Viruses and other malicious software can wreak havoc on your computer, server, or network. They can steal your passwords, infect your E-mail, upload sensitive information, and compromise your online banking and credit cards. For businesses, the threat is magnified. Customer data could be at risk, and entire systems can be shut down, costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost sales.
We understand these risks and offer proactive maintenance to help reduce or completely eliminate virus infections. By calling The Computer Warriors for assistance in removing viruses, we promise to do the following:
- Remove the Virus entirely from your system using the best-in-class virus removal tools and programs. We don't stop until we are 100% positive that the virus has been completely eradicated. Viruses, root kits, boot kits, bots, worms, Trojans, adware, spyware, and other types of infections are no match for our dedicated team of experts. We use as many programs as necessary as well as manual virus removal techniques and patches to ensure your system is running properly again.
- Reverse the Damage that the virus may have caused. Viruses can corrupt operating system files, changing start-up and registry entries, keeping you from accessing certain programs or the internet. Not only will your system be clean from threats when it is returned, but the changes the virus made will be reversed and repaired. In certain cases a complete repair is not possible. The operating system may be too badly damaged. This does not happen often, but if it does, we can back up your data and re-install the operating system on your computer, including programs and updates.
- Reinforce your System by providing high-quality anti-virus software and malware removal tools that will help keep your system clean in the future. We have award willing antivirus and internet security software available for purchase or free software to use to stay protected. We make sure that all operating system updates are loaded that help keep your computer safe from known vulnerabilities. We patch and update programs with known vulnerabilities. We even provide you with tools and instructions on maintaining your computer and keeping it virus free.
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It’s no secret that people who make viruses have a special place in their hearts for Windows. To avoid getting viruses on your Windows PC, use the following tips and techniques.
- Never click on a link or attachment in an email that you are not positive is from a trusted source. If you think the e-mail looks suspicious, it probably is. It never hurts to send an email to verify that this is legitimate.
- If you use an email-retrieving program, disable image previews. Email applications like Outlook, Thunderbird, and others often automatically load attachments for your convenience, but this takes away your ability to decide whether or not a file is safe to open. Check your preferences to disable this setting.
- Be wary of files with a double extension such as .txt.vb or .jpg.exe. As a default setting, Windows often hides common file extensions, meaning that a program like Paint.exe will appear to you as simply Paint. Double extensions exploit this by hiding the second, dangerous extension and reassuring you with the first, safe extension – which is utterly meaningless to your computer; your system only recognizes the extension to the extreme right and run the file as such. If a common file type whose extension you never normally see suddenly becomes visible for no apparent reason, right-click on it, select Properties, and look for the complete file name. You may be surprised to find out what kind of extension it really has.
- To make you file extensions visible, find Folder Options in your Control Panel. (Note that it may be tucked away in Appearance and Personalization or something to that effect.) Under the View tab, scroll down to Hide Extensions for Known File Types and make sure it is unselected.
- Use USB drives with caution. Plugging someone else’s USB drive into your computer (or plugging your own into a computer at, say, an internet café) can spread an infection via the drive itself, not the file you’re actually trying to share. Whenever possible, transfer files between machines via email to keep potentially-infected hardware out of the equation.
- Beware of internet pop-ups. This may seem obvious, but the real danger is that some pop-ups are designed to look like they’ve originated from your computer. If you see a pop-up that looks like Windows (or another trusted program’s) anti-virus software but warns you of a problem that need to be fixed with an extreme level of urgency, it may be a scam. (To be sure, simply close the warning, then open that anti-virus software from your computer to see if the warning is still mentioned.) Other programs report false errors and then offer to fix them if you purchase their software. If you see a new type of anti-virus pop-up that you have not seen before, or if it appears to be from an anti-virus program that you did not install, it is fake. Close the pop up, update your anti-virus program, and run a full scan. Many of these browser-related apps keep temporary files on your computer and can store a virus there. To keep this risk low, make sure you clear your browser’s cache regularly.
- Beware of unusual emails from companies you do business with. If you receive an email from a company that you otherwise trust requesting information or recommending that you run a particular file, log into your account on that company’s page and see if there’s a notification there as well. Some scammers will get your trust by copying legitimate businesses’ email styles and using a similar-sounding reply-to address to lower your guard.
- Note that good businesses will never request sensitive information via email, which is one of the least secure ways of communicating.
- Install an anti-virus program. Paid versions include Norton, McAfee, F-Secure, and Sophos. Free versions include AVG, Avast, Comodo, BitDefender, and Avira AntiVir. Make sure you keep your virus definitions updated and run a full system scan weekly.
- Install an anti-spyware program. Ad Aware SE, Windows Defender, Malwarebytes, and Spybot Search and Destroy operate against internet malware and spyware that anti-virus programs overlook. Just like anti-virus software, keep it updated and do a full system scan weekly.
- Use a firewall. Either make sure your Windows Firewall is turned on (run a search for Windows Security Center on your computer to configure) or install a trustworthy firewall program to help block unwanted internet traffic. Note that you should not run two firewalls at the same time, as this will cause errors and can actually make your computer more vulnerable. If you’ve purchased or downloaded another firewall, make sure to disable Windows Firewall.
- Set up your Windows Update to automatically download patches and upgrades. This will allow your computer to automatically download any updates to both Windows and Internet Explorer. These updates fix security problems and block many spyware programs and viruses. Note that viruses sometimes piggyback onto trusted updates to infect your computer; however, this is much more typical of outdated updates, as they are less closely monitored. Therefore, it’s best to keep your updates as current as possible. Read How to Configure Automatic Updates in Windows for more information.
- Consider switching to a different web browser. Some web browsers are more customizable than others, allowing you more control over pop-ups, ads, tracking, and other concerns that all of us face on the internet. Firefox, for example, has a large array of privacy- and security-related add-ons that will allow you to reclaim control over your web experience.
- Google it. When in doubt about an email, file, warning, email address, advertisement, or anything else that seems suspect, do an online search to see what other people are saying. Throw in the word “scam” to weed out results that may have been placed there by the very people who are trying to cheat you.
- PC World and other online or print computer magazines will help you keep aware of the latest info about viruses and other things going on the Internet.
- Remember: if it seems suspicious, it probably is.
- Keep a recent backup of your personal files. This will come in handy should you get infected with a program that deletes your files, or prevents you from accessing them.
- Delete your browser's temporary internet files every day.
- If you don't keep a good backup of your files, you risk losing everything when a virus or spyware hits.
- How to Avoid Home Repair Scams
- How to Protect Computers from Viruses
- How to Become Computer Literate
- How to Avoid Being Infected With Malware (Viruses)
- How to Recognize a Computer Virus Infection
- How to Prevent Computer Virus Infection
Sources and Citations
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