Can PDFs Contain Viruses? How to Protect Them?

Acrobat File Format, or PDF, may be considered very safe for viewing a document. So safe that even credit card companies send bills through this format.

In fact, almost all banks use it to send documents, important letters, and bills. But now, users of the PDF format must be more vigilant because hackers try to break into your PC using this file format.

According to Websense Security Labs, Zbot Trojan, commonly called ‘Zeus’, is a virus that will steal data on an infected PC. The virus spreads very quickly via email. So far, 2,200 infected emails have been found in India.

Most people think PDF is a safe file, so saving it on a PC is fine. But no, it will eject some files and take over the computer. The latest anti-virus also has an 80% risk of error in detecting viruses in this file.

The way this virus works is to multiply itself in the Windows operating system, where all vital programs are located and change the computer registry once the virus is active every time the PC is turned on.

The registry is a database on a computer. It is used to track hardware, software and other information. For example, when new software is installed, the registry will hold all information about that software. If the viruses reach these registries, the effect would be really serious.

Know The Signs of Weird File Format

Is it challenging to identify a document that contains a virus? Actually, it’s not!

Usually, the original PDF document format will end in *.pdf, while PDF documents ending in *.exe are documents that contain viruses.

Therefore, if the PDF document you downloaded ends in *.exe, it’s better not to open the document. If your computer or laptop is equipped with anti-virus, you should immediately do a scan so that the virus does not spread in your computer system.

The Risk of Desktop Getting Infected

Virus attacks on computers or laptops are things that are highly avoided because they can make those devices unusable.

There is no benefit to having a virus on a computer. In fact, viruses can cause someone to lose the data that has been stored.

Signs if your laptop or PC is infected with a virus are:

  • Restart repeatedly
  • Can’t enter the desktop menu
  • Files disappeared.

There are several ways for viruses to enter the computer, one of which is a virus that infiltrates through downloaded files, like PDFs, for example. If your device is infected with the virus, it’s best to have some of best malware removal software. Pick the one that is suitable for you. It’s also better to combine anti-malware software with antivirus protection.

How to Prevent It

Here are some tips that can be applied to prevent viruses from entering computers, laptops or notebooks, most of which use the Windows operating system.

1. Use Antivirus

Make sure there is at least one antivirus on your computer, laptop or notebook. Currently, there are various kinds of antivirus with multiple brands. You can choose it based on your needs or desires. Usually, paid antivirus is preferable because it is equipped with better support services compared to free ones.

2. Perform Periodic Updates and Scans

If you are already using an anti-virus, remember to update at least once a week; if you’re always online, then activate auto update on the anti-virus and scan regularly on your computer, laptop or notebook.

3. Open Folder Via Windows Explorer

When you want to retrieve data from a flash disk or hard disk, try not to double-click the existing folder because it allows the entry of viruses. Open the folder via Windows Explorer on the left.

4. Don’t Carelessly Open Links

Usually found on particular websites or spam emails with strange links sent by unknown and previously unknown senders.

5. Download Only From Official Websites

Do not download suspicious and unknown files because viruses, worms, spyware, trojans and hackers can enter your computer, laptop or notebook through the file you downloaded earlier. If you have to download make sure it’s from an official or trusted source

6. Turn Off The Autorun Function

Autorun on windows can be a bridge in and out of viruses to a computer or laptop. If you plug in a flash disk or other USB device on your computer, the autorun feature will usually run automatically. Turning off the autorun function is one way to protect your computer, laptop or notebook from the entry of viruses and spread throughout your system.