It’s almost a given that any computer that is connected to the internet is going to get infected with malware. The first sign of infection may be that the computer starts to run slower; there may also be a lot more pop-up ads. There might be a suspicious, unwanted program that seems to be impossible to remove. Often, the computer won’t boot at all.
What is malware (or malicious software)?
Adware may be the least malicious but is incredibly annoying. It is often unknowingly downloaded along with another download. It is always a good idea when downloading anything to remove the check marks next to additional programs or options. Once the adware gets into a computer, it will spawn endless pop-ups and be extremely difficult to get rid of. Adware will also slow down the computer.
Spyware is exactly what it sounds like. It is designed to steal sensitive information and a serious concern for businesses and governments.
Zombie computers have been infiltrated by someone else (a cracker) and are being used to conduct illegal activities. The owner or user of the computer has no idea that this is happening, other than noticing that the computer seems slower than usual. One cracker was alleged to be in control of 1.5 million computers. The user of an infiltrated computer may find that his/her internet service has been canceled by the provider. They may even discover that they are under investigation for criminal activities.
Ransomware ‘kidnaps’ the computer, generating an official-looking message saying that the computer has been locked because of suspected illegal activities. The user must make a payment before access to the computer will be granted.
There are some actions users should take: keep a firewall turned on, ensure that automatic updating is turned off for security programs, don’t open spam or click on any suspicious links. That will prevent many of the problems, but inevitably something will get in.
In the Tampa Bay, FL area, the experienced technicians at Intolan Computers have been successfully removing malware from computers since 1995. This clearwater computer repair business is also able to recover data that might have been otherwise lost. Of course, they are also expert at hardware repairs and can build a custom computer to meet someone’s requirements. Seniors will get a discount.