My computer is infected AGAIN!!!

“So my computer is infected AGAIN!!!”…….. This is something that I hear a lot from people, they are not always referring to a virus but sometimes a rogue program that just appeared or many other issues that either are slowing down their computer or maybe even things that were spotted by their virus scan.  They are stumped that they did nothing but now have a problem and usually it is one issue after another with some people.  So I want to take a minute and address how these things magically happen.  First there is always a cause to why your computer gets infected and unfortunately that cause is the operator.  So what can you do to prevent this.

1) When you get an Email from someone, either a friend or a stranger, DO NOT OPEN ATTACHMENTS unless you are expecting something.  Then if you are expecting something save the attachment and run a virus scan before opening.  I do not open anything that I am sent without first verifying that the person actually sent it and then I make sure that it is something that I want.  I don’t look at “The 100 cutest cats” or “Great pictures of the year” or “See who has been looking at your Facebook profile”.  Honestly I just don’t have the time and I know that many of these are either a virus, hackware, or a Trojan horse.  If you do get an E-mail and just after getting it all of a sudden your computer is asking for permission to install a program DO NOT allow it.

2) When you are installing a new program, yes even one that you bought in a package from a retail store, do not use the standard install option.  This option is usually installing other programs as well.  One of the common ones is installing a new anti virus program or a clean your computer program.  Use the custom install option and deselect the additional programs.

3) A trusted program on your computer is now saying that you need to do an update and when you do start the update you get a window saying something like “Free offers from our partners will be installed along with your update”. Program updates seem to be more targeted to getting add on programs installed on your computer than actually updating your programs.  There is usually a way around allowing these free offers to be installed but it is getting harder and harder to find the right button to click on that will do the update and at the same time not install all the extra garbage.  The other day someone that I know was updating a program on their computer and withing a couple of minutes had four new programs installed, all of which they did not want or need. It took me 30 minutes to uninstall these programs and I am still not sure that I got everything.

4) You are visiting a web site, even what seems to be a legitimate one, and then you get a notice saying that you need to install a program to watch a video, view a file or even to continue on. Or a new window opens and has a dire warning about your computers health.  What are these programs? Many times they are scam programs that will be installed for free but then try selling you something later on.  Notices like “YOUR COMPUTER IS RUNNING SLOW” will pop up and then when you try to use it to speed up your computer you need to enter a credit card and will be billed a low monthly fee of only $9.99 for 48 months.  These programs are just fishing for suckers and if you enter your information they have caught another one.  I had the “Your computer is running slow” warning pop up one day when I was setting up a new computer, it told me that I had “years” of garbage on my system, even with the computer only being out of the box for 20 minutes. Yesterday I was on a site to watch a football game, the site looked legitimate and had logos and information from the NFL and CBS.  A window would keep opening asking me to install their special high speed interactive viewing program, Every 5 minutes another notice would pop up and I would close it.  Towards the end of the game I left the computer to do something and when I came back the game was over so I took a minute to check one of these sites out.  This sites URL was something like www.myfavoritecar and when I looked for the program on the site was told that that URL was invalid.  So here was a website trying to install a bad program on my computer and as soon as the game was over they shut down the link and moved on.

5) A friend brings over a USB stick or a camera card and when you put it into your computer all of a sudden your computer wants to install a program.  BEWARE!  Sometimes this is legitimate but many times they have just introduced you to a new virus, or a bad program that is trying to get on your computer.  Scan all removable drives with your antivirus program first then still be cautious.  New programs are being developed all the time to get around your antivirus program, be careful.

Finally if you are not sure about a pop up window that is asking for permission, do not click on yes or install.  Write down the question that it is asking and the program name and check it out.  It is easier to not install the program than to go back and have to fix your computer later.


 

Paterson Photography Ltd. offers a variety of courses, workshops and adventures around Canada.  From our classes at our Lethbridge studio, our one on one classes, group classes, adventures and more you will love learning your camera. Mike has been teaching for over 20 years and offering courses through his studio for over 10 years. Visit our web site, E-mail or call for more information.

Paterson Photography Ltd. is the only custom photo printer in Lethbridge and area.  We offer prints from wallets to 44″x100″ on a variety of media.  No cheap, poor color poster prints – all our printing is done on archival media at the highest resolutions. We print for many individuals, companies and groups that want quality prints that look amazing.

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