Malicious viruses are on the rise again.
Adware. Trojans. Worms. Viruses. Ransomware. Browser Hijackers. They go by a thousand different names, too: “CTB Locker”, “MrKlunky”, “SQLSlammer”, “ILOVEYOU” to name a few. Some cause annoying pop-up windows, others destroy files and some will even take your entire computer (or network!) hostage and demand ransom.
We don’t know what motivates people to commit these crimes against their fellows. We do know there is no one program that can protect you from any possible threat. It’s clear that no computer is immune. While it’s impossible to stay on top of every new threat (and by the time they’re identified, they’ve already done plenty of damage), there are some simple safety protocols you can follow every time you open the door to the internet. The BEST defense is being informed.
What can YOU do?
You can start by paying attention to attachments in email. There will often be a shocking title from a source that, at first glance, looks legit. “Amazon” may be warning you that the $900 order you placed (you didn’t) requires credit card validation. “Social Security” may be emailing (they aren’t) to say your number has been suspended pending verification of your identity. You could click on a link from a trusted site and inadvertently be redirected to a nefarious one. Just know, that dire warnings will not be delivered via email. If you’re not sure, type in the URL of the source you want to check and log in directly from their site.
Don’t update your flash (or anything!) from a pop-up window. In fact, assume that pop-ups are fake if they are warning or demanding you do something. The bad guys are counting on the ordinariness of Flash Player to give you a sense of safety.
Make sure your browser is up to date and get a good anti-malware program. There are plenty of free ones and many of those offer a buffed up version for a reasonable price.
We have a bevy of blog posts on this subject in its many forms. Check them out.
How TechRestore can help.
So what should you do if you have or suspect you have a virus? Viruses can be tricky, because they don’t all behave the same. You may make things worse trying to remove them or they may leave traces that are difficult to find. Besides the risk involved, any method will also require a time commitment and a level of patience that can be difficult to maintain.
For a decade and a half, we’ve made fixing broken and compromised devices our business. Our virus removal services start at $75 and typically take hours, not days. We can also recommend (and install) sturdy malware protection that fits the way you use your computer.
We also recommend a regular backup. Recently we had a customer come in with ransomware on their machine. We were able to recover the device (ransomware locks your data and demands payment for the ‘key’) but since there was no backup, all their data was lost.
Make a resolution to keep your data secure.
Save yourself time and headaches (and worry!). Implement simple guidelines to keep yourself safe online:
- don’t open unknown attachments
- don’t download any updates (unless you go to the source yourself)
- don’t click email links asking you to hurry and verify your information.
DO take advantage of our 2020 Backup Plan. A tune-up/back-up bundle at a special price. What’s included in this $150 service:
- Perform an internal cleaning, so your machine runs more efficiently
- Run software diagnostics
- Clean and update software
- 1TB External hard drive with a backup of your computer
No appointment needed! Walk-in or ship-in, we’ll treat your machine with respect and make sure it leaves in better condition than when it arrived. Don’t wait until you have to hope your data can be saved – get your device checked and backed up today.