I have written volumes over the years…
The increasing instances in the series of attacks on personal computers, MACs or PCs is just astounding.
Clients, and even mom, have taken screen shots of the attacks coming through web pages.
It takes one bad link on a good web page or clicking on what looks like an OK link in the search results and suddenly, you have a loud sound, a pop-up and it states your computer is infected.
Most people panic and call the number on the screen, only to have some strange person try to get into the computer and the company now has your credit card and other information if you paid them.
Some are so obnoxious as to try to sell you free anti-virus software for 100’s of bucks. Others are still using the tricks of listing a Windows folder with the drivers and saying how infected the computer is.
If you get one of the pop-ups, and try to close it, it might pop-up again. Usually there is a little box at the bottom on the pop-up that sates “Prevent this page from crating additional dialog boxes.”
Check that box. Close the tab and the browser too.
Restart the computer.
Most of the time the problem is solved in those easy-peasy steps.
However, there are some infections that are not solved that fast. There might be a residual file still on the computer that can track what you are searching for, what you are typing and then provide fake results or cause more advertising to appear.
Safer Online Behavior
- Make sure you see the actual DOMAIN of the item you are searching for in the URL in the search results.
- If you search for “printer help hp” and the results come back with a link that has hpprinterhelp.xxxxxxxxxxxx.com, IT’S NOT HP!! It has to have HP.COM as the ending of the URL.
- If you click the link and it takes you to an infected page, close the browser and reboot the computer.
- If the infection returns or you start seeing lots of ads or other weird stuff, call me and I will make an appointment to clean it up.
Also, do not open any attachments from any one you know or don’t know unless you have arranged for it to be sent.
The sheer number of infections just from clicking the attached ZIP file has gone up and clients are losing their computers to encryptolocker viruses that lock every file on the hard drive and hold it for ransom.
DO NOT PAY THE RANSOM.
Some of the files can be recovered using special tools (yes, I have them) and it’s a long process but if you pay, you might not get the key to unlock the files and the infection is STILL THERE!!!
If you are backing up regularly, (you are, right?) you can also restore the data from that backup if you unplug that drive as soon as you realize what’s happening.
Again, call me if you have any issues.