This Virus Is No Joke
A Real Threat
For many years we have discussed viruses, the threats they present, and the lack of following through.
Last week, a laptop was brought in to our office – on this particular laptop, the virus did follow through on its threat.
Read below to see what the virus did, how to prevent it, as well as other recent viruses.
HOW DOES THE VIRUS GET INTO THE COMPUTER?
Many times a virus gets into one’s computer as a file which is downloaded on to the computer. The way it gets downloaded is via a link on a website, flash drive or more commonly via an email. The email looks legitimate, but when you click on the link within the email or website, you are accepting the download.
For those that don’t have Internet access, you can still get infected! .
Via CD’s or flash drives which are already infected and placed into your computer.
HOW DOES A VIRUS INFECT THE COMPUTER?
The way the virus infects the computer is that after it gets downloaded, it opens up. How does it open? Sometimes the file automatically “runs” after it is downloaded, sometimes the computer user selects the “run” option after it downloads. Once it opens up, the computer can get infected.
WHAT DOES A REGULAR VIRUS DO
ONCE IT SPREADS THROUGHOUT THE COMPUTER?
There are many types of viruses. Some will merely use up resources to slow down your computer (just plain annoying), while others can be scary with a white screen with the FBI logo threatening you and blocking access to your entire computer. More frightening, others may actively steal your information.
WHAT DOES THIS NEW VIRUS DO WHEN IT INFECTS THE COMPUTER?
While most viruses are merely annoying or scary, this new virus actually encrypts your data with a ransom amount to get it back!
It has a countdown, and once the time is up, it really encrypts your documents.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ONCE YOU SUSPECT AN INFECTION?
While some viruses allow you to still use your computer, others block all activities or limit access to your computer. Therefore, we recommend:
1. Disconnect your computer from the Internet ASAP.
2. Shut down the computer.
3. Get the computer cleaned by a trustworthy technician.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT AN INFECTION?
Unfortunately there is no 100% guarantee to prevent an infection to your computers.
The virus may disguise itself as “a good guy” and get past you and your anti-virus program.
That being said, it is imperative to have an active anti-virus program always running as well as to be wary of all emails and websites and be cautious of the links you select.
Another ounce of prevention is to hover the mouse over the link in question, and the real location of the address will populate on the bottom of the browser. If it looks suspicious, we recommend looking for an alternate way to get to desired location (such as by entering in the actual website in browser).
CAN YOU GET INFECTED OVER THE NETWORK?
Yes. There are viruses which spread over local networks. Therefore, it is imperative to take the infected computer off the network as soon as possible.
DO YOU CLEAN THE INFECTION OR WIPE THE COMPUTER?
Many times customers ask us, “Is it just easier to wipe the computer and start over?” While this may work, we generally recommend removing the virus and not to wipe the computer.
There are two main reasons for this:
(A) it generally is cheaper to remove a virus than to wipe the entire computer and re-install the Operating System, programs, data and general settings
(B) once the virus is removed, your data and settings are generally the way you like it.
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