One of the biggest jobs in our repair room is from viruses. I preach to all about getting a good virus scanner (kind of like your mother telling you to wash your hands) but PC’s are still getting infected and giving me lots of work to do.
The main question I get is: “How did I get infected from the virus ?”
Answer… You invited in to your computer and installed it. Of course when I give this answer to the customer they say “ No way, I did not do that”, but let me explain how this happens.
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Please may I infect your Computer?
A virus does not just throw up a hello sign that says “ Please may I infect your computer ?”. That would be nice if it did but it would not get far. Instead viruses sneak in the PC by baiting the person using the PC like a fish. Viruses have different bait for different people and here are some ways of getting people to bite. Still using the analogy of fishing, imagine you’re the fish in the big great sea called the internet. Out of the blue a sign pops up saying free games or movies click here, free codes to Microsoft Office click here, or make your computer run faster click here. There are hundreds of items that pop up while surfing the net, and all of this is mainly bait to try to get you to click on them and install whatever program that it may be, so if you do bite you may be in trouble.
Remember this about viruses…..
– 99% of them get downloaded from the internet into your computer by your consent.
– They are in disguise as something else – almost always as a free program or video.
– If you got a virus, you downloaded something and did not even realise it or someone else was on your computer for just a minute and did it.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF VIRUSES……
10 years ago viruses would just slow down the PC or cause a simple problem. Today there are two big ones that make up most of the infections.
The first one I like to call the cybercrime virus. When you turn on your PC you either get a white screen, and nothing more, or a screen that says the RCMP have shut down your PC due to cybercrime and you must pay $100 fine to some phone number.
The second one we call the misleading program virus, this one pretends to do a virus scan and tells you of a bunch of problems and then wants money in order to fix the problem. Most of the time we can clean them out, but sometimes I will recommend to back up the files, erase the hard drive and reload Windows. This kind of job does not take us long to do. However if you did pay money to one of these virus programs, call your credit card company and tell them it is FRAUD, they should be able to reverse the charges and then come in and see us.
HOW TO PREVENT VIRUSES…..
All you need to do is street smart yourself on the internet, stop to think about installing or agreeing to something on the next pop up window, and you will stop viruses from coming in your computer. Over 90% of the free stuff on the internet is not entirely free. Most free programs are not bad but what you agree to is. Many free programs track your computer or internet usage for market research, some of this is called spyware or malware. Too much of this can slow down your PC and even crash it. Most of the free stuff on the web is not needed. Keep the following in mind when downloading….
– If agreeing or accepting something from a company website you can trust like www.ford.ca or www.dccomputers.ca you should be fine. Both of these websites have manuals or computer flyers you can download that are safe. If you don’t have the Adobe reader to open this file Windows may direct you to a different website to download this free program. Procedures like this are normal and happen from time to time. The main way to tell if they are safe is to decide if you trust the website you are on. If it’s a site that is showing free videos or offering something free, this could be the start of your trouble.
– Distracted clicking. 20% of the virus infections we fixed is because the customer was on the phone and not paying attention and clicking something on the screen without reading it or thinking it through.
– GET A GOOD VIRUS SCANNER: They are not all equal. To learn more about virus scanners click on this link…THE VIRUS SCANNER GUIDE
– Getting everyone who uses your PC to read this guide. Half of the virus infection we fixed are not caused by the owner of the PC, it’s the other users.
– Scan your download before you open that file. The best practise is to download files into a folder, but before you click on that file, right click the folder that it’s in, an option for you virus scanner will appear in the menu that says for example “ Scan with Norton “. Norton will scan it in about 10 seconds, and tell you if it’s safe or not.
Viruses are a pain but you can avoid them by keeping what you just read in mind. Don’t forget that a good virus scanner will be very important to preventing this problem, click here to read more about this in THE VIRUS SCANNER GUIDE I have two computers at home that I use all the time and don’t have a virus scanner on it, for me I don’t need it. I follow the steps in this guide to keep my computer safe. Now the main computer in the middle of my home that anyone can use I have a virus scanner on it because I’m not always there to chaperone whoever is using it.
If you have any questions about viruses or prevention, or if you want to email me a website that you would like to know if it’s safe or not, please email me at email@example.com. I would be happy to answer your questions.