Relevant for – Windows Users, Facebook Users, Novice Computer Users

There’s a common thought out there that Facebook can give your computer a virus. Several people including Emily who I spoke to earlier today was asking me the same thing. The short answer to this question is no, but don’t stop there, you need to understand the concept below to really get it.

Viruses are spread through links, and downloading software. The most common cause of a virus while you’re surfing Facebook is NOT Facebook, but most likely an Ad placed on the side of a Facebook application. While your using apps like Farmville, or Scrabble or any of the hundreds of thousands of extra content on Facebook, the ads are served up NOT by Facebook but by the creator of that application. (This is how people who make applications on Facebook make money.) Stay away from sketchy applications on Facebook. Here’s a common answer from an application support representative when a virus is reported.

FamilyLink Application Developer Comment

Other virus causes include clicking on links from within Facebook from untrusted sources. These may bring you to fake pages or fake software installations. In general, users need to “up their awareness” of what their clicking on while surfing the web. Here are some required tools for keeping your computer safe on the web.

  • Use a better web browser, make sure you’re up to date and use Firefox or Google Chrome instead of Internet Explorer which is usually updated less and less secure.
  • Run Anti-Virus software if you are using a PC. Both Avast and AVG are %100 and solid solutions.
  • Consider an Apple on your next computer purchase. The debates will roar, but Apple’s line of computers are inherently more secure, take less maintenance and run into no trouble when it comes to spyware and viruses. The “why” can be saved for another place.

If you need help installing these applications or have any questions, consider checking out our IT Services or leave a comment below.