Let's walk you through what commonly causes viruses
Updated: Jan 23, 2019
If you've had a history with viruses or worry about the safety of your computer- we've been there and we completely understand. Our goal with this article is to help raise awareness around the wide variety of scams and viruses that you may come into contact with as a computer user.
Stay on the lookout for:
#1 Advertising online:
-It's common for ads to say “we’ve detected a problem.” or “free solutions to fix your computer”. Usually these ads will be very convincing and present you with a program to solve everything. Once downloaded, they will make you pay. These are usually scams.
-Anything that scans through, tells you that you have thousands and thousands of issues, and that they have a solution, is usually a sure indication of a scam.
According to scambusters.org, these are signs of fake anti-virus programs:
1.) Rogue anti-virus/spyware programs often generate more “alerts” than the software made by reputable companies.
2.) You may be bombarded with pop-ups, even when you’re not online.
3.)High-pressure sales copy will try to convince you to buy RIGHT NOW!
4.)If you’ve been infected, your computer may dramatically slow down.
5.)Other signs of infection include: new desktop icons; new wallpaper, or having your default homepage redirected to another site.
If you think you might have one of these programs installed, take a look at our last article on securing your computer for some ideas on anti-virus you can use.
-Many viruses are attached to legitimate downloads. Be careful to read who the installer is, and look for checkboxes that say it is installing anything “additional” to the software. Read each checkbox carefully and remove checkmarks out of boxes placed next to offered additional software unless you really know what it is installing.
-Some programs will have you download something first in order to get to the legitimate software you want. This will push out a virus out onto your computer.
-In emails, stay away from links that are from people you don’t know or even from people you do know but look suspicious. Usually clicking on a suspicious link will automatically download a threat or a software solution that is fake.
-Always research any browser extensions that you may download. There are some that promote more advertising in hopes of you clicking an ad and downloading a virus. Always make sure that your extensions are from a legitimate source. If you do download an extension and it seems like something is not right, they can easily be removed.
If a virus alert appears on your screen, do not touch it. Don’t use your mouse to eliminate or scan for viruses, and don't use your mouse to close the window. Instead, hit control + alt + delete to view a list of programs currently running and delete the program from the list of what is running. If you are operating on a mac computer, then hit the Apple icon in the top left corner of your computer and force quit the program you are running.