About Computer Infections

Viruses and Malware FAQs

There are many reasons why anti-virus softwares and firewalls fail to offer protection at a critical moment.

  • Anti-virus definitions could be out-of-date
  • Anti-virus software license may be expired
  • A user turned off the protection temporarily
  • A user bypassed protection when allowing another process to run

In any case, anti-virus software cannot provide 100% protection from all types of attacks. Each user must learn that there are certain precautions that must be taken to avoid various pitfalls.

Here are ten ways that you can reduce the possibility of infections, or at least reduce the damage when an infection occurs.
  1. Know the name of your anti-virus software and be familiar with its interface.
  2. Check that your anti-virus software is up to date often.
  3. Always be cautious of email attachments, they are often fraudulent.
  4. Never click on links to banks or payment websites in emails. Open a browser and go there manually.
  5. Be aware of the difference between search results and advertising when surfing.
  6. If you have not already done so, create a non-administrator profile for your own use on your computer.
  7. Do not install software without scanning it with an anti-virus program.
  8. Backup your data regularly and keep a "cold" backup.
  9. Never store passwords for secure sites in your browser history.
  10. Know what to do quickly in the event of an infection.
While no anti-virus solution is perfect, like most IT pros, we have our favorite anti-virus. We tend to recommend Avira Anti-Virus for home users and install a centrally managed business version for our business clients. However, we don't really expect you to just take our word for it. We researched several solutions before settling on what we felt was the best solution. AV-Comparitives is an independent laboratory that regularly tests many anti-virus softwares, publishes the results, and gives awards to the top performing software vendors.

First, STOP! Do not click or close anything! Any action you take or try is most likely exactly what the perpetrator wants you to do. This includes shutting the machine down. Many viruses install themselves on shutdown so they can dig in deeper on the next startup.

Second, try to determine if the software is actually your own anti-virus giving you a message that it has cleaned a possible infection. If it is, then there is likely nothing to worry about.

Third, if it is NOT your anti-virus software, call your IT support immediately. Let them ask you questions and help you to minimize the damage. If you have work that needs to be saved, they can help you do that.

As a last step, identify the electrical cord that is plugged into the back of your computer and simply pull it out. This will immediately cut power to the computer and will prevent any shutdown processes. Then call your IT support. They should have experience removing viruses and malware from computers. Let them deal with it.

The majority of viruses and malware are written by professional programmers to steal identities, information, and money from individuals, technologically advanced companies, and governments. There are several techniques used including email phishing, web site phishing, botnet infiltration, and social engineering. The world of technology is becoming more dangerous and the days of the innocent teenage hacker are long gone.