It’s Your Fault! Why Viruses Are Not an Accident
IT professionals often hear their clients woes of virus infection and sometimes we see them more than once. To confuse matters. there is an underlying myth that virus infections and spyware suddenly come out of nowhere to wreak havoc on unlucky users. While there is a new emergence of viruses that infect computers with almost no direct link to a user’s actions, there are NO virus infections that suddenly show up to infect users without any action on their part. Here are some steps that will help protect your computer from nearly all infections and will help you become a more vigilant computer user.
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I must put this very very bluntly.
1) There is absolutely no-one from a foreign country that needs your help transferring any amount of money, nor will a wealthy ancestor’s attorney contact you via e-mail to tell you about an inheritance.
2) You may be able to work from home and make $10,000 a week, but the secret certainly won’t come to you via e-mail.
3) A product for “sale” on a web-site of any kind that is selling for 90% off of the lowest price at your local big-box store will only result in a long wait for the UPS man. He isn’t going to come.
4) If your friend really has been kidnapped, the person requesting ransom definitely won’t be writing it on your Facebook wall.
Considering these facts, there is absolutely no reason to click on links related to any of these scams for the simple fact that they will never result in anything but anger, virus infections, and less money overall.
Don’t Let Anyone Push You Around
Nearly all banks, credit card companies, social networking sites, e-mail providers, and other companies have sent repeated warning to their customers stating that they will never ask for personal information via e-mail. Still, many clients have their computers infected and their identities stolen by responding to messages that incite fear related to their personal accounts. The easiest thing to remember is that there isn’t a reputable company on earth that will cancel your accounts or charge you money unless you send every bit of personal information to them via e-mail.
Looks Can Be Deceiving
Attention to detail has never been more important than now when dealing with web-sites, e-mail notifications, and links. Just because a site or e-mail looks like it is from your bank does not mean that it is. Also, just because a web-popup says that you are infected with 300 viruses and that you need to pay $39.95 to cleanup the mess doesn’t mean that it is true either. Users must pay very close attention to the sites, e-mails, and popups that they see. The best way to be sure you’re not “seeing things” is to type the address of the site you want to go to directly into the browser, instead of trusting a link.
Search Engines Are Not Firewalls
You must be aware that just because a site link shows up as a result in a search engine, it is not necessarily safe. While search engines have recently joined the fight against viruses and spyware, they do not guarantee that a result is safe to visit. If you are looking for information about something that you are not familiar with, you must be extra careful to evaluate the search results before deciding to visit a page. A good rule of thumb is to stick to well known sites and sites that appear as the most relevant sites for your search. if you ever find out that you’ve visited a site from a search that makes you uncomfortable, get out fast!
In part II of this blog, we will take a look at some specific ways that users can evaluate and minimize risk. In the mean time, we are happy to answer virus related questions and can help you cleanup if you’re already in a jam. CONTACT US!