If you don’t have up-to-date antivirus software installed on your computer, chances are you’re infected.
We have helped hundreds of clients with viruses and other security threats over the last 10 years alone. Our virus and malware removal services are 100% guaranteed for every single job. Our combination of industry-leading virus and malware removal technologies and seasoned, experienced technicians, provides our clients with the safest, most secure service for restoring infected computers to like-new condition.
System running slow or abnormal? You may have a virus or malware on your computer which is usually unknowingly downloaded from the internet and are intended to cause problems for your computer.
Our Support technology experts will help detect and remove viruses and/or malware so your computer gets back up and running smoothly.
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How does a computer get infected in the first place?
There are many ways in which your computer can become infected. Most of the time, once an infection gets into your system, there is no way to trace back to determine exactly where the infection came from or how it was installed. Here are some common conduits for malware to get into your system.
By far one of the most common ways a computer becomes infected is when a user accepts what they see on the screen without reading the prompt before proceeding.
From Infected Websites or Plugins
Like computers, websites themselves can become infected, and infect users who visit the hacked or compromised site. Vulnerabilities in plugins can be exploited across all different browsers with the plugin across all different operating systems. A Flash plugin vulnerability could be used to exploit Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer running on Windows, Linux, or Mac.
From Outdated Software & Plugins
Old versions of Microsoft Office, Adobe Flash Player, internet browsers etc, often have known security holes that are never fixed. This is one of the most critical reasons to keep your software fully up to date. You probably have at least 3 applications installed that make your computer vulnerable to cyber-attacks! Outdated software is a HUGE part of cyber threats.
From Malicious Advertisements
Ads on the trusted site may look harmless, but the unseen world of internet advertising creates a shady and lucrative, market for purposely infecting users via poisoned or deceptive ads. The purveyors of these ads receive compensation from malware authors for every system they infect. There have been reported cases where malware has spread via YouTube ads and on social media.
From Google Bombing or fake apps
It’s common that popular applications and tools can be outranked by fake apps in a google search. For example searching for a free media player called “VLC” or for “HP printer drivers” or “PDF to Word converter” provides many search results, several of them are not only fake but often malicious. This can lead users to be tricked into not only downloading but installing malicious applications.
From Pirated Software
As software prices increase, many users turn to installing bootleg copies, or pirated ones. The main risk that you run is infecting your PC. That “quasi-legal” copy of Photoshop you downloaded may have been loaded up with a virus or trojan. The crack might actually be a poorly disguised malware. We see a lot of infections that stem from pirated software. This is not to say that all pirated software contains malicious threats, it’s just that you can’t always be sure. Pirate at your own risk, or not at all.
From Social Media
It’s common today that people’s Facebook, twitter and other social media accounts may become compromised. This can happen from a users system being infected and monitoring the users keystrokes and sending the logs off to the hackers who wrote the malware. Perhaps you’ve seen a post at some point from a friend posting some weird web link. Be sure not to click any links in social media that seem fishy, as doing so may take you to the same website that infected your friends' machine.
From Social Hacking
During 2012 we saw a large increase of clients who’d been scammed into letting a so called “Microsoft tech support” agent remotely access their computers. These victims would receive a phone call claiming to be from Microsoft. The agents would quickly “discover” malware and offer to fix it, for a price. Sometimes these scammers will even lock down a user's system with an unknown password, and demand a credit card in order to unlock it again. Never trust any random phone calls.
From Email Attachments
You’ve heard again and again “don’t open that attachment” if you don’t know who or where it’s from. The truth is, even trusted senders can themselves become infected, and inadvertently infect co-workers, family, and friends in their contact list. Always use caution, be especially cautious of zip files and exe files, as these are often used as carriers for malicious code. Just remember never to open an attachment before and ended up getting infected by an email virus.
Know Thy Enemy
Viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and adware are collectively known as “Malware” short for “malicious software” but this can be broken down into a whole bunch of different classifications.
A virus is capable of transmitting itself from computer to computer, often without user action, much like a real virus such as the flu, where people may become sick by contact with another infected person. Viruses are the most common form of malware we see. Even if you’re careful you can pick up computer viruses through normal Web activities.
The nastiest and most stubborn type of threat to get rid of, Rootkits are designed to evade detection by hiding within the “root level” of the infected storage device. Rootkits are often undetected by popular anti-virus software, meaning they can be running on your system even though your up-to-date security software may say “your computer is fully protected.”
The classic trojan horse attack in digital form. Trojans appear to be something of value or interest, only to secretly contain malicious threats. There are often multiple malicious payloads within a trojan horse attack, making trojans a common conduit for infections of all types including key-loggers and other viruses. There are seven main types of Trojan horses.
A worm can literally “swim” through networks or file paths on a hard drive, seeking out and infecting machines. Basically, a worm is designed to seek out a specific target and deliver a payload. Often used in corporate or state-sponsored attacks such as the Stuxnet and Flame worms, which crippled Iranian computer systems in 2012. According to the NY-Times, these worms were designed and tested in Israel before infecting systems within Iran.
Spyware & Adware
The names say it all, as spyware and adware are specifically designed to surreptitiously install and run on your system, without your knowledge. The typical goal of these threats is harvesting personal data for advertising purposes. By monitoring you browsing and usage, spyware is able to deliver target ads directly to your system. Spyware and Adware are generally more of a privacy problem than a serious threat but are still important to rid from your system.
Designed to run behind the scenes, completely hidden from the user, key-loggers are most commonly used to extract login information from a user's email accounts, online banking, and social network accounts. These apps are sometimes loaded by persons with hands-on access to your computer. They can also come pre-loaded with pirated software. Every keystroke you type on your computer can be tracked by cyberstalkers using key-logger programs.
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