Virus Prevention

Preventions you can use internet security and anti-virus software to try to prevent viral infections.

Not all software is created equal.  The free solutions that many people use are far from perfect.  Since the companies that give them away also sell “professional” versions, it stands to reason that the free ones are inferior.  My advice is, pay for a good one.  Even among those that cost money, there is a vast difference.  Some may do a good job, but they cause problems on your computer themselves.  Others may not work as well as advertised.  Don’t count on a shop clerk’s advice, either. He is mostly interested in making a sale.  If you bought a new computer there, oftimes it includes at least a trial subscription to something.  The sales clerk will often tell you that software is no good, and sell you something that is no better.  Nothing beats having trustworthy information. Of course, new viruses hit us every day, so keeping your software updated is a must.

Cure If you are infected with something bad, it is not the end of the world.  Most viruses and other malware can be removed, although some are harder than others to take out.  In the worst possible cases, the fastest (and cheapest) way to become clean again is to do a full system restore back to original factory condition, and reinstall your software and data from there.  This is a big job, however, and if you do not have a good backup strategy in place, you may find yourself at risk of data loss.  You may want to have something done to protect your data before you begin any operation to remove a bad infection.  Writers of viruses are not stupid, and often have hidden clever ways to get you reinfected even after a removal operation.  It is good to have knowledgeable people who can help you find the best and most cost effective solution.

What is a Virus?

Computer terms are often taken from the non-computer worlds of science and experience, using terms that become metaphors for something happening in the computer world.

In the real world, a virus is a snippet of life that only has life if it joins itself to a healthy cell.  Once inside, it takes over the cell, performs whatever damaging function it does by nature, and uses the cell to replicate itself so it can invade other cells.  A computer virus is a program, usually small, designed to find a home inside your software, sometimes appended to healthy, existing files, sometimes joining the operating system in some way.

What it is there to do is entirely decided by the programmer who wrote it.  Since it would be quite inefficient to have to hack into each computer in the world and try to place the little malicious code there, virus writers program the little bug to replicate itself, passing itself on through various means – emails, messages, attachments, and more.  In addition to the trouble the designer intended to cause, often the virus does other, collateral damage.  This can happen because, unlike commercial software companies, these people have no research and development budget.  They do not have a place to be contacted so they can be informed that their virus is causing problems, and needs to be upgraded.  They simply do not care.  It is in their interest to remain secret in most cases.  Nevertheless, they couldn’t care less if your system is destroyed by the many accidental bad things they cause.  They are criminals, motivated by profit (although some are vandals, just having fun like juvenile delinquents painting graffiti on a water tower).  Other related terms are malware, spyware, adware, trojans, worms and other names each having some distinct meaning of their own, and are so-called because these terms describe what they do or how they propagate.

Virus and Internet Security

Internet Security needs are greater than ever before. A computer user can be tricked or forced into downloading software that is of malicious intent. Such programs are know as malware and come in many forms, such as viruses, trojan horses. spyware and worms. Malicious software is sometimes used to form botnet, joining your computer to others to be used as remote handling stations to send out spam, and to commit fraud.

Virus, trojan horses, spyware, worms and botnets are tools in the malware toolbox that hackers and other criminals use to either gain illegal profit from the internet or to perform malicious and mischievous acts of interference and damage.

A good understanding summary of these various ‘baddies’ can be found at wikipedia.org
Internet Security

People often ask how they become infected with these things, or why people send out these things. There is no single answer. Without doubt profit motive plays a huge part, but for some, it is akin to vandals breaking windows or painting graffiti, with no real profit motive. Most modern malware, however, has some criminal or inappropriate goal in mind.

Some practice extortion, infecting you with a program that hijacks your computer in some way and gives you a way to pay to fix the problem. NEVER DO THIS! There is no guarantee it will be fixed and the criminals will have your credit card details. Others are attempting identity theft, or access to information that will allow access to financial resources such as bank accounts, credit cards, retirement funds, investments, etc., Some are after your contact list. If you have ever been contacted through email by a friend claiming to be stuck in a foreign country and needing emergency financial assistance to get home. You most likely have had your contact list hijacked and now the next step is to attempt to cash in on the crime by defrauding you of some funds. Some attacks simply want to direct traffic to one of their sites, such as pornography, gamblimg or even legitimate retail outlets where they hope to recruit customers. Some of the ‘free software’ you have innocently downloaded takes over your internet browser and directs your searches to sites that pay the service for trafic to their business.
Some are attempting to capture your machine to be used in their black enterprise as an unwitting partner in crime.

No matter the reason, the presence of malware is undesirable and does not have to be tolerated. Depending on the nature of the infection, steps need to be taken to remove range from easy to extreme to get rid all traces of infection.

It is our practice to determine the extent of infection, and recommend a course of action that fits the circumstance. Most cases can be cured with a few simple steps whilst others may need a little more in order to prevent reinfection.
We are aware that cost can be concern and that people will want to find a solution that does not cost a lot of money thus we will tell you what you have, and the choices you have to get rid of the infection.
We will neither recommend a one-size-fits-all flat fee for ‘virus removal’ or some expensive solution that could have made you wish you had just bought a new computer. We will keep cost under control and guarantee results.

Some of the more popular internet security available:

Norton Internet Security

Kapersky Internet Security

McAfee Security

Disclaimer: The above are personal preference only – please ensure that you check the goods offered prior to any purchase you may make!