By PC Geeks Support / Blog / / 0 Comments

3 Tips for Malware Prevention

This is a world where virtually anything can be accomplished online (or with a computer in general), and when it comes to viruses, there are plenty to go around. Viruses fit under the ever-expanding umbrella of malware, otherwise referred to as malicious software, is loosely defined as any potentially unwanted or unsavory software. There’s a plethora of software which is considered malware, yet much of it isn’t described as harmful. It could be as simple as a reoccurring pop-up ad, which can be caused by adware. It should be noted that there are also many other forms of malware which can quickly wreak havoc on computer systems.

3 Tips for Malware Prevention

Computer systems, (at home or at work) are the front line in cyber warfare against the majority. Those on the home front are especially vulnerable. Because malware consists of such a broad range of software, it’s incredibly easy to call an item malware. So, here are a few tips for identifying and removing malware along with a couple of programs that can help and are free-to-use.

Don’t mess with your emails

Especially in the wake of the Equifax scandal, everyone should be at Defcon-1 in regards to efforts in upholding cybersecurity. Never open emails of suspicious-looking subject matter nor questionable origin, ever! Here lies a possible outcome. Emails may be spoofed to the degree of identicality to that of an email you would receive under ordinary circumstances, say, from a colleague. Some may contain ill-disposed code which may download malware from the internet without the user’s knowledge. This is known as a drive-by-download attack. Or if you are using an unpatched browser, this could trigger a buffer overflow flaw and thus allow for remote code execution on exploited by an attacker. Alternatively, malignant mail can and are more often part of a social engineering campaign. Social engineering is essentially what a con-artist practices, the art of the scam. Assuming that there is such a computer which is deemed unhackable, people are and always have been, the weakest link. This is why learning the safeguards of technology is paramount.

Be careful with unfamiliar sites

Remember clicking on the part of the webpage that seemed like it was empty, only to find another window pop up? Of course, that’s called clickjacking. Usually, it just brings up ads, but this could easily take a turn for the worst. Clickjacking is an enormous annoyance, but it clearly presents a potential safety risk. For instance, what if one of those clicks opened the window to a drive-by ransomware download. Bad news, right?

If you use Google Chrome, you’ve probably seen the dangerous site warning at some point in time. If you get this error, heed their warning. Sometimes this warning can be a false positive, although it’s better to be safe than sorry. In general, look for sites that use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).

Be careful of what you download

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s true, always be careful what is downloaded to your machine. This isn’t just about programs; it applies to PDFs, shell scripts, images, videos, java, adobe plugins, and much more. Even though browsers like google chrome are okay with alerting the user about downloads, that’s not enough. Neither is Windows Defender! Norton Security and Malwarebytes both do a great job of handling cyber threats. SpyHunter also does a great job, but it (the unpaid version) is VERY manual. This is a turn-off to many users. The upside is that it detects all sorts of bugs and annoyances that you probably don’t want.

Extra safety tips

  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a proxy
  • Use HTTPS-Everywhere
  • Use an open-source password manager
  • Use an AdBlocker
  • Encrypt your storage
  • Make periodic backups
  • Turn on your firewall
  • Turn on your anti-malware

If you desire professional assistance in malware avoidance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

By PC Geeks Support / Blog / / 0 Comments

Are you one of those people who make a sincere effort to keep your PC or laptop free of malware and viruses?  Perhaps you have downloaded one of the free anti-virus software applications and you know all the tips and tricks to avoid questionable sites, suspicious emails and other types of harmful actions that could potentially wreak havoc with your computer.  Yet even though you’ve done everything right, your laptop or PC seems to be running slower and slower with every passing year.

Sluggish Computer? It's Not Just Your Imagination

If this sounds like your situation, it’s probably not your imagination.  Although there are some fairly respectable free anti-virus applications available and other good ones that require an annual subscription fee, they are not foolproof.  Even if your computer is not showing obvious signs of an infection from malware or a virus, a sluggish computer could still be infected.  If you have become increasingly frustrated with your computer, waiting for even simple actions to take effect, we can help.

We can perform specific diagnostics, checking your laptop or PC for pesky viruses and malware that might be the underlying problem responsible for your computer’s slow behavior.  We can also clean up temporary and unused files that can be dragging down your computer’s performance as well.  Investing in a regular tune-up for your computer equipment is much less expensive than replacing a laptop or PC every time it starts to decrease in response time.

If you are wary of your waiting for your computer to respond, contact us today.  We can get it back up and running like new again!

By PC Geeks Support / Malware and Virus Issues / / 0 Comments

Viruses can do all kinds of nasty things if they make their way into your computer, from bloating your operating system to hijacking your e-mail. However, many people don’t know that some viruses and malware can make your PC or laptop completely unusable! It’s called bricking because it more or less turns your system into a glorified paperweight or a brick that won’t even turn on. To throw salt in the wound, unbricking a system is extremely difficult and requires the knowledge and know-how of a certified PC Geek, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to recover your, documents, pictures and other important files if your system isn’t protected from bricking in the first place. Knowing when to call a pro for virus removal can be the best solution.

Bricking: Know When to Call a Pro for Virus Removal

The best way to avoid having your device bricked is to protect yourself from malware and viruses in the first place. Work with a PC Geek technician to get your system up to speed with the best anti-virus and anti-malware software for you. A professional can guide you to an anti-virus software that won’t weigh down your system with excessive and unhelpful bloatware.

Protect yourself! Know the signs that indicate your system has fallen prey to a virus. If your system is running slower than usual or pop-up ads are showing up everywhere, your system could be weighed down by nefarious viruses and malware that could brick your device. Save yourself a headache; work with a professional virus removal service to get to the root of the problem before your problem becomes a brick.

For more information on protecting your system and preventing bricking, contact us for professional consultation.

By PC Geeks Support / Malware and Virus Issues / / 0 Comments

Do you suspect your computer has a virus? If so, it’s important to take immediate action, but do you know what to do? Many people encounter a virus and realize they aren’t quite sure what to do next. Here are a few basic things you should do to make sure the virus doesn’t cause any more damage.

What to Do if Your Computer Has a Virus

Disconnect

Generally, the first thing you should do is to disconnect from the internet, and from any other network you are attached to, especially if you are connected to an office network. This will prevent the spreading of the virus.

Safe mode

Next, you may want to put your computer in safe mode. Although not a requirement, safe mode is much more likely to prevent the virus from causing more damage while you look for it.

Scan

Use your anti-virus software to scan your entire machine for the virus. The goal is that the anti-virus software will find everything, and you’ll be able to delete anything that isn’t supposed to be there. If your anti-virus software isn’t able to find anything you have two options. You might want to consider a different anti-virus program or seek the help of a professional virus removal company.

Reconfigure

Once the virus is gone, you’ll probably have to reconfigure a few things. Hopefully, there won’t be much, but be prepared to have to fix your home page, or change a password or two.

Prevent

Although virus prevention should happen constantly, this is a good time to do a quick audit. Is there anything you can do to make your computer safer?

If you are at a loss and need professional virus removal please contact us, we are always happy to help.

By PC Geeks Support / Malware and Virus Issues / / 0 Comments

Hopefully, you are able to read this and smile rather than gritting your teeth and shaking your fist at the screen as you remember the time one of these killers infected your PC. Chances are, however, if you were unlucky enough to fall victim to one of these, your computer suffered serious damage that only a truly gifted IT service professional with some serious virus removal skills would be able to remove. The following is a list of three of the deadliest computer viruses of all time.

The Three Most Lethal Computer Viruses of All Time

  1. I Love You – How could those three words so synonymous with human devotion be so completely destructive in the computer world? Anyone who experienced the effects of this monster most likely still asks themselves this question today. It was a self-replicating virus that infected your system through email and managed to crash systems all over the world. It was unleashed by opening an attachment, which emailed it to 50 contacts in your address book. Total estimated damage worldwide exceeded $10 billion!
  2. Melissa – Attention Allman Brothers fans, this was no “Sweet Melissa.” No, this bug was similar to the “I Love You” virus because it also emailed itself to 50 contacts in your address book. This one, however, was based on MS Word Macro and resulted in some of the fastest and most widespread PC damage of all time.
  3. Doom – Definitely more ominous sounding than either of the previous two on this list, but not quite as damaging overall. Still, the Doom virus was a tricky criminal mastermind because it disguised itself with an email heading that read, “Mail Transaction Failed.” Unsuspecting users figured it was an email alerting them of a bounced email. When they opened it, however, a brutal denial of service attack was sent to email addresses.

“PC Geeks” has an army of virus removing field generals ready to battle for you and your computer anytime you need them. We provide a full litany of computer services including setup, repair, networking, and data recovery as well. Please contact us today for more information.

By PC Geeks Support / Malware and Virus Issues / / 0 Comments

An infected computer is your worst enemy. The laptop that you shared memories on now has the ability to cause identity theft, encrypt documents beyond your control, and disrupt your day with terrible pop-ups. Anyone can fall victim to a misleading ad or a bad link. Vigilance is key in this situation, and after experiencing what it’s like to be on the wrong side of technology, you learn how to scan for viruses daily with your antivirus tools. Even if you don’t know how to remove a virus or malware bug, it’s important to shed some light on the differences between the two.

The Difference Between Virus and Malware Removal

What is a Virus?

A virus is deadly to a laptop’s longevity. It multiplies and spreads throughout the system, even damaging your hard drive by reconfiguring its complex mechanism. An antivirus prevents the virus from downloading to your laptop and running. When you’re hit with a virus, you’ll notice that your RAM becomes slow, and your disk is at 100%. The virus uses up your memory. You will also notice that your fan overheats to the point where it burns your fingers.

What is Malware?

Malware is a hidden threat that comes as software and usually works to benefit a malicious third-party. Malware opens the doors for harmful attackers to monitor your browsing habits and steal sensitive data. Unwanted browsers are also common. Fortunately, you can access your programs by going to Control Panel >Programs >Programs and Features to find different types of undesired software. After you uninstall them, restart your computer and complete a virus scan.

When You Need Virus and Malware Removal

The presence of an active virus or malware threat can be a nerve-wracking ordeal. While you should remove some files on your own, many harmful files will be left behind. A powerful uninstall tool is limited in this area. At PC Geeks, we comply with your privacy standards. Malware and virus removal procedures are sensitive issues in the world of technological innovation.

For more information, contact us immediately!

By PC Geeks / Malware and Virus Issues / / 0 Comments

Does My Computer Have A Virus?

Slow Computer Response

Is your computer running very slowly? A common symptom of a virus is much slower than normal computer performance. However, there can be other reasons for slow performance, including a hard disk that needs defragmenting, a computer that needs more memory (RAM), or the existence of spyware or adware. For more information about spyware and virus removal, contact a local PC Geeks Computer Technician!

Frequent Error Messages

Are you getting unexpected error messages, or are programs starting automatically? Some viruses can cause damage to Windows or some of your programs. The results of this damage might include messages appearing unexpectedly, programs starting or closing automatically, or Windows shutting down suddenly.

Hard Drive Working Harder Than Normal

Is your modem or hard disk working overtime? An e?mail virus works by sending many copies of itself by e?mail. One indicator of this is that the activity light on your broadband or external modem is constantly lit; another is the sound of your computer’s hard disk continually working. These are not always symptoms of a computer virus, but when combined with other problems, can indicate a virus infection.

To check for viruses, scan your computer with an antivirus software. New viruses appear every day, so keeping your antivirus software up-to-date is very important. For more information about computer security, go to the Security at Home page on the Microsoft website. To learn how to remove malicious software (malware) from your computer, go to the Microsoft Safety Scanner webpage.

Does My Computer Have A Virus? Read the full article here or Call PC Geeks!

Does My Computer Have A Virus?

By PC Geeks / Malware and Virus Issues / / 0 Comments

Malware is software written to infect computers and commit crimes such as fraud and identity theft. It has become big business in the past few years. As a result, if you use a computer for web surfing, shopping, banking, email, instant messaging, and gaming without proper protection, you are putting yourself at high risk of being victimized.

Keep your computer up-to-date

The vast majority of malware infections exploit security holes, so the most important part of PC hygiene is to keep all your software up to date. Microsoft releases patches on the second Tuesday of each month, so either let your PC install them automatically, or install them promptly. Once a patch is released, malware programmers can reverse-engineer the fix to find the security hole and exploit it.

Some other programs – including the Firefox and Google Chrome browsers – will also install patches automatically. This is almost always a good idea for home users.

Install Anti-virus software

Anti-virus software safeguards against Trojans, hackers, spyware, and more. The anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, anti-spam, anti-phishing, and backup technologies work together to combat today’s advanced multi-faceted attacks. It scans disks, email attachments, files downloaded from the web, and documents generated by word processing and spreadsheet programs.

Call PC Geeks

Malware is not just a nuisance issue. While malicious software can be cleaned from a system, newer generations also introduce data miners that can store that information and sell it. That could mean that if banking or tax information was in the computer when the malware infected it, personal information could be all over the world in no time.

Some companies offer to clean it for you, but that may not be the right solution.

Our technicians evaluate your computer to determine whether a cleaning or a re-installation of your operating system is needed. People are often surprised at our affordable pricing for these services, call PC Geeks today to learn more!