Computer Virus – How did I get infected?

Vail Colorado Computer Repair - Computer Virus Infection and removalComputer Virus Infection

Of the various computer viruses we are called in to remove the majority of the time the person has no idea how or when the virus was installed on their computer (a.k.a, when it was infected).  They only notice a problem when their computer has a ‘pop-up’ screen (a common description) and they are not able to do what they wanted to do.

Most of the time, a Windows computer can become infected when:

  • The computer is running with ‘administrative’ level users (Windows computers operate this way and makes them vulnerable by default in most cases — an Apple computer does not operate this way)
  • Virus protection software is not installed OR there is software present and the coverage has expired
  • There was virus protection installed but the user clicked on a strange screen that was presented — triggering the installation
  • An email was opened with a link that convinced the user it was legitimate — triggering the installation

The computer virus infection rate fluctuates and we have not been seeing as many since Comcast started providing free coverage to their clients.  Oddly, many clients still don’t install the virus protection software since it ‘slows down’ their computer.

Ordinarily, browsing web sites and/or opening attachments in email are the primary ways people have their computers become infected.  Many users notice odd behaviour on their computer and avoid a potential virus.  Others are not so aware and are, perhaps, working so fast that they click on things they shouldn’t — thus triggering the installation of the virus.

The way to ‘insulate’ a Windows computer is by removing the administrative access for any user (when possible — some software requires administrative access thus opening you to a problem).

What else can you do?

  • To support your ongoing computer happiness, educate your employees and anyone using your computer(s) — tell everyone the impact of a virus and the cost of having it repaired — some times removal of a virus requires reloading all of the software on your computer.  If ever in doubt about a weird screen that is seen, shutdown and restart your computer to avoid clicking on a screen that should be avoided (sometimes just clicking on the window, the ‘x’ on the window or anywhere inside the window can infect your computer).
  • Ensure your virus protection is active and up-to-date AND that routine virus scans are running.  Find out what you are using and open the software.  Gain familiarity with the software and ensure it is active, up-to-date and view the results of your recent computer scans.
  • Monitor system usage to ensure people are installing software and other things that should not be there.

We are happy to help with your computer virus infection or guide you out of the situation.