So You May Have a Virus, What Now?

 

  When our computer is acting up it's interesting how many times the cause comes back to "it must be a virus". Which is expected because viruses are designed to do things on your computer that are hard to understand. Naturally then, if there's something our computer is doing that's hard to understand, a virus is always in the prison lineup. If that's not enough, now many schemers on the internet are trying to make your believe you have a virus, often in an attempt to scare you doing something drastic and without delay, resulting in you doing something even more harmful to your computer such as downloading their software which they claim will fix your problem, when actually, and ironically it often has some sort of virus or spyware/malware in it.

 

  So often now I visit websites, even popular, well known ones that prompt me to "fix my registry", or "cleanup your computer now". Even some that with great deceit will pop up windows that are very genuine looking, replicating genuine Windows virus scanners, and are screaming "you have a virus". Some of them take the level of deceit even higher in that they may offer you a cancel button, but in fact that cancel button is not cancel at all, but an accept button, or a link to things that can further bring harm to your computer.

 

  So what's a good defense against these? Well first, be skeptical of everything you come across on the internet. With people having the ability to hide behind the anonymity of the internet, the deceit is far greater than that which would be offered to you in person, where someone could easily be accountable. When you come across sites like these instead of closing them using the normal methods (i.e. clicking the X button to close, or by hitting cancel), learn alternate methods to close that circumvent the obvious ways and therefore are more trustworthy. Things like right clicking on the window in the taskbar and then clicking close from there. Or the more advanced method like opening the task manager either by right clicking on the taskbar, this time not on a window, but on an empty space in the taskbar and then clicking on task manager, the other way is by hitting Control, Alt, Delete simultaneously. Once the task manager is open, find the window you wish to close under the applications tab and click on it so it's highlighted, then click End Task. Then there is the ultimate method which is to shut down your computer entirely. It's better to shut down your computer and have to restart it than to undergo all the peril of trying to remove a virus, or other malicious software on your computer.

 

  As far as removing viruses, or other malicious software on your computer, trust the programs that are made for just that to do their job. Antivirus programs such as AVG, Clamwin, Avast, and Avira are all excellent antivirus programs, and are free! Most of which have a higher detection rate than some of the paid antivirus software such as Norton or McAfee. Zone Alarm is the best firewall software, and most used on the internet. It is head and shoulders above the rest and offers a unique protection against both intruders from outside your computer, and from preventing potentionally harmful programs on your computer from accessing the internet and transmitting information. These programs can be downloaded from most major download sites such as Download.com or Tucows.com, we even have them listed under Free Software here on our site. That said, know that these arn't bulletproof, some problems go beyond their ability and require more extensive solutions that do require some, or alot of technical knowledge.

 

Helpful Tips

You may be able to save some money. Check out the freebies section under 'Online Help'. There, you will find solutions to some common computer problems as well as free advice and detailed instructions on how to fix them!

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