This is the time of year we start to see a large increase in Malware and Virus infections.
The main reason for this is the amount of users shopping online makes it one of the best time to grab credit card information and have it go unnoticed by the card holder.
Over the last 2 weeks the number of systems we normally repair for these issues has doubled.
We encourage everyone to be cautious during internet browsing and any files opened through email.
Users must take steps to check their systems as soon as they suspect an issue.
Things to look for:
1: Extra icons showing up on the desktop such as PC Optimizer, BackUp Now, PC Fix, File Converter, etc..
2: New programs and windows opening up at system start-up such as Backup Now, Clean Your System, Driver Support, etc..
3: Extra windows open while browsing or opening in new tabs.
4: System performance is slower than normal.
5: Advertisements showing up on all your websites.

You could have one of all of these issues at the same time.

virusThe first mistake we see is users sometimes believe if they have a malware or antivirus program installed and updated they are safe from everything.
It does not matter which malware or antivirus program you have installed, if you click the wrong link or open the wrong type of file your system can be infected with Malware and or a Virus.
Any software company that states this is giving you false information.

Things to look for: Users may go to a website and a pop up will open in the middle of the screen notifying them they need to update Java, Adobe or like the image shown, it will say your system is infected and click here to remove the program.
Once they click the link in the pop up window it then downloads multiple programs to the system.
Depending on the creator of the malware your system could then be infected with a keylogger allowing the attacker to grab every keystroke.
RansomWare programs such as CryptoLocker could also be installed which will encrypt all your files denying you access until you pay the amount shown your screen.
Some programs will run with minimal notification along with a keylogger running in the background grabbing passwords to your accounts, personal information, emails, chat conversations. and credit card information.

Steps to help protect you system are:
Update the Java and Adobe Reader programs installed on your system.
When Adobe or Java need to update you will see a notice in the bottom right corner of the screen.
If your are unsure if either of these programs are current you can update them with the links below:

Java: http://java.com
Adobe Reader: http://adobe.com

Users also need to install the Windows and Mac updates as they are released.
Many users refuse to install updates for fear that something will change and cause issues with their system.
These updates are important and need to be installed as soon as they are released.

Be sure you are running a current and updated antivirus program.
Don’t confuse malware programs with antivirus programs.
They protect against two different types of infections.

If you feel your system has been infected we recommend that you stop using the system and contact a computer repair company as soon as possible.
Many users believe they can resolve the issues themselves, this could lead to more problems in the future.
We’ve seen in almost every case of users cleaning their systems they end up calling us to clean the system after a few weeks.
This is because only a few issues have been resolved and the viruses and keyloggers are still running on the systems in the background.

If you have any questions or suspect your system is infected with malware and viruses please contact our office at: 615-367-6597 or use our Contact Form.

 

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