The prevailing wisdom when protecting yourself from online scams is never open files sent to you by people you don’t know. While this is good advice, it still leaves you open to problems caused by “trusted sources.” You may know that the file sent to you by your child’s school is not a scam, but you don’t know that their system hasn’t been infected.
Your trusted sources obviously aren’t trying to hack your computer. You don’t know if their computer systems have viruses and malware that could affect you. My son learned this the hard way when he brought his laptop to school and logged into the school network. His virus protection software went crazy as it detected all of the problems from the school’s network drive. The same school system recently sent a PDF to my wife. The PDF was a legitimate school file, but their computers are so infected that a virus attached itself to the PDF.
The lesson is that even trusted sources can have viruses or malware. Whether you are using Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, or Chrome, you cannot assume your system isn’t vulnerable. Install virus and malware protection.
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