Viruses – What are they? How can I avoid them?
Viruses, referred to in different forms. The definitions are not really important, but their purpose is;
- Trojan Horse
Viruses usually have one goal, and that is to make money for the person that wrote them. These viruses have the ability to cause lots of damage. Such as;
- Capture credit card information which is later sold
- Putting up ads with affiliate codes embedded so that they get a kick-back when you shop online
- Encrypting or deleting your files and then demanding a ransom for them to be re-instated
- Telling you that your computer isn’t running properly and selling you “Tune-Up” software which actually does all of the above!
- Another way virus and software writers get money, is to bundle other software (viruses) with the installer for legitimate software, this is why you should always use the custom install mode and carefully select what you want.
How did I get one?
If you’re running Windows XP then they are very hard to avoid, Microsoft by default has you working with an Administrator account, this means that your user has full access to the nuts and bolts that make your computer work, they did this for convenience and it’s very convenient for people writing viruses.
FYI: Windows XP is now end of life so all users should upgrade or switch to Linux if they can’t afford to upgrade, Call us for assistance.
On Windows Vista or later they fixed this issue, your user only runs as a limited user. Your computer will now ask you any time it runs a program that needs access to the nuts and bolts with a user account control prompt.
If you’ve got a virus then you probably clicked yes here when you should have clicked no or there was a virus bundled with that cool new game you just downloaded. I’m sure you’re all asking “Well how do I know if it’s OK to click yes?”
Always click no unless you’re installing a piece of software that you know and trust, but make sure you use the “Custom Installation” option and only install what you need.
How do I get rid of it?
Save yourself the hassle and give us a call, we can have your viruses removed and system tuned up in around and hour. For those keen to give it a try;
- Uninstall any programs that don’t “smell right” (if you’re unsure then google them before uninstalling)
- Run an anti-virus scan (NOTE: AVG Free and Norton are viruses in themselves, they slow down your system & are difficult to uninstall)
- Remove any suspect items from the startup folder
- Run MSConfig and disable any suspect services
- Run the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool