If you were the average computer user at any time in the last decade, then you were probably used to interacting with three basic hardware items.
The actual computer itself, the hard drive that you would store information on, and the DVD or CD player that would allow you to play those media in your computer.
If you were a computer user before that decade, then you would remember that people used to use a device called a floppy drive (the thought of which is making me feel old!).
Now, times have changed, and most computers come ready for you to add external devices on the machine.
By external devices, we are talking about extra hard drives, DVD burners, USB devices, and all other sorts of extra hardware that you attach to your computer a lot easier than before.
The Need For Antivirus Scanning
Since the average person is now using the devices, they are being targeted more and more by people trying to do malicious activities on your computer.
This is why you must use an antivirus to stop them.
When you install an antivirus program it’s usual default is to scan what drives it sees when you first installed it.
At the time, you might not have the external device that you use, plugged in.
This means that the antivirus installation will not see it.
So you must make sure that when you plug it in, that you run a scan over it.
Especially if you have added a good amount of files recently.
The storage area on these devices hold data just like your internal hard drive does.
That means that they can hold a potential problem for your computer as well.
If you make sure that you scan the external device, you can go a long way in protecting yourself.
Not every single device that you attach to your computer should have you worrying whether it is a threat or not.
If you attach your cell phone or camera, then most likely these devices will not have a virus hidden in them somewhere.
It is a possibility, but a small one.
Unless you add a file yourself, there is little too worry about.
Which Devices Should I Scan?
The main external devices that you should worry about when you attach them to your computer, is an external hard drive, data DVDs, and USB drives.
These devices hold the biggest possibilities of a containment leak on your computer.
Also, I must state that you do not have to worry about scanning these items every time you connect them to your computer.
Only if they have been in contact with another person’s computer recently.
Or, after you have just recently installed or updated your antivirus program.
In all, they should be scanned at least once a month if they are not in contact with a foreign computer.
If they are, then scan them every time.
People forget that these external devices can function just like any device that comes with the computer.
This means that you have to worry about infection in them just like you would if you downloaded a file onto your hard drive.
So make sure that you run an antivirus over them periodically.
This will make you safer in the long run.