More than ever, viruses, spyware, worms, trojan horses, browser hijackers and other forms of malware are a huge problem. The biggest threat today is known as drive-by downloads. These are infected websites that offer to update or install something on your computer in order to work with that website but instead install malware. This is usually comes in the form of a rogue antivirus/antispyware programs, computer optimizing programs or other “helpful” software. Many of these are designed to steal your personal data or hold your system hostage while urging you to pay for some bogus computer software that IS THE PROBLEM. And know, that just because you have security software, that is not enough. I want to stress that no single program will completely protect your computer from malicious programs and that safe internet usage and frequent software updates are important to keep your computer clean.
Periodically programs like Adobe Flash or Java might want to update. While these are perfect legitimate programs, they sometimes want to add unwanted toolbars and other FREE addons that might slow your computer down. It is important to READ every screen as you are clicking NEXT.
Another trick is you might get a phone call from someone with a foreign accent claiming to be from “Windows Support.” They will tell you that their remote monitoring has detect problems and y will ask for access to your computer. Please note that NO ONE is remotely monitoring your computer unless you are paying for such a service. Once you give access they will claim you have many problems that only THAT PERSON can fix. This is always a scam. A variation on this is you might get a pop up with phone number to call. This is also a scam.
Safe Internet Surfing Notes
- Be careful of Internet sites visited, especially those that you are unfamiliar with that require you to DOWNLOAD a special utility to view content. These may infect your system with malware.
- If you get a popup that seems to be from the Windows Security System and wants you to run a scan do NOT do it. Windows does not alert you of security threats in that manner. It is a scam and will more than likely install a rogue security program that is difficult to remove.
- Beware of any program that you download from an unknown source.
- Beware of an email from a friend with a subject like “Hey Check this out” with only a link to a website and no other more personal information. Chances are it did not come your friend.
- If you receive any email, even from friends, that require you to add any software to view a website, assume that it is some type of spyware at the very least.
- Beware of emails from UPS, FEDEX or other delivery services that require you to open an attachment view your package status. It is some form of malware. Those companies give you the status of your package in the message.
- Understand that often times, toolbars and screensavers are major sources of spyware and malware.
That PC Dude LLC offers classes in safe Internet practices that may help keep you out of trouble. Check out our website or call for when classes are offered. We want to help you get the most out of your computer.
That PC Dude