Virus & Malware Prevention Guide

Self Prevention

Antivirus software is no longer capable of effectively stopping today's virus threats alone. Users must learn how to identify a potential threat.

Some of the threats are as follows.

  • Aggressive Popups
  • Homepage changing without your consent
  • New applications installed without your consent
  • Advertisements on websites that are not mainstream
  • Email Attachments and Images sent without details like who, what, where, why or when

Once a threat has been spotted there is an order of operation that should be followed to help minimize the risk of actual infection if it has not already occurred. Attempt these steps in order. If step 1 fails continue to step 2 and so on.

  1. Alt + F4 is the window close command and can be used to safely close a popup or application that is suspicious.
  2. Task Manager can close dangerous popups and applications but can be difficult to navigate if you have not used it before. If you are not sure what to do here ask for help or continue to step 3.
  3. Power off the computer by holding down the power button for five full seconds. Make sure to hold the button down as just pressing it will put the computer to sleep and when you power it back up it will still have the unwanted popup or application running.
  4. If all of the steps above fail power off the computer and contact your support personnel immediately. Some virus/spyware infections can cause harm to your network attacking other systems or destroying data.
Internet Related Scams

If you are being asked for money to repair your computer from a popup or phone call you are likely being scammed. Currently there are many scam operations out there claiming to be Microsoft or your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This is always a scam. Microsoft and your ISP will never call you to inform you of a malfunctioning computer. If you're adversely affecting their network they will simply turn off your internet connection and wait for you to call them to ensure that you are communicating with the right people and not a scam outfit.

Do not call phone numbers that you look up on a search engine that display on the search results page. Scammers have pages that will be similar in name to what you're searching for and if you're not paying attention you could be calling a scam company instead of whoever you intended to call.

Safely Using Search Engines

Always read the green text in the search field under the header when searching for a web-page in a search engine. The green text is exactly where you are going when you click the link. If the green text does not make sense or you're not sure if it is right don't click that link.

Try to stay away from the advertising links that show up above the search results as these appear because someone is paying for them to show at the top. Many of the scam companies use paid ads like these to trick you into believing you went to the correct sight. Again read the green text.