Preventing Malware Infections
Can Save You A Lot Of Money
Waiting Can Cause Problems While You’re On Deadline
Most computer users have seen a sudden warning pop up on his or her computer screen. “Your computer is infected,” the warning says. “You need to take action immediately.”
Countless novices have made the mistake of heeding the warning. They click onto a link that tells them their computer has thousands of infections. Panicked, they then click a link that instructs them to buy a “security” software program that will get rid of the infections and prevent future infections.
The computer may have an infection, but oftentimes the “security” software program is a farce that isn’t identifying infection problems and won’t help computer users get rid of or prevent infections.
In fact, the program itself is oftentimes what computer aficionados call a Trojan horse — a malware program that can infect the computer with malicious viruses and destroy the computer system so badly that computer users will lose their data and/or be unable to work on their computer. Buying the malware program can also result in your credit card account number being used to steal from you.
How do you respond to this situation? The first thing to know is that you should not NEVER follow the popup program’s instructions. Then, you should run your computer’s internal anti-virus program. Windows Defender is such a program. You can often find it by clicking the flag on the lower right corner of your screen and hitting “Troubleshooting.”
Downloading an anti-malware program can also help. Many anti-malware programs such as Anvi Smart Defender are free.
If the malware program is installed, you should do a “System Restore” that restores your computer to the state it was in before you had a problem. You can find System Restore by clicking onto the flag and then clicking “Recovery.” You should also make sure that new software programs are removed from your computer by hitting the icon on the bottom left of your screen and then hitting Control Panel. Your Control Panel should include a “Programs” section that lets you uninstall a program.
“Malware and Computer Security,“ a University of California-San Diego Academic Computing Department report, confirms that a popup that tells computer users that their computer has a “ridiculous” number of viruses is a sign that your computer might be infected. It says other signs include:
* Popups that run automatic scans.
* Returned e-mails with virus warnings.
* A computer that is running much slower than usual. Your computer could be running software programs in the background that you didn’t know were installed.
* A computer screen that suddenly turns black.
“Computer Security Tips for Preventing Malware Infections,” a Wentworth Institute of Technology report, confirms the importance of anti-malware programs and making sure that you don’t click onto a popup program that could be a Trojan horse. It also says that you should:
* Make sure your anti-malware programs are up-to-date. You should bookmark the program’s website when you download it and check monthly if it has been updated.
* Do NOT click onto a link that you received from an e-mail from an unexpected source. It’s also common for a friend’s e-mail system to be hacked so be careful if you receive an impersonal e-mail from a friend with a link.
* Use a free software program called BrowserCheck to make sure your Internet browsers are up-to-date.
* Change your Internet browser settings so you have to approve a plug-in rather than have it launched automatically.