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What to do about Computer Viruses

April 24th, 2012 | Posted by admin in Easy Tips - (0 Comments)

What to do about Computer Viruses

Viruses can wreak havoc on your system.  They can slow down you system, corrupt it, and cause you to lose critical data.  Some of the more common types of viruses are; Trojans, Scareware, and Botnets.

Trojans burrow themselves deep into your hard drive and conceal themselves.  They will attempt to capture confidential information on your computer, and information about you.  This includes but it not limited to stealing credit card information, personal information, and information about your clients (if you are using a business computer).

Scareware attempts to conceal itself as a legitimate anti-virus or anti-spyware program; however it is anything but.  It will say anything to get you to download it, and once you do it will continually pop up on your computer prompting you to perform scans that always find countless viruses.  It will then prompt you for your credit card information to compete the removal of any “viruses”.  These programs will not go away, and are clearly not legitimate programs.  They usually have poor graphics similar to the Windows logo, and names like XP-Security-2012.  Scareware is also known as rouge security software as it is not supported by a legitimate company.  Always Google any software and determine its authenticity before you download and install it.

Botnets are an infected network of computers, linked together for a common malicious purpose.  Many programs contain hidden programs, spyware, and malware that may attempt to make your computer part of a Botnet.  The best defense against having your system hijacked and use without your knowledge is anti-virus software and anti-spyware software.  With any luck these programs will stop a Botnet download; if not maybe they will remove it later.

Needless to say; anti-virus software is essential for continued successful operation of your computer.  You will either need to download a free virus scanner, such as AVG, or a paid program like Norton.

Anti-spyware programs will probably catch most malicious programs; however viruses can be tricky and hide under the radar and from these programs, which is why some companies spend millions developing known virus databases and fixes.

AVG is an excellent free solution, and is the recommended anti-virus program if you are on a budget.  AVG can be downloaded from CNET for free, or from any other number of trusted websites.  A quick search for “AVG anti-virus free” should suffice.

Anti-virus software is not all that great however; the price you pay for protection is a small sacrifice in power.  Problem is antivirus software ties up valuable system resources, and scans every message, email, document, activity, download and can bog down your system.  If you have a more powerful computer this isn’t a problem, however if you are using a laptop or similar smaller power computer this could become an issue.  The drain on performance could prevent you from running some programs, performing some tasks, or playing some games.  This can be annoying.  The recommended solution is to disable your anti-virus protection during normal use if this is the case, and schedule it to perform a weekly or monthly scan at a time when you are not using it.  This might be during the night, or on the weekends.  Keeping your computer secure is a continuous process, but you will be rewarded in the long run with a reliable and fast computer.