1. Spyware - Anti Virus - Operating System patches.
About: Spyware and Data Mining are a natural part of being connected to the Internet these days. Trouble is, these features collect information about you and what types of websites you visit. Once known, the pop-up windows you begin to see usually show you things you may be interested in. It's a clever advertising method, but clearly an invasion of your privacy.
Removal: Although there are many commercially available programs to remove spyware, we recommend Malwarebytes and Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool, which are free with upgradeable versions that provide more configuration settings. Both of these must be run manually, but they remove the most damaging spyware and malware programs you may encounter.
Additionally, we also recommend you investigate whether your Internet Provider has a pop-up blocker toolbar which you can add to your browser. Sites such as Yahoo and Google provide these to you and they work wonders in scaling down intrusions. (Keep in mind that some legitimate vendors require pop-ups enabeled, so you should become familiar with how to turn these on and off as needed.)
And finally, there is no single software we have found which blocks all spyware, and data mining probes. It is the nature of the Internet to find alternative ways of getting to you once one method is blocked. The solutions we offer however provide the best overall protection that you can implement for free.
2. Virus Removal: Now for the nasty side of surfing the Internet.
About: Much of the time, you won't even know your PC is infected or has been attacked. According to BBC WORLD.COM, an unprotected PC exposed to the Internet can become infected in 8 seconds!!
So, how do you know if your computer IS infected? There are some indications that should make you suspicious.
Has your home page changed in your web browser to something you didn't set?
Is your computer struggling to bring up windows when you first boot up?
Are you fighting many pop-up windows like you are playing a video game?
Is your Antivirus software trial expired and you haven't renewed it?
Chances are very likely, your PC is infected by some program. This is the most serious issue you need to get resolved and quickly depending on how you use your computer. Doing your banking or purchasing items with a credit card is extremely dangerous if your PC has these issues.
Removal: When you suspect your PC is infected, time is crucial.
- You should disconnect your computer from the Internet. This is the only way to stop the transmission of information, if this is the purpose of the virus.
- Next, install updated Antivirus software. FREE AVG Antivirus is an excellent package that we recommend for the cost conscious user. It works well, with some minor caveats. (McAfee offers a complete suite, which is preinstalled on many new computers and offers protection for 30 days.)
- Scan the computer and clear out the viruses. Many vendors provide a "Virus Vault" or area where the virus can be jailed so you can see what it was and then eliminate it.
- Place a firewall between your computer and the Internet. There are several 30-day evaluation programs on the Internet. We recommend ZoneAlarm, Kerio PersonalFirewall or Sygate Personal Firewall.
- Keep whatever virus solution you select updated on a daily basis.
3. Operating System patches:
You must update your computer with Operating System Patches.
To the extent Microsoft continues to support your operating system, they provide patch updates to for your computer and you can keep your PC updated via the internet. In order to do this, go to HTTP://WWW.WINDOWSUPDATE.COM, install the update program to your PC and let Microsoft determine what your PC needs. Then install the updates.
Microsoft also offers an "automatic" update capability that can be configured to run at a certain time. Because some of the updates are quite large, this may be a good option to consider depending on your Internet connection speed. (Note: you will need to reboot after certain patches, so keep going back to the Windows Update website until all the patches have been applied.)
If all this is a bit overwhelming for you or you need help getting your computer under control, please get in touch with us. We're here to help you.
Our Clients Say
When I first contacted my-computer-friend.com, my computer was running so slow that I thought I'd have to throw it away. But they fixed it!
Dr. Y.M., Howland
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