I thought I was Protected!
Computer Malware and Viruses are built to be vicious. They have one goal; to make you miserable. Long gone are the days when Viruses only appeared after visiting a shady site. Now just checking the news can plummet you down a rabbit’s hole. You complete one article and another article with a tantalizing header beckons you from the sidelines. It’s on a trusted site so you think nothing of clicking that link, only it leads you far away from the trusted site and lands you in a section you really don’t want to be. As you begin to frantically search for the little X and close out the tab a notice pops up threatening to arrest you if don’t send an immediate money order. In frustration you may be wondering with all that protection you have paid subscriptions for;
Even if your system has separate Anti-virus, Anti-malware programs, pop-up blocking apps and you only head to trusted sites, you can still get infected. Viruses are big business and organized crime groups are targeting you specifically. You fall into a neat little demographic of careful users these organizations can’t wait to sink their teeth into. They know because you weren’t expecting them, you may not have protected your information carefully, thinking your system would never be breached. Once inside, they can gain access to your banking information, tax records, contact lists, personal data such as documents, pictures, video and more which they sell on the black market. Posing at legitimate companies they buy ad slots on trusted sites and make it very tempting to click the link for a little more info. They also send out innocuous emails directly from your trusted contacts (and to them) knowing while you may not open an email from Prince William needing a little help bringing his funds into the US, you may open one from your grandson. Once in, depending on their target you may or may not even know they are there.
What do I do?
The best thing you can do is to understand how your protection programs work, and to be vigilant about backing up your data. Most Anti-virus/Anti-malware systems work to prevent you from getting infected. However, the moment you give a site or a download permission to enter your computer, harmful or not there is no stopping it. Running your Anti-virus scans later will probably not be helpful because the Virus is now recognized as an approved program. Before you download anything, do research. A quick Google search will tell you whether the “Coupon Generator” or “Weather Bug” is going to be more trouble than its worth. Also, back up your data to an external source. We recommend consistently backing up data to a non-networked drive so in the chance your data is being held for ransom you can comfortably disregard the demands and have your unit professionally cleaned.
Moving Forward-Tips to remember
Do not give out personally identifying information to anyone online and be aware of your surroundings in the online community at all times.
Do not follow links-whether on Facebook, MSN or anywhere else. Often times these links will only lead you into trouble. The cat video, or Kim Kardashians vacation pics are not worth it.
Do not download anything that comes from an unverified source, particularly if the price tag is free.
Do not ever give anyone other than a trusted computer repair tech access to your computer, particularly if THEY have contacted YOU. Reputable companies will NEVER contact you to let you know your computer is infected, and anyone calling or emailing you to tell you your computer is infected is running a scam.
Do not forget to back up your data. We offer non networked back up drive setups as a service and you can call us anytime to get that arranged.
Do not give access to your user account to anyone. Just because you are a careful does not mean they will be. Give everyone their own User account or invite them to use the Guest account.
In the chance something still does occur despite your diligence we are available 6 days a week so feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email, even if you are just unsure we will be happy to research the problem for you.