How to catch a virus through your browser

Things like a banner on your desktop informing that your computer is locked are probably familiar to everyone by now. In most cases, when a user needs computer help for a similar reason, when they reach it they will hear the question “where did I get it, I didn't download anything”. The most common way of spreading this type of malware is through your usual browser. This article will try to examine the most common ways of introducing viruses to your computer through your browser.

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Social engineering.

If you consult wikipedia, you can read that social engineering is a way of obtaining unauthorized access to information without the use of technical means. The concept is much broader, but in our context getting a virus from a browser basically means making information available to you in such a way that you download and run the malware on your computer yourself. Now, more concrete examples of propagation.

Fake download links

I have already written more than once about how "download free without sms or registration" is the search query that most frequently leads to virus infections. In the vast majority of unofficial software download sites that offer driver downloads for anything, you will see many "Download" links that do not lead to the download of the desired file. In this case, understanding which "Download" button will download the file is not easy for non-specialists. An example is shown in the image.

The results, depending on where this occurs, can be very different - starting with a large number of programs installed on your computer and running, whose behavior is not very conscious and leads to a noticeable slowdown of your computer in general. and Internet access in particular: MediaGet,, numerous bars (panels) for browsers. Before you get viruses, blocking banners and other unpleasant events.

Your computer is infected

Another common way to get a virus on the Internet is when you see a pop-up window, or even an "Explorer" -like window, on any website informing you that viruses, Trojans, and other nasty things have been detected on your computer. . Naturally, you are offered to easily fix the problem by clicking on the corresponding button and downloading the file, or even not downloading it, but simply allowing the system to perform some action with it when prompted. Considering that a regular user does not always realize that it is not their antivirus that is reporting problems and that Windows account control messages are often skipped by clicking "Yes", it is very easy to catch a virus from this way.

Your browser is out of date

Similar to the previous case, only here you will see a pop-up window that tells you that your browser is outdated and needs to be updated, for which a link will be provided. The consequences of these browser updates are often unfortunate.

I need to install a codec to see the video

Looking for "watch movies online" or "internal 256 episodes online"? Be prepared for the fact that you will be asked to download some codec to play this video, you will download it, and in the end, it will turn out that there is no codec. Unfortunately, I don't even know how to intelligently explain the ways to distinguish a normal Silverlight or Flash installer from malware, although it is fairly straightforward for an experienced user.

Files downloaded automatically

On some sites, you may also find that the page automatically tries to download a file, and you most likely didn't click anywhere to download it. If this is the case, it is advisable to cancel the download. Important point: not only are EXE files dangerous to run, there are many more types of EXE files.

Unprotected browser plugins

Another common way to introduce malicious code through a browser is through various security holes in plugins. The most famous of these plugins is Java. In general, unless you have a direct need, it is best to remove Java from your computer completely. If you can't, for example, because you need to play Minecraft, just remove the Java plugin from your browser. If you also need Java in your browser, for example if you use an application on a financial management site, you should at least always react to Java update notifications and install the latest version of the plugin.

Browser plugins, such as Adobe Flash or PDF Reader, also tend to have security problems, but keep in mind that Adobe is much faster in responding to identified bugs and updates are performed with enviable regularity. You just don't have to delay in installing them.

Well, most importantly, when it comes to plugins: remove all unused plugins from your browser, and keep the ones you do use up to date.

Security holes in the browsers themselves

Security problems in the browsers themselves also allow malicious code to be downloaded onto the computer. To avoid this, follow a few simple tips:

  • Please use the latest versions of the browsers downloaded from the manufacturers' official websites. That is, don't search for "download the latest version of Firefox", just go to In this case, you will actually get the latest version, which will be updated in the future.
  • Have an antivirus on your computer. Paid or free, it's up to you. It is better than not having any antivirus. Windows Protector 8 - can also be considered a good protection if you don't have any other antivirus.

I think I'll leave it for today. To summarize, I want to point out that the most frequent reason for the appearance of viruses on the computer through a browser continues to be the user's own actions, caused by one or another deception on the site itself, as discussed in the first section of this article. Be careful and watch.