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While everybody who uses the Internet should have good anti-virus protection, all too often this is simply not enough.  When using the Internet everyone should be practicing safe browsing habits as well.  When it comes to the Internet there is no such thing as 100% protection, your computer is a tool and it is only as good, and protected as you know how to use it.  Even the best anti-virus cannot protect a user who, unintentionally, installs an infection on their computer themselves.  Here are a list of some of the more common things to keep in mind when using the Internet to prevent yourself from getting an infection.

 

  1. Never ever open an attachment, or click a link in an e-mail from somebody you don’t know.  While this is the most obvious there is a bit more to it.  Sometimes a contact, or friend of yours may have had their e-mail account compromised and a hacker may be using their account to send out SPAM, if you’re not expecting an e-mail with attachment from a contact be wary of downloading them.  Especially if they are blank e-mails with only a link or attachment.  Also be wary of any attachments that end with a .exe, .bad, or a .com unless you POSITIVLY know the file is safe.
  2. Just like somebody can have their e-mail compromised and have their e-mail account sending out spam without their knowledge, the same can be done on Instant Messaging programs.  Often the spam sent out from a hacked Instant Message account will simply send out a web link without any description.  Clicking that link will often take you to an infected web site.  If you’re just not sure but concerned it may be a legitimate message, consider reaching out to that individual via other communication means, and if it’s not legitimate make sure to let them know to change their account password!
  3. Adult sites.  Web sites with adult content are THE most common source of infections.  While not all of them, ALWAYS be wary of every click on an adult site.
  4. In the same regards to adult web sites.  The same is true for ‘Peer-2-Peer’ and torrent sites.  ALWAYS watch what you are clicking, as even more than adult sites these sites are FULL of links and ads with infections.
  5. Pop-Ups.  Next to your common adult site method these are easily the next most popular.  Typically the shadiest of them come in one of two forms.  A.  A pop-up that actually tells you your computer is infected, when, in actuality, clicking on the pop-up will infect your system.  Remember, the only thing that should be notifying you of an infection is your anti-virus.  Make sure you’re AT LEAST familiar with the name of the anti-virus you are using so you can easily identify if it really is YOUR anti-virus telling you this.  B.  A pop-up that is disguised to look like a Windows, or another programs error or update message.  One nice trick to tell if what you are seeing is an actual prompt or a web-page fake is the options you’ll have if you RIGHT-CLICK on the message.  If you have an option ‘Add to favorites’ that means it is definitely a web-site.
  6. Installing new software.  A new practice by many software providers that offer their software for free is to bundle their software or update with additional free software that you most likely do not want.  Whenever installing a new program or update make sure you read what the software is wanting to do.  Keep your eye out for an option to ‘uncheck’ or ‘decline’ additional software such as toolbars, attempts to install additional helpful software, or software’s desire to change your Internet home page.

 

However, if you DO happen to find yourself infected, have no fear, we here at Frankenstein Computers are quite proficient at virus removals.  We have found ourselves to be one of the few locations for virus repairs in Austin that offers the ability to fully remove infections from systems without having to wipe the system clean of all your data.  If you do find yourself requiring virus removal in Austin please be aware that many IT Services in Austin will want to erase your hard drive and load a fresh copy of Windows, in which you will lose your data.  For computer repair in Austin there really is no better place to have your computer taken care of with a personal, caring, computer repair experience.