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What is a Virus?

A virus, which also can be referred to as a worm, is a program that is unknowingly loaded onto your computer, runs against your wishes, and can also replicate itself. For example, a virus might attach itself to a spreadsheet or an email attachment you receive. Each time the spreadsheet program runs or you open the attachment, the virus runs too, and it has the chance to reproduce (by attaching to other programs) thus causing more problems. Typically the virus will use all available memory and potentially slow your system down to the point where you will no longer be able to use it.

How to Identify a Virus
Although it is difficult to identify a virus, you should always be skeptical of the following:

  • Email messages from people you do not know
  • Email messages from friends, family, or co-workers that you were not expecting
  • Attachments in an email and/or subject lines that seem inappropriate or strange

Who is at Risk?
Anyone who has an email address is susceptible to receiving viruses.

Recommended Action
If you're not sure the email is legitimate, call the sender and ask before opening the attachment. If you're sure you've received an email message with a virus, you should simply delete the email WITHOUT opening the attachment. Do not comply with sites that ask for your email address – giving out your email address may unknowingly set you up for receiving virus infected spam emails.


  • is not directly related to district business and contains an attachment.
  • asks you to perform a computer related action on your part and contains an attachment
  • warns you that your computer may be infected or your account has been used to send spam









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