How to protect your PC from Malware and Viruses

Malware and Viruses are widespread across the internet; whether infection occurs via websites or email phishing scams or from downloaded programmes with trojans stealing away behind the scenes. They can track your information, record keystrokes and input data, collect personal information and send it all back to their source to be compiled and used against you. Their methods are only becoming more intricate and pervasive.

There’s also the age-old con of being informed of a computer scam on the telephone. The target individual receives a call from someone claiming to work for a ‘leading software firm’. They tell you that your computer is sending error messages across the web, and they have discovered a potential virus in your system. All you need do to remove this virus is to pay them a fee, and they will remotely fix it for you by installing some software.

Another similar scam is a small programme hiding within a package which seemed to be a legitimate download. This hidden file then installs itself onto the host machine, records data and then shows a fake copy of your desktop but adds a dialogue box showing ‘Warning, Virus detected, please call this number for repairs’ or something similar. Of course, upon calling the number you will be asked to provide payment details for virus removal.

This is called a ransomware attack, the kind that can escalate from a simple fake desktop facade, up to complete encryption of all data with only the virus code-writer able to decrypt the data. The worst kind usually targets specific businesses and high-value prey.

Not Clicking on Links Within Email

A rule of thumb is if you aren’t familiar with the sender of an email, don’t click on any links within it. Especially if it appears to be from a bank, PayPal or some such business that you may or may not have even used. Check and check and check again that it is legitimate, and do not click on any links or attachments. Microsoft states 44.8% of Windows virus infections occur because the computer user clicked something.

Windows Security Essentials

Whilst paid-for antivirus software is highly recommended by us, for more than just antivirus but for the whole suite of useful security and maintenance programmes that come bundled with our McAfee packages, it is true that Windows 10 hosts Windows Security Essentials and is free. Windows security will cover the bases and keep you safe 9 times out of 10.

The packages we offer however will protect all your devices, not just Windows, and also have tracker removal, system cleanup operations and PC performance assistance. They keep your information private and can, if you like, keep your passwords secure within a private and protected file or even allow you to browse with complete safety with VPN software.

Paid for antivirus applications have become much more of a package of useful programmes, to keep their viability, since Windows Security Essentials became more useful.

Use A Firewall

Simply because you have antivirus software running does not mean that you have a firewall. Both Windows and macOS have a built-in firewall, so be sure to enable it.

Even the most vigilant of computer users run the risk of picking up malware. You should suspect a computer virus in case your system slows down, crashes, or repeats error messages. Other hints include the pc failing to shut down or restart promptly, new toolbars you didn’t set up, a changing home page, or a notebook battery draining faster than it needs to.

If you feel that your computer is infected, make sure that your security software is up to date and there is no installation unknown to you.  If all else fails, call us immediately at MH Tech Centre and we will be able to find and remove the virus or malware.

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