We have worked on quite a few computers in the past two weeks, all experiencing the same symptoms. First a pop-up telling the operator the computer is infected with spyware and recommending a fix. The fix is a website that looks legitimate, however, once there, a very nasty infection is downloaded. It starts with annoying pop-ups telling you that your computer is at risk. It disables your task manager and internet browser, and in some cases your anti-virus software. The pop-ups increase in frequency until you are unable to use the computer forcing you to take it somewhere to get it repaired.
So here’s the tip for the day. Before you go anywhere or download anything you aren’t familiar with, Google it. And to go a step farther, if you get an email, even from a friend, that suggests you try a new program or visit a great site, do a search on it first.
For instance, if you are into downloading music and someone tells you about Limewire, or Kazaa or any other file sharing program, do a search, and in the search box type the words “Limewire virus” or “Kazaa problems” or “Morpheus safe.”
Just for fun try one of these searches, you’ll be surprised at what you find. And don’t think that because you have anti-virus software installed you are safe. If you download from a bogus site or share infected files you are telling your anti-virus software “I want this file.”
Hackers are introducing malicious software to the internet everyday. Don’t take this wrong, but we are at war with people that have nothing better to do than disable your computer for their own entertainment. So arm yourselves, knowledge is power, do your homework and check out anything that looks suspicious, or sounds too good to be true. Don’t wait until your computer is running at 25% of its capacity and try to correct the problem. By then it’s probably too late.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “Whoa dude, sounds like my computer.” (I know many of you still talk like that) help is not far away. We are located less than 10 minutes South of 469 on the North end of Ossian. Look for the brick building with the Big Computer Genius sign on the East side of the road. And if your computer is working fine, just stop in to say “Hi!” We enjoy making new friends.