Well here’s the hard truth, I may never know why you got a virus, and they can honestly come from just about anywhere.
Most viral infections that I deal with are due to installed viral programs. System cleaners like RegClean Pro, SpeedUpMy PC Now, or MyPC Backup are some of the more popular ones. These programs promise fast relief from viral infections and reliable online backups. In reality they cause mass amounts of pop ups, and eat system resources causing the system to slow down.
“Well how did I get these programs?”
Well these programs must be physically installed. Meaning that at some point the system user went online, found one of these helpful programs and installed it. Once it’s been installed it gets free rein over your computer. It starts to initiate pop ups for other helpful programs that are installed by blindly clicking on boxes to make the pop ups go away.
“But I have an Anti-Virus program. Whey didn’t it warn me about this program before I installed it?”
The simple answer? It did. Every program that you install prompts you for access.
Do you want to install this program?
Are you sure?
Agree to the license terms.
These are all phrases we are familiar with. Phrases that are usually followed by a quick click for YES without reading anything on the presented box. Every time you say Yes to a viral program you undermine your anti-virus program. Once the program is fully installed your anti-virus no longer sees it as a threat. How could it be? You told the computer it was safe, and the computer takes you at your word.
Now that the program is fully installed it can start doing damage. The program will start to initialize pop ups, download updates and eat system resources. This is when the user starts to suspect a viral infection. Websites start to take a long time to load or they don’t load at all. You start to see new search engines on your home screen and no matter what you click you get a new add up on your screen.
This is when the computer ends up in my store. This is when the user says “Enough is enough!” and brings it into a repair shop to be fixed by a professional.
“What can you do to my system that I can’t do at home?”
The advantage a professional IT technician has over a general user is experience. With a quick glance I can find every vial program on your system. I then remove it using a special program that scans the computers registry to remove all of its installation files. We utilize special pieces of software to go through your system and remove every infected file that may have been leftover from the initial removal of the program. Once these files have been ripped out there is a notable change in system speed and function. Additional programs are then run to make sure redirects on the internet are fixed and no longer a hindrance. Finally all of your system updates are performed. Once the system is in tip top shape we give it back.
“Is there anything I can do to prevent this in the future?”
Fully prevent? No, every PC user will experience a viral infection, it’s only a matter of time. Keep you system cleaner for longer? Yes, there are small things you can do each month to keep your system functioning normally for longer. It all starts with responsible internet habits. Never install a program that boosts it will clean you system files, update your drivers or speed up your PC now! Distance yourself from fishy looking websites, sites with loads of adds or pop ups should be avoided at all times. Most importantly always read the boxes on programs you are installing. Make sure there are no additional programs or features that are being installed alongside the program you are installing.
These are all habits that are developed over time. Unfortunately no one becomes a webmaster overnight. It takes years of careful computing to master the online world, and even then seasoned professionals can find themselves strapped with a viral infection at the most inconvenient times.
Remember the internet is an ever evolving world. It is always changing and learning to adapt to our needs. In turn we must always be learning and adapting alongside it.