Virus Spyware & Removal
To keep your computer running as smoothly as possible, make sure you have a good antivirus program installed—it’s one of the most important things you can do for your machine. It should be purchased when you first set up your system. Don’t blindly rely on the free trials that might come with your computer, but look to major brands and decide what security requirements you desire.
A word about free antivirus programs: you get what you pay for. At LeMaster, we believe a free program is worth exactly what it costs you.
Spyware is not exactly the same as a virus, but can be just as destructive, annoying and frustrating. Not all antivirus programs address spyware problems, so be sure to have your computer system tested for both viruses and spyware. Then we can effectively remove them and put software in place to help keep your computer clean in the future.
Viruses and spyware are not the same; very often a single solution will not address both issues. Don’t be surprised if a multi-faceted approach is required to repair a severely infected system. Some forms of malware work by finding opportunities to propagate once they’ve attacked your system. If left unchecked, a single infection can spread to other computers through your network or email—many times without your knowledge. Then, some malware will download and install more malicious software and your system gets slower and slower, more unstable and more severely infected. The sooner you call for help, the better off you will be. Don’t wait until your computer shuts down completely.
That $60 or $70 you spend on Anti-virus software is the best investment you can make in keeping your computer (and your productivity) up to speed.
Sometimes a client will ask, “How do I avoid getting a virus?” or “How can I get a virus when I have the anti-virus software installed?” The answer is simple: the best defense against infection is the user—you.
Virus developers are smart. They know that they can manufacture a virus that looks harmless to you and important to your system, such as an upgrade to FlashPlayer or Java. Once you as the user click on the pop-up to install the supposed upgrade, you have bypassed your antivirus and allowed that malware free access to your system. The safest tactic is not to click on the update, but to navigate to the webpage of the provider (Adobe.com or Java.com, for example) and find updates there.
Remember that viruses and malware can spread via email. For that reason, do not open attachments from senders you don’t know or are not expecting. Be especially cautious of files that end in “.zip” or other extensions that you don’t recognize.
New viruses are being created all the time. There is often a lag time between when a new virus hits the Internet and when the anti-virus companies become aware of it and take action to neutralize it. For that reason, make sure your anti-virus program is up to date and that you are cautious about opening attachments or downloading material from the Web.
If your computer system just “doesn’t feel right,” but you can’t actually pin down what’s wrong, you still should have your computer checked out. For home users, we recommend an annual checkup where at least once a year your system is reviewed for obsolete software, games or applications you no longer use. At the same time, we can find any viruses or spyware lurking on your system and get those cleaned up as well. We will also optimize your start-up applications and defrag your hard drive.
If you haven’t had someone look at your system in a while, now is a good time to think about having that check-up we talked about. It’s relatively painless, doesn’t take much time, and can give you immense peace of mind. Call us today!