October 15, 2012

Have you ever had a virus on your computer?  If so, you know that viruses are no fun!

    What can you do to stop them?  Obviously the first thing you want to do is prevent one from infecting YOUR computer, but the authors are devious.  Many browsers are designed to permit "pop ups" and one type of pop up is known as rogue anti-virus.  It is a pop up on your monitor that says your system has been scanned and found to contain many different viruses.  Or it could say that your system needs to be "defragmented", or that it has problems needing to be fixed.  The only way it mentions to fix the problem is to buy an expensive program. The reality is that it is just a pop up designed to scare you and then steal your money.  If you click on any part of the pop up, including the Red X to close it, you might really download a virus.  If you ever see such a message, shut down your computer as soon as possible.  Do not click on any part of the message.  We had a user last week who had such a pop up and tried to close it, and then rebooted his computer.  By then the damage had been done and a file needed to run real anti-virus programs had been replaced by a contaminated file.  I had to bring the computer up in safe mode, copy the damaged file back and then run our anti-virus.  I hear that some scammers even try to use the Microsoft name and imitate genuine Microsoft screens.  So if you ever have a doubt, shut down.  If you have a program open such as Word or Excel and you need to save a document, that might be safe.  But if you shutdown without giving the rogue an opportunity to load by clicking on it you can save yourself hours of trouble. 

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