Protect your existing technology or your new Holiday gifts or purchases
Posted By MyGuy
Malware is short for "malicious software“. It includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your
laptop or desktop computer,
phone, or mobile device without your consent. These programs can cause your electronic device
to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity.
Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit
fraud. Learn tips from
computer repair experts that you can do to help prevent this from happening to you on any of electronic devices.
Things you should do:
- Avoid Malware
- Detect Malware
- Get Rid of Malware
- Report Malware
Scam artists try to trick people into clicking on links from your mobile
devices, computer and iPad that will download malware and spyware to their
computers; especially computers that don’t use adequate security
software. To reduce your risk of downloading unwanted malware and spyware:
- Keep all of your security software updated. At a minimum, your computer
should have anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a firewall. Set
your computer security software, internet browser, and operating system
(like Windows or Mac OS) to update automatically.
- Don’t click on any links, texts or open any attachments in emails
unless you know who sent it and what it is. Clicking on internet links
and opening attachments - even in emails that seem to be from friends
or family - can install malware on your computer.
- Download and install software only from websites you know and trust. Downloading
free games, file-sharing programs, and customized toolbars may sound appealing,
but free software can come with malware.
- Minimize “drive-by” downloads. Make sure your browser security
setting is high enough to detect unauthorized downloads. For Internet
Explorer, for example, use the “medium” setting at a minimum.
- Use a pop-up blocker and don’t click on any links within pop-ups.
If you do, you may install malware on your computer. Close pop-up windows
by clicking on the “X” in the title bar.
- Resist buying software in response to unexpected pop-up messages or emails,
especially ads that claim to have scanned your computer and detected malware.
That’s a tactic scammers use to spread malware.
- Talk about safe computing. Tell your kids that some online actions can
put the computer at risk: clicking on pop-ups, downloading “free”
games or programs, opening chain emails, or posting personal information.
- Back up your data regularly. Whether its text files or photos that are
important to you, back up any data that you’d want to keep in case
your computer crashes.
Monitor your computer for unusual behavior. Your computer may be infected
with malware if it:
- slows down, crashes, or displays repeated error messages
- won’t shut down or restart
- serves up a barrage of pop-ups
- displays web pages you didn’t intend to visit, or sends emails you
Other warning signs of
- new and unexpected toolbars
- new and unexpected icons in your shortcuts or on your desktop
- a sudden or repeated change in your computer’s internet home page
- a laptop battery that drains more quickly than it should
Get rid of Malware
If you suspect there is malware is on your computer, take these steps:
- Stop shopping, banking, and doing other online activities that involve
usernames, passwords, or other sensitive information.
- Update your security software, and then run it to scan your computer for
viruses and spyware. Delete anything it identifies as a problem. You may
have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
- If your computer is covered by a warranty that offers free tech support,
contact the manufacturer. Before you call, write down the model and serial
number of your computer, the name of any software you’ve installed,
and a short description of the problem.
- Many of the computer repair experts offer tech support, for both the Residential
and Commercial markets on the phone, online, at their store, and in your
home. Decide which is most convenient for you.
- Once your computer is back up and running, we can diagnose how malware
could have been downloaded to your machine, and what you could do differently
to avoid it in the future.
If you think your computer has malware, the Federal Trade Commission wants to know.
File a complaint
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