Malware, Viruses, & other computer problems
Slow computer? Pop-ups? Crashes? Internet suddenly slow? Your computer probably is infected with spyware or viruses.
Most of the time when a computer is slow, freezes up a lot, or has a lot of pop-ups, it’s because of malware and/or viruses. These things are dangerous, many computers are infected, and many people don’t even know they have them on their computers.
Spyware, also known as adware or malware, is everywhere these days. There are several ways your computer can become infected. Many free programs, especially file sharing programs, install malware on your computer or make your computer vulnerable to spyware-infected files masquerading as songs, games, or videos. These things can do all sorts of bad things to your computer, including making it really slow, making it crash, making your Internet connection slow, or making programs not work. Even worse, it can do bad things to you too. It can install things that monitor your computer activity, steal your personal information and use that to steal your identity, and “hijack” your computer and use it to send out spam or viruses to other people.
ProFix strongly recommend that you use at least one anti-malware program (preferably more than one*) and periodically scan your computer for malware, even if you aren’t having any problems.
*Note that although you should never have more than one anti-virus program (norton, mcafee, avast) installed on your computer at the same time, it is okay – recommended, actually – to have more than one anti-malware program (malwarebytes) on your computer at the same time (they differ in how they define/identify malware, so each one often finds things the others missed).
Nothing offers 100% protection from spyware, but the best way to reduce your chances of getting spyware is to be suspicious of everything and always know what you’re clicking on. Most spyware cannot take hold unless you activate it in some way by clicking on something. If you don’t know what something is and exactly what it’s going to do, don’t click on it. (press alt+f4) Also, if you’re still using an old version of Internet Explorer (IE), upgrade it. Old versions of IE were less secure and more prone to threats than newer versions or other web browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
Beware of fake programs & warnings
There are tons of fake “malware removal” programs out there that actually are spyware! These fake malware removal programs also try to confuse people by using names that sound like real security programs (SpywareBlaster is legit but SpyBlast is fake) and by mimicking the screens of real programs. Don’t install any program unless you know for sure that it’s legitimate. (just look at the address bar)
Also, if you see a warning pop up on your screen saying that your computer is infected, chances are that it’s actually spyware or an attempt to install malware on your computer. If you ever see something like this, do not click on anything! Call the ProFix, or, if the Help Desk isn’t available, turn off your computer without clicking on anything (save your work first). With many of these, even if you click on what looks like the close button, your computer will become infected. (press alt key+f4 key) will close it down.
Students connecting their computers to the College computer network are required to install Microsoft Security Essentials, which should keep you from getting most viruses & malware (no product can prevent 100% of all infections). College-owned computers currently use McAfee VirusScan Enterprise (NOT good), which is also available for personally-owned computers, but only provides protection against viruses, not malware. For employee-owned computers, you do not need to pay for virus protection. ProFix recommends using Microsoft Security Essentials or another free product such as avast! Free, and very good.
Call ProFix to get you up and running fast……
Phone: 815-385-1813 or Cell/Text at 815-403-7180 also email us at HELP!