HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A VIRUS?
Viruses, Spyware, Adware, Ransomware, and Rogue Malware infections are the most common threats to computers. Idaho PC Solutions specializes in removing these threats! If you feel like your computer is at risk don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here to help!
Typically once infected you will notice some or all of the following symptoms: sluggish performance, pop-ups, notifications from your antivirus software, and notifications from fake antivirus software (usually requesting that you pay to fix the problem, see below).
The below images are a few examples of what one might expect to see if they become infected. If you have something similar to these, it is very important that you shut down your computer and seek assistance. (You can click on each picture for a larger view)
HOW CAN I AVOID GETTING A VIRUS?
There are essentially three factors that should be in place to keep you safe from viruses and malicious programs:
Antivirus Software – Having an up-to-date antivirus program is basically a given in today’s computing world. From websites, to file downloads, to email attachments, viruses are knocking on your door at every step. While it is still possible to get viruses even with antivirus software, they do catch most of the obvious threats and stop them from infecting your system. We personally recommend a program called Avast! Antivirus by the Avast! company. This program’s level of protection is the same as all the other familiar brands, but with two major advantages: it doesn’t bog down your system with numerous background services, and it’s FREE. They have a 365 day free license that comes with simply entering your email address, and if you like the product you can always upgrade to the paid version for even more protection. Click the link below to be taken to the Avast! download page.
Internet Apps – Make sure you always have the latest versions of Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, and Java. Having outdated versions opens your computer up to vulnerablities and exploits in the software, making it easy for programs to inject themselves into your system.
Click on the icons below to verify you have the latest version of the corresponding software:
Self Vigilance – Perhaps the most important of all three factors. The easiest way to avoid getting viruses on your computer is to avoid putting yourself in a situation to get them in the first place. This can mean knowing what kind of websites to avoid, not clicking unknown email attachments, only downloading from trusted sources, avoiding scam ads and popups on the screen while browsing, and much much more. The only way to truly master this practice is with the knowledge gained from time and experience. A few general pointers to get started though:
1) If you don’t know what it is or where it came from, don’t click on it/open it.
2) Never download or install updates from popups, always manually go to the source website yourself to see if there is an update.
3) If you get a message or popup with something that seems to good to be true…IT IS!
For example, never click on windows like the one below: