Dealing with Computer Viruses

It’s been another busy month for Compumate in the battle against computer viruses; and, sadly, it’s a never ending battle. The most common this month (again) has been the mock (or spoof ) anti-virus products. These are the ones that suddenly pop up a dialog box on your screen telling you that your system is infected with multiple Viruses/Trojans and you should clean them immediately. They then, typically, give you an option to click to
remove and ultimately say, yes we can fix it  but we need your credit card details fi rst. I’ve paraphrased there but I’m sure you get my drift. These products can be very convincing and are designed to look like their genuine
counterparts often mimicking the look of the AVG or Microsoft anti-virus products (to name but 2).
It’s quite understandable that some people initially click on the “cleanup” buttons and follow the links, we are all constantly told to be on our guard on the internet, and when something tells us we are infected instinct takes over, we panic, and want to desperately clean it before it does any harm. Ironically clicking that link actually does more harm. They creators of these products play on this fear and enough people get their credit cards out to
make it worthwhile. It’s a multi-million pound business and is rumoured to be funded by east European mafi a and drug money. Regardless of who’s behind it the result is the same – a broken PC and an empty bank account.
There are a few things you can do to avoid getting caught. First ensure you have an up to date antivirus and anti-spyware product installed. Some free products are available if you don’t already have something installed and products to look out for are AVG, Microsoft Security Essentials, Avira and Avast – there are many more but these are the most common. Each of these off er both free and paid for versions of their products – get one today.

Next if you get an unexpected pop-up of the type described above look very carefully at it to decide if it’s from the product you installed. If it is genuine go ahead and let it clean the infection. If you’re in doubt DON’T click on anything, simply turn your computer off and restart it. Then run an anti-virus scan once you’ve restarted. Often, if you do that straight away, you’ll avoid an infection.  However, if you do get an infection that you just can’t clean, pick up the phone and give us a call – we have rather a lot of experience on this issue….

Till the next time…
Steve Lee – Compumate (see Compumate in the Businssesn Directory)