PC Virus and Malware Removal
Sometimes the most difficult challenges you face with your computer have nothing to do with something being physically broken. Viruses, malware, and spyware can set you back much further than any physical damage. These days you hope by using good browsing habits and not opening suspicious emails that you will be protected, but unfortunately it simply is not enough. Unfortunately, today most anti-virus software programs simply don’t catch many of the most common viruses and malware.
There are four main threats that face your computer:
- Viruses: are lines of code meant to do harm to your computer or allow the author to take control of it. Viruses are have as many different purposes as there are different kinds of people. Some computer viruses are specifically written with the intent of causing as much damage as possible with no actual goal beyond this. Other more sophisticated programmers will write viruses designed to take over computer systems with the intention of stealing information, money, or potentially ransoming valuable company resources. Typically such programmers are connected to criminal networks or consortiums.
- Trojan Horses: is a special type of virus designed to make your computer and operating system more vulnerable to other attacks. Typically, the trojan will create a backdoor or another vulnerability allowing the downloading and installing of another piece of software. The new program can then reap havoc on your computer. The name Trojan comes from the ancient story in which the Greek soldiers pretended to leave Troy, but instead they hid inside a giant horse which the Trojans then rolled into the city. In the middle of the night they exited the horse while the Trojans slept and sacked the city. In a similar way Trojans will typically disguise themselves as perfectly normal software programs that have to be installed. This is what makes them so dangerous.
- Spyware: is a piece of code whose primary function is to steal your personal information and then forward it on to the original spyware programmer. While some spyware is designed by hackers or other criminal elements, sometimes they can be implanted inside seemingly legitimate or normal products that you use. Such legitimate softwares tend to focus on sending browsing history and other commercially valuable to their creator who then in turn uses that information or sells it. Companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google use tracking software like this. However, their use is legal as they openly disclose the tracking and explain its purpose. On the nefarious side, spyware can be used to steal your identity. The software will attempt to get your name, date of birth, social security number, and other personal information that can be used to steal your identity.
- Malware: is a generic subset of cyber-crime. It typically refers to all software of code designed to maliciously harm a computer. Common examples include: Spyware, trojan, or other viruses designed to harm your computer or even simply the user experience.
So what are the warning signs? What things can you look for to determine whether your computer has been compromised? Below are some of the most common techniques:
- Your computer seems to be unusable and unknown programs appear to have replaced normal ones that you use on a day to day basis.
- Weird browsing experiences: if you notice normal pain text words changing to actual links for advertisements this should be a red flag.
- Identity Theft: if it appears fraudulent card purchases have been made or other non-authorized financial activity this can be a good sign that your information has been obtained through malware.
- Messages not from you: whether it be email, twitter, facebook, or any other messaging platform malware programmers will often use these platforms to send messages from you to your friend with intention of infecting their computer.
- Pop ups: while not all popups are malware. It is an incredibly common technique of gaining access to a computer. Sometimes such popups will appear even when you are not in an active browser.
- Redirection: if your computer is repeatedly redirecting you to websites you never directed searches to or even is redirecting you to a search engine that you do not normally used this can be a sign of malware being present.
If you believe you have a virus or other malware what should you do to repair your computer? First, disconnect from the internet immediately. If there is no outgoing connection, you can stop the flow of your information leaving your system. Then bring your laptop or computer to Tech Loft. We have experience technician who can diagnose, prepare a plan of action, and execute the necessary repair to make sure you are free of viruses and other malware and that ultimately your device and information are secure.