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There’s a new virus out there that is directly targeting small businesses and organizations. It’s called CryptoLocker and its bark is just as bad as its bite – meaning everything it tells you is true.
What is CryptoLocker?
CryptoLocker is a piece of very harmful malware that works by essentially jumbling up the data for your personal files then demanding a ransom of $300 to “unjumble” them. By personal files, we mean any documents, videos, music, pictures, emails, etc… It even gives you a period of time you have to respond to the threat.
This virus WILL lock all our files – making them un-openable – and even with the virus removed from your PC, there is currently no way to unlock the files. The only way to recover is to restore your files from a backup.
How to protect yourself?
CryptoLocker comes through e-mail and targets businesses and organizations. The e-mail is usually sent from a reputable source and talks about a customer complaint your company has received, or a customer that is complaining about your service. The e-mail contains an attachment that, once opened or downloaded, takes over the computer and instantly encrypts your files.
At the moment, the only way to reverse the damage is to restore your data that’s been backed up – making it even more important to keep your entire system backed up.
Call a computer repair company to setup a backup of your PC that runs automatically; once a week or once a month. We offer computer repair in Temecula, and we can setup a backup, restore backups, and remove CryptoLocker.
Why do you think people make viruses? You have to be very smart to create and distribute them…
The FBI virus has been around for quite a while now, and we’ve mastered the art of removing the virus without a chance of the infection returning. It’s a complicated process but there is news on the FBI virus and related malware: It’s getting worse.
With more and more ransomware infections coming through our door, we are noticing that they are becoming more and more difficult to clean. Our normal quarantine and removal methods are getting overtaken and backdoor removal methods are being thwarted.
Fear not, though… We haven’t met an infection we couldn’t cure, and that means curing the virus without touching your software or data. These new infections are no different… If you do come down with an infected system, give us a call and we’ll get you back up and running in no time!
Protect yourself! Get Anti-Virus software, preferably AVG, and keep it updated. We also recommend running Malwarebytes every 2 weeks (or more, depending on your PC usage) and keeping it updated, as well. Don’t use Internet Explorer or Firefox, either… use Chrome. It’s VERY safe and fast.
Be careful of malicious sites, also. For example, make sure when your clicking a link in an email, it’s to a reputable page, and watch out for pseudo-sites.
e.g. foxnewsc.om vs foxnews.com
Notice the first address is not legitimate, and tricksters often hide their web addresses like this.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to browse the internet securely and protect yourself from online threats in the most efficient way possible. As a company who does computer repair in Temecula, CA, we’ve found some of the best ways to safeguard your system.
In today’s age of viruses, malware, identity theft, ad-ware and spyware, it’s more important than ever to maintain a secure system, especially while browsing the internet.
Seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people bring us computers with bad viruses because they didn’t have virus protection. The first thing you should install on your new computer is anti-virus software. There are great free anti-virus programs out there that offer top-of-the-line protection.
A Safer Browser
Your browser has a lot to do with security, from maintaining an updated list of malicious websites, to automatically scanning downloads for viruses. We recommend Google Chrome as a web browser because it is fast, secure and reliable. Internet Explorer really can’t compete, and as has fallen behind even faster in recent years.
The image above is exactly what you would see if you accidentally sent your browser to a malicious site. Chrome has a database that blocks any site if it’s reported as being malicious.
If your accustomed to Mozilla Firefox, like many PC users, Chrome is very similar in design and usability. If you don’t feel comfortable using Chrome, Firefox is still a strong alternative.
Removing Those TOOLBARS
Toolbars on your browser may seem helpful, and some actually are, but many are completely malicious. They often get installed with other programs and piggy-back onto your system without you even realizing it. If you like using a toolbar, we recommend the toolbar that comes with AVG Anti-Virus because it doesn’t slow you down, and also helps to keep you safe online.
If you have toolbars you want to remove, you should first uninstall them from your system through “Add/Remove Programs” then make sure they are uninstalled from your browser by finding your browser’s add-on settings and removing them.
Read What Your Installing
This could be one of the most important topics to touch on. We know it’s customary to quickly click “Next” and “Agree” over and over when installing a program until the installation starts. You should always brush over the page you are agreeing to because some programs piggy-back other unwanted programs that can compromise security, add unwanted browser toolbars, and even slow your computer down.
Have you ever asked yourself: “When did I install this?”
It probably got installed WITH something else you actually wanted, and you didn’t realize it was being installed. Often times, programs called “Downloaders” are the culprits of these unwanted installations.
Overall, being aware and vigilant will keep you secure, but should you ever have issues, call a local computer repair company and they can help you out.
In our next post, we will talk about shopping securely online.
What is the best anti-virus program? What anti-virus do you recommend? Which do you not recommend? We get these questions many times per week.
As a local computer repair company, we’ve run across many anti-virus programs, most of which claim to be free. Most of our customers prefer free software but most think they will get a less secure anti-virus program if they don’t commit to a monthly or yearly subscription. This is not true.
The only truly free anti-virus program we trust to protect our customers and even our own PCs is AVG Free. AVG Free has never let a threat get past on our systems, and has corrected virus disasters where Avanti, Avast and even Norton have failed. AVG uses little resources while running, the scans are fast, and the extra tools are invaluable.
A good anti-virus program can keep your computer up to speed and can protect you from even the most deadly viruses out there. AVG Free protects from spyware, malware, adware, and of course viruses.
Keep in mind we have no affiliation or commission agreement with AVG – this is not a biased advertisement. We honestly have been using AVG for years and have NEVER had an issue with it.
So to answer the question of “What is the best free anti-virus?”. The answer is AVG Free.
As a popular Temecula computer repair company, we’ve had some customers who use smartphones and tablets ask us about using Anti-Virus on their mobile devices. If a device is connected to the internet, there is a risk for viruses, spyware, and malware. The threat may not be as prevalent as it is for PCs, but it’s only a matter of time before thieves and hackers develop programs that could wipe out your phone or steal personal information.
According to a Land of Droid blog, cyber thieves are even starting to hide malicious software that automatically sends text messages to contacts in your phone, similar to the spam emails that are so prevalent nowadays.
It is important to protect yourself and your mobile device, and we recommend doing so with AVG Mobile Anti-Virus. This FREE app can be found in the Google Play store and also the App Store. The app runs seamlessly and you won’t even notice it’s there. It actively protects your device from downloaded threats by scanning downloads and text messages and also allows you to manually scan your device for malware.
It also includes an invaluable tool – the lost phone GPS tracking and remote locking feature. This FREE feature gives you the ability to remotely lock down your tablet or smartphone and enable GPS tracking in the case of a lost or stolen device.
We give the AVG Mobile Anti-Virus App 5 Stars, and we even use it on our mobile devices!
We also recommend AVG Free for your PC security needs.
Viruses are already hard enough to dodge while downloading e-mail attachments or even downloading things off the Internet, which is why this new “FBI Virus”, or Reveton virus, is so scary. Unlike most viruses, the FBI Virus can infect itself in your system without you even downloading anything or opening any email. It can be picked up by simply visiting a page.
As with any computer or laptop issue, if you are unfortunate enough to obtain a virus or malware, remember our computer repair services can help you get back up and running in very little time for very little money.
What the FBI Virus Does:
Once infected, this virus works by freezing your system and displaying a warning message than cannot be closed. You will be unable to use your system as most victims report their systems being completely locked-up.
The FBI virus will proceed to tell you that your I.P. address has been flagged as being in violation of one or more (explicit) federal laws that you must pay fines for in order to be exonerated. Generally, it asks for $200 through PayPal or MoneyPak.
What to Look Out For:
Most viruses want something from you, whether it’s personal information or money. The FBI or Reveton virus looks like it just wants your money, which is actually the good news, believe it or not. The reason why is that you know immediately if your computer has been infected and you can shut-down your system before anything further happens.
As with most viruses, stay away from weird websites that don’t carry any reputation, and don’t download illegal videos, music, or files from any websites, as viruses are often carried in these downloaded files and also on their respective websites.
If You Think You Have the FBI Virus:
To prevent further harm to your system, and possible identity theft, if your system ever gets infected with any type of virus, you should immediately save your files if possible and turn off your system until a local computer repair company can look at your system.
In order to maintain a safe computing environment, you should perform full system virus scans often, as well as have background virus protection running at all times. Also, try not to download files unless it’s from a verified reliable source.