Six (6) Important Computer Tips to avoid Costly Viruses and other Malware
Malware includes all malicious software including viruses, spyware, adware, worms, rootkits, etc. However definitions in this case don’t really help solve the problem. As a PC-tech, I’ve been asked a thousand times, “Where does it come from and how did I get it?”Malware comes from a lot of different places for a lot of different reasons but all of them have a few things in common and there are a few tips that can help us avoid most of it. 99.9% if not 100% come from the Internet but let’s be a little more specific. Malicious software mostly comes from places that care little to nothing about Americans. In fact one of the first things an Internet user should understand is that most of the rest of the world hates us and would enjoy nothing more than to create a virus that shut down even 10% of our computers. Others wish to exploit money from us. One of the more advanced systems I’ve seen included setting up a fake Yahoo Help website and a 1-800 number, and then hacking almost a million yahoo email addresses sending users to the Internet to call the wrong 800 number where they were told to pay $200.00 for a repair. Those who paid were not fixed. We can talk about the different types and situations for longer than you want to read so let’s get to the point, what can you do or keep in mind to avoid it: 1. Always keep your Anti-virus / anti-spyware up to date. Most programs update by themselves for one year and then a new subscription must be purchased. We recommend Trend Micro and you can get it at our online store beginning August 31st. I know a lot of you might say this is a rip off because everyone knows that; well ask any tech, apparently not. 2. Avoid most everything that is free; free games, free music, free movies, free driver software like driver detective, free “speed up my PC” software, free “fix my computer” software, free, free, and free. I hate to say it but many people still don’t get it. Adobe and java updates are OK but I even decline the free gifts they offer at the time of the update. Take the checks out of, “Do you want blank, blank for free. The only other exception is I do have Chrome, Google’s free browser. 3. Delete your temporary Internet files often, especially if you see any unwanted popups.
4. Here is my number one favorite, from my own experience and knowledge, that I have never seen published anywhere before. Pay attention to the exact web address of any link you are not sure about before you click it. For example, even if you just hoover your cursor over any web link, the exact address will show up somewhere on your browser. Based on the web address, how secure do you believe the server is that hosts that website? If the web address is something like http://never-heard-of-this-before/xay23f6g/this-don’t-make-sense-either/fyh-56gla/a2dgyuk/got-you-now.com,”I’m not going there.”5. Don’t open emails that look suspicious even if you know the person. Viruses that live though emails attack address books; they will always be from someone you know. When in doubt about the content of the subject line, just delete it. 6. Last, if you think you have a bug don’t wait until your computer is almost dead before you get professional help. Often PC techs get computers we could have fixed a whole lot easier if we had it sooner. I can’t speak for everyone, but in general most PC techs I think are honest and we really don’t enjoy hearing “Why does it cost so much?,” “Can you fix it any cheaper?” and we know you don’t want to hear, “You should have brought it in sooner.”
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