I have had a number of people ask me about downloading custom content and viruses. So I thought I would write a little explanation about sims, viruses and my experiences.
Torrent Downloads: If you try to torrent any game (ie: download it for free) there is a much higher chance of you getting a virus that way than any other way, in The Sims. You have been warned.
Purchased Sims Games and EA Store Downloadable Content: Nothing EA Games makes is going to give you a virus. Sims 2, Sims 3, Expansions, Stuff packs, downloadable content from the store. None of that can give you a virus, period.
The Exchange: Use caution when downloading from the exchange. I don’t know of anyone getting an actual computer virus from the exchange BUT EA has very little control over what people upload to the exchange. There is a lot of bad or broken custom content that gets downloaded with sims and houses in the exchange. The two worse are the Doll Virus and The Centaur Horse Body bug. These are less viruses and more bugs and in the case of the Doll, sometimes game breaking. Use caution when downloading from the exchange!
Sims 2 Custom Content: I don’t play Sims 2 anymore but when I did I was a CC download junky. And I got viruses. Not from anything that I downloaded. But from the websites I visited.
There were a lot more CC sites for Sims 2 at the time and everyone was trying to profit off of it by having ads on their sites, especially the smaller, less popular sites. Those were the ones that gave me spyware and flat out trojens that were embeded into their banner ads.
Sims 3 Custom Content: Know thy creator! I have never gotten a virus from any of the sites on my Custom Contents Links page (and if anyone else ever does, let me know and I will remove it). I kinda know, not personally but by reputation, most of the creators who’s sites I visit and stuff I download. In general, free Sims 3 creators are not looking to profit from you. There are very few sites with suspicious banner ads in the free community. Does that mean you still shouldn’t be careful? No way!
Know what thy are downloading! If you download custom content and it ends in .exe, chances are that has nothing to do with sims custom content! Don’t click it unless you know what it is! Short of installing actual programs like Sims 3 Dashboard or other Sims related helper programs, the only thing you should EVER have to download for Sims 3 related custom content are:
- package files (.package)
- sims3packs files (.sims3pack)
- sim files (.sim)
If you download something that is NOT one of those type of files, don’t open it, don’t click it, just delete it.
The best defense against viruses is knowledge. Know what files you are downloading, know the site you are on, understand what viruses are and use caution with anything you download or open on your computer.
And last but MOST IMPORTANT, have a good virus scanner and keep it updated! I cannot emphasize this enough! There are sims 3 CC sites I have gone to that Avast blocked viruses from. Thank goodness for for Virus Scanners. Whatever brand you have, run it, update it, have it on in the background, always. Especially when you are surfing the web.