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Computer Viruses Social Story

A picture of a computer with a yellow exclamation point sign and an open envelope on the screen. In the envelope is a virus, and a yellow sign.

One of the oldest and most common online scams is a computer virus.

A computer window with a green shield with a checkmark.

I can help keep my computer safe by having anti-virus software installed.

Three emails with the headings 'Joe Smith: Meeting,' 'Mom: About that trip...,' and 'Amanda Jones: Report.'

Computer viruses are made to look like something I can trust like an email from a friend or business.

A man texting on his phone with a message saying 'Mom - did you send an email about a trip?'.

If I get an email from a friend that looks strange I can contact them directly by phone or text and ask if they sent it.

A computer with two windows open. One window has a red circle with an exclamation point.

Adware is a type of software that fills my computer with ads. I may get adware by clicking on ads online or from downloading free programs.

Three computer windows stacked with the top window saying 'CLICK HERE.'

I can tell that my computer has adware if I start seeing random ads on my computer, my computer is slow, or my home page has changes I did not make.

A laptop with a red triangle with an exclamation point inside. There is also a red skull and crossbones on screen.

Malware is like adware, but much more dangerous.

A laptop with a yield sign, a skull and crossbones, and a white shield on screen. Around the computer is an open envelope, a document, a flash drive, a cogwheel, a log-in window, and a picture.

It looks like a real computer program, but it can used to steal my information or give my computer a virus.

A man wearing a grey hoodie and sunglasses is on a laptop.

Malware can let someone take control of my computer and possibly spread the virus to my friends' or family's computers.

A red unlocked padlock with a credit card, document labelled 'PRIVATE,' and a man wearing a grey hat, jacket, and sunglasses behind it.

Malware can be used to get access to private information like health records, bank accounts, or other private information.

A search bar with a magnifying glass on the end.

Before I download a program I can do a Google search to make sure I am downloading the program from a safe place.

A laptop with a blue shield with a lock inside on screen.

I can help protect myself from malware by keeping my device updated, not clicking on pop-ups or unknown links, using anti-virus software, only getting apps from official sites, and not opening email attachments.

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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.