Safely Download Pictures

Dear Computer Lady,

Downloading internet pictures may infect my computer with a virus. If I instead print such a picture on my printer would it also carry a virus? And would it be safe to scan this picture into my computer?

Thanks, Robert


Dear Robert,

It is true that some pictures online can contain viruses. Unfortunately, in order for you to see a picture on your computer, you have to download it first, so by the time you see a picture on your browser, if that picture was infected, and your antivirus program didn’t block the virus you are already infected.

Since you have to view a picture in your browser in order to print it, the damage would already be done.

A better suggestion is to make sure you have a good antivirus program installed, and make sure you keep it updated.


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