News and Specials!
Sign up for our monthly email newsletter by entering your email address below, and clicking subscribe


What Not To Do…

Many people come to us confused about what they can do to avoid viruses and malware. Our first typical answer is protect your computer with a layered approach. A leading antivirus program (like BitDefender) AND the leading anti-malware package (Malwarebytes). The combination of the two differing approaches to pro-active protection should protect you from most “attacks”. But that’s only part of the solution (and the easiest part). The rest of the story depends on you.

Yes, it depends on you. Why? Well studies have shown that the majority of malware and virus infiltrations are facilitated by an action that the user initiated. So what does that mean? That means that not only do you have to protect your computer with software, but you have to protect your computer with good habits!

Good Habits

Most of this is just common sense. But some of it can get by you if you’re not looking for it, so we thought we’d put together this list to help:

  • Email is one of the biggest causes for concern with viruses, scams and phishing attempts to steal personal information becoming more and more prevalent. It’s a good idea to unsubscribe from any mailing lists you never open. By receiving less email, you will have more time to be cautious of the messages you do receive.
    • DON’T open email with attachments from unknown senders. If you weren’t expecting someone to email you something, do not open it! If you’re not sure, call them to confirm the file is legit. This is one of the most prolific ways of introducing malware to your computer.
    • DON’T  send passwords or credit card info in email. No legitimate company will ever request passwords or sensitive personal information this way.
    • DON’T blindly reply to messages that look like they are coming from a legitimate source. Attackers are able to make it look like a message is coming from one of your contacts when it isn’t. If someone is requesting any of your personal information, banking info, telling you to purchase something, send money, verify any information about you, etc. – be sure the email address is correct, that your reply actually goes to the correct address and always call to confirm if you’re unsure whether a message is legit or not.

 

  • Don’t participate in “shady” activities when it comes to online media. You’d think this would be a “no-brainer” but you’d be surprised how many people think that such activities are “harmless.” What activities you say? See the following examples:
    • DON’T download movies/games/music from illegal or “gray area” sites (i.e. torrents). If a site promises you FREE media that you know you would normally have to pay for, it is most likely illegal and the download could easily come loaded with malware.
    • DON’T visit adult entertainment sites. Those sites are hotbeds for surreptitiously loading malware, tracking software, adware, and more onto your computer without your permission!
    • DON’T visit “free” streaming TV websites that offer paid content. Like the above, these sites are notorious for pop-ups and other junk that can lead to malware.

 

  • Pay attention to which alerts and messages are legit.
    • DON’T click on random pop-up ads. Not only ads for shopping offers, but there are many that will tell you your computer is slow or has a virus. These are often looking to install junk programs or malicious software on your PC.
    • DON’T disable or ignore warnings from your antivirus software. Know what your paid antivirus programs look like so you’ll be able to tell the difference between the real thing and a fake pop-up.
    • DON’T ignore legitimate Java\Flash\Adobe Reader updates. These three programs are security risks but often a necessary evil when using a computer. They regularly release security updates as new vulnerabilities are discovered and patched. It’s also a good idea to learn what the legitimate update alerts look like. If you’re ever in doubt, get your updates straight from the vendor’s website.

 

Nothing will stop 100% of malware, PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs), or spyware. By following the above recommendations, you will greatly lessen your chances of having to deal with them. If you do think your computer has been compromised, bring it to the experts at Geek Easy Computers. We want to make your technology easier AND safer!

 

me_smile Adonis Pointer is a photographer, a collector of vintage razors, and a certified technology geek!
Adonis has been involved in computer technology since well, a LONG time! He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the industry from sales to repair to training to consulting. As the Social Media Manager he writes the majority of the posts on the Geek Easy Computers blog.

 

.

Share on Facebook1Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Email this to someone

Leave a Reply

Categories