Why am I infected with this virus?Damien Moye
Whether it’s Conflickr or a new fake anti-spyware program, it seems like spyware and viruses are inescapable for any computer connected to the Internet. It’s estimated that the amount spent annually on security software in the United States has risen to over $800 million in recent years, but computers are still getting infected daily. Why aren’t we virus free yet?
The answer lies in the nature of malicious programming. Computer viruses don’t spring up out of nowhere, they’re designed by programmers who either have nothing better to do and think it will be interesting, or professionals who make money by abusing your computer. Whenever anti-virus vendors are made aware of a new virus, they create a new definition for their anti-virus software to help isolate and remove that virus if it is downloaded onto your computer. Once the new definition is widespread enough that a significant percentage of computers are safe against that virus, a new one is created by the malicious programmers and the cycle begins again. Nearly two thousand new viruses were identified every day in 2007, and the problem isn’t going away any time soon. This is why you need to allow your anti-virus software to download new virus definitions so often.
Frustrated hackers tired of the rapid turnover of “regular” viruses have graduated to attacking your computer’s defences directly: your anti-virus software. Many new viruses include programming that either hides itself specifically from several popular anti-virus programs, prevents them from downloading new virus definitions, or shuts them down entirely. Even when these new viruses are identified quickly, many computers will already be infected and the software on the machines will be unable to remove the virus. In cases where one virus shuts down the anti-virus software entirely, other viruses will often infect the machine and can render it inoperable in a matter of hours if not minutes. Still other nasty viruses employ tricks to avoid removal techniques, and will re-infect a machine after an anti-virus program or a user tries to delete them.
The fight against computer viruses is non-stop, but you can do something to help protect your system. Installing a good anti-virus program and allowing it to update frequently is just the first step, but beware of fake anti-virus programs you may find online (many of these are viruses themselves). The fake anti-virus programs normally go by the names: Antivirus 2010 Pro, Windows Pro Police, System Guard 2009, Personal Antivirus, Antispyware XP 2009, and many more. You can see a pattern in how they name themselves. Never download anything from a person or website you don’t trust, never open a suspicious email (you don’t always have to open the attachments to get infected), and don’t go to websites with a poor reputation. If you take these steps and your computer still gets infected, have a trained professional remove the virus for you instead of trying to remove it yourself. Modern viruses can be very difficult to isolate and remove, and it’s very easy to damage your system accidentally while trying to remove one.
If you’ve got a slow computer and think you’re infected, call Geek Choice today. Our techs have the tools needed for proper virus removal and have access to fast breaking news about new types of viruses and their removal. Geek Choice is a nationwide on-site computer service and repair company. If your computer has any of the following problems, we can help: Slow computer, Virus or Spyware, Computer startup problems, Printer not printing, Not connecting to the Internet, Scanner not working, or the “blue screen of death”. We also offer other technical support services, including: New pc setup, Data Backup or Recovery, Wireless network setup, Business Network Firewall setup, Upgrading memory, cpu, hard drives, video cards, and more. You can pick up the phone at any time and call us at 1-800-GEEK HELP (433-5435).