware
The sites that I would have liked to name, those that carry viruses, are above all those with contents that are not exactly legal or that in any case offer programs or materials to download for free without having permission.
Then there are some torrent sites, some streaming movie sites, sites that broadcast games, some less popular adult sites (the most popular ones today have no major problems) that you can meet randomly or in special searches.
Using a virtual machine, with Windows 10 protected by antivirus Windows Defender (which is generally very good as protection) we tried to open this type of site and randomly click on each banner and button or link, without paying attention, ending up destroying in a short time the system stability and letting virus and malware penetrate which, in some cases without being noticed, took possession of the system preventing me from surfing where I wanted and opening advertisements all the time (if nothing else I have not caught ransomware, but I think I am been lucky).
Although it would have been nice to make a video, we describe here the main actions done that led to infecting the PC :
1) Pressed the Play or Download button on a streaming site
When you search for a video or film on the internet, you generally open a player and press the Play button in the center thinking that it is the one to start playback as you would on Youtube. By pressing the first Play button on a streaming video site, however, there are two cases: some open new advertising tabs, which must be closed immediately and then return to press Play and see the video (although this procedure may require two or three repetitions), in other sites instead it is just a deceptive button that leads to the download of some plugins or to the request for registration / registration to that site. Then there are also those sites where watching a movie seems to start, but instead stops immediately and asks to register for an account.
In some cases you can see comments under the enthusiastic, thank you video that say how good it looks and how beautiful it is, making us think that we are the ones who are wrong or that it is worth installing the plugin or registering. In reality, these comments are always bogus and it is easy to understand it as they are all similar and too generic.
In some sites, in addition to the normal Play button, you can find a button like " Watch in HD ", making us believe that it is a version with a better quality. Again it is a deceptive key that leads to the download of an extension or an executable file clearly designed to infect our PC with a virus.
Before downloading a movie it is best to make sure it is not malware. If he asks to register on the site, better not to do it in any case.
If you want support tools, there are tools and programs for safe surfing like WOT.
2) Install bogus web browser extensions that allow you to watch movies online, for free
It is easy to think that everything is regular, that the request to install a browser extension to view a video or a movie is plausible, if it were not that if we happened to be on one of these sites, we were probably looking for a way to do it free and not on a regular basis. By accepting the installations of programs and extensions, we ended up finding unnamed extensions and buttons in the toolbar of Chrome, which apparently do nothing and that certainly do not serve to allow the viewing of streaming videos. Obviously, from this moment, the privacy of the virtual machine was shattered and everything I did could be monitored and recorded by who knows who.
Extensions and add-ons in general are not dangerous if downloaded from the official Chrome store and from the Mozilla addon site.
However, the toolbars can install extensions automatically and modify the behavior of the browser.
If this happens, you can check it with the Adwcleaner program which deletes all adware from browsers in one go.
3) Installation of the fake Flash Player or other HD plugins.
As already explained in the past, you should never download players and updates from streaming video sites because they are always viruses.
Fake flash players, fake browser updates as well as fake HD versions are other tricks from pirate movie sites or with streaming links to infect your PC. This is always a hoax because clicking on the update or installation button of the Flash Player does not install the real Adobe Flash Player, nor any other type of plugin. What happened was to receive the request to install yet another extension on the web browser, this time, an extension for watching free TV programs (this word "free" is always suspicious on the internet unless it is news sites or blogs like this). In many cases, even if I have not been able to replicate the problem, it is precisely on this trap of the Flash plugin that we end up being infected with a Ransomware virus, one of those that blocks the computer and asks for the ransom.
4) Even trusted sites can have dangerous download ads.
When looking for free programs to download, you often end up on sites like Softonic or that accompany programs with sponsored, unwanted software. Even if it is not a virus, it is annoying to find yourself with an unsolicited download manager or with other types of programs that are only in the trial version.
On many occasions, pages or pop-ups with the words "Congratulations You Won" may open, to be avoided and blocked.
5) Internet for adults and the collection of personal data
With adult sites, you just have to be careful of those little known, those that, as well as streaming movies, open dozens of advertising cards with a single click on the Play button. We must also avoid promising ads that lead to the recording of personal data and pay only the most trusted sites, which without naming names we know who they are. In fact, this is also a problem with some betting sites and dating sites, which do nothing but collect subscriptions by deception.
6) Clicks that bring phishing and ransomware
In a particular site, trying to open the content that I was interested in seeing, an ad was opened that warned me of the presence of viruses on the computer and to click to scan. At this point it could also be true that there was a virus on my virtual PC, but for sure that type of warning was not real and in fact it was also impossible to close, not even asking Chrome to " prevent the page from creating other windows dialog "which typically works in these cases. The only thing that could be done was to call a phone number because the whole computer seemed to be locked. I thought and perhaps it was a ransomware, which however did not block everything and in fact, by restarting the virtual machine, I was able to continue using it, even if it is now infected with multiple viruses.
7) Illegal torrent sites
A huge part of internet traffic is used for torrent downloads, which are not illegal in themselves, but which are also used to download copyrighted and unlicensed content for free. Pirate sites like torrent sites often hide bogus download links that lead to the installation of other, often dangerous, things. For example, looking for some torrent and clicking on the biggest download button, I ended up visiting gambling sites, sales sites and downloading an .exe type file which after running crashed my virtual machine . In the subsequent reboot I could see that by now this PC of experiments had been compromised, become very slow and impossible to use even to open a text file.
8) Auto-download of files
A dangerous website can attempt to automatically download an EXE or other type of dangerous file to your computer even if it is not required by the user. If you did not explicitly choose to download a file, block unrecognized downloads and do not open the files. Unfortunately, this often happens when you find those advertising banners that imitate download buttons (especially in pirated sites). Typical, in streaming sites, is the banner that says: " You need this Plugin to watch the video " or "The computer is infected, click here to clean up". As always, running an antivirus helps protect your computer on these occasions and immediately blocks downloads of malware or malicious programs.
In conclusion we say that in 99.9% of cases a virus enters a PC and causes damage or steals data because it was allowed by the owner of the computer who accepted it and put it on his own .
The users most at risk of computer infection are those who like to install programs or visit free entertainment sites and movies, without having the necessary experience in recognizing where to click and where not.
A virus or malware enters the computer when visiting unsafe adult sites, sites to download crack programs, when downloading screensavers or graphics to improve the Windows desktop, when looking for torrent files in the wrong places and, in general, when looking for free things.
A virus also enters the computer by opening infected emails as written in another guide article to recognize threats that arrive on e-mail.
In another article I had compiled a list of the main dangerous internet sites, even if it hasn't been updated for some years.
To be even more informed it may be useful to read other articles such as:
- most dangerous types of viruses
- How a virus or malware enters the pc
To try to infect your computer and see its effects, we can then use a virtual PC or create a sandbox and surf the internet by going to suspicious sites, clicking on advertisements that promise the moon, downloading screensavers, wallpapers, ringtones, menu bars, women dancing on the desktop, extensions, file sharing applications, movie download programs, fake torrent files, crack executables and so on. Within 5 minutes that computer will be chock full of infections and very open to receiving any type of attack from the outside.
To defend yourself from these attacks and prevent them you must of course have a good antivirus (see here the best free antivirus), which however is not enough at all if you do not move carefully. Also indispensable is the MalwareBytes scanner capable of detecting every single infection.
READ ALSO: How to surf online safely

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