Playing IT safe: Removable media and viruses
Removable media (CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives and portable hard disk drives) are commonplace in our technologically-enhanced lives. While ease-of-use and portability of removable media increases, the spread of malware via these devices is also on the increase.
How do external media get infected with malware?
A few examples of how external media can get infected:
- Using shared or multiple computers.
- Using peer-to-peer file sharing software.
- Opening infected email attachments and image files.
- Clicking infected links and downloads on the internet.
How to prevent external media from getting infected with malware
- Keep your operating system updated - Windows Updates for a Windows machine, and Software Updates for an Apple machine.
- Install anti-virus software on your computer, e.g. McAfee.
- Keep your anti-virus software and definitions updated.
- Run a virus scan on your computer and on all removable media before use.
How to remove malware from your computer and external media
- Disable System Restore before running a malware scan.
- Run a virus scan on your computer and the external media you want to use.
- Scan the media and your computer with anti-spyware software, such as Ad-aware, Spybot etc.
- Contact the CSIRT if you are unable to remove the malware from your computer and external media.