Tucson Virus Removal: How Did My Computer Get Infected?
The vast majority of time viruses come from infected websites. These viruses exploit a security vulnerability in in your web browser, whether it’s Internet Explorer, Firefox, or another. The owner of the website from which your computer contracted the virus may or may not be aware that it contains malicious code. It’s been estimate that over 90% of the infected websites on the World Wide Web are legitimate, meaning that the people who own or manage the website are not aware that their website is infected and were not the ones who infected it in the first place. To give an example, a while back we had four different customers who came to us with infected computers who swore that the last website they visited was that of a major airline. This was too coincidental not to be true.
Your best protection against these threats is to be careful what websites you visit, what links you click on, and keep your antivirus software up to date. There are also various programs you can install to reduce these threats. See below for software links and more detailed recommendations.
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. My personal favorite. You can download it here.
Another excellent spyware scanner is SuperAntiSpyware. Download it here.
In addition there is Adaware, Spybot S&D, and Microsoft's Windows Defender.
Tucson Computer Repair Service does not warranty or endorse any of these products. These are merely recommendations of free antivirus solutions.
2. Keep Your Operating System and Web Browser Up-to-Date
This is vitally important. Microsoft regularly releases security updates for Windows operating systems, whether you're using Windows XP, Vista, or the new 7. Big collections of security updates and bug fixes are called "service packs." If you are running Windows XP, as of this date, you should also have Service Pack 3 installed. For Vista, Service Pack 2. For Windows 7, service pack 1.
Unless you have a good reason for not doing so, Automatic Updates should be turned on. You can visit Microsoft Updates at http://www.update.microsoft.com.
3. Consider Switching from Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox as your default web browser. Most people "in the know" believe Firefox is a more secure and better updated web browser, not quite as prone to exploits as IE. You can download Firefox here.
4. Do not open email attachments from people you do not know.
Opening up unknown email attachments is a great way to infect your computer with a virus.
5. Resist the temptation to install "free" Internet games, emoticons, desktop screensavers, and the like.
These so-called "free" programs often contain adware or worse and can result in your computer being plagued with pop-up advertisements amongst other very annoying things. In general, if you don't have a good reason to trust the source of the free game or program do not download it, install it, or agree to install it.
6. Stay away from suspicious websites.
Use your common sense in this respect.
7. Ideally, restrict access to your computer to the adults of the household.
Understand that if you let your precocious 13 year old play around on your computer, with free reign to the Internet, it is probably not going to be long before your computer is infected with all sorts of malware. Again, use your own best judgement on this. Your 13 year old may know more about computers than you do, but he doesn't have to pay for the computer repair technician ;)
8. Be cautious, not paranoid.
The Internet is full of scams, preditors, and malware, and deserves due cautiousness on your part, but if you follow some basic rules then you can dramatically reduce your exposure to them. And enjoy the Internet as it was meant to be enjoyed.