Knowledge Base

How did my computer become infected?

A computer can become infected many different ways.  There are exploits in popular programs that allow a computer to become infected or hacked.  Free music websites or an improper search term are common ways to become infected.

Are there symptoms of an infection?

Unwanted pop-up windows are the most common symptom of an infection.  Degraded performance is another sign of a possible infection.

What can the Trojan really do to my computer?

It can allow another source to use your computer to distribute viruses, malicious code, steal identities of you or the people in your address book and many more other dangerous cyber crime actions.

I received an email stating an update was ready and a link to the update is that normal practice?

No, that is not normal practice.  When updates are ready, a balloon will appear in the area of your task bar near the time.  Read the screens and when in doubt – don’t do anything.

I have heard that Windows XP is going to stop working this year (2014), is this true?

No that is untrue.  April 2014 is the EOL (End of Life) date for Windows XP.  This means that Microsoft will no longer issue windows updates for this operating system.  It does not mean that your computer will stop working, though it will mean you have a computer that will become more vulnerable as time passes.

What are windows updates and why are they so important?

Windows updates prevent or repair problems as well as patch those vulnerable parts of the software we “can’t see” when we use the computer.   Windows updates can help keep your computer more secure.

We hear the statement “I don’t have anything on my computer that anyone would want, so I don’t think anyone will want to “hack into me”.

Just because you do not have anything on your computer doesn’t mean it can’t be used in a malicious manner.  An unprotected or inadequately protect computer can be used to distribute viruses, to distribute child pornography, adult pornography, aid in denial of service attacks or act as a ruse, making harder to catch those responsible.

I have an internet security/anti-virus program on my computer and I was told that my computer was infected with malware.  How did this happen?

Malware and viruses are two different types of infections.  Antivirus or Internet Security software is not enough to protect your computer system.  We add the trial version of Malware-bytes to the systems that come into our office in need of dis-infection.  The trial version is “good”, but for a small fee an annual subscription is a better means of protection.

 Cybercriminals have become clever and try to trick you into downloading rogue (fake) security software that claims to protect you against malware. This rogue security software might ask you to pay for a fake product, install malware on your computer, or steal your personal information.

Social media sites are another means to spread malware onto unsuspecting computers.  Think twice before clicking any links.  They are not always what they appear to be.

For more information on these questions and others call Sensible Solutions and Support, LLC (802) 773-9506