What Is Malware Doing On My PC?
Over and over I get asked “how did malware get on my computer?” There used to be a stigma that all malware came from adult content websites. If you had malware on your computer, chances were pretty good that you were looking at adult content. This would always generate the awkward conversation during my fixing of said malware. ”I swear I wasn’t doing anything!”, they would protest. The truth of the matter is that most malware (viruses, spyware, adware, etc) doesn’t come from adult websites anymore.
Almost 40 percent of infections will start from a search engine, with image searches taking the #1 spot for “malware mines”. Meaning you click on the image you were looking for and it redirects you to a site that infects your computer. ”Image searches are the most dangerous activity users can engage in on the web.”
Another search that can get you into serious trouble is for pirated software, music, movies, etc. That version of Microsoft Office may be free, but it will cost your computer dearly to get it installed. Don’t ever expect to get something for nothing. Please pay for the software and media you consume, and you won’t have to worry about it coming from a malicious website.
Best rules to follow when conducting searches online?
- Don’t believe for a second a WEBSITE or popup that is telling you your computer is infected with a virus. Even if it is, that pop up sure isn’t going to help you get rid of it, likely it will end up giving you more!
- Another notification that can confuse people is if a website is telling you the flash or browser needs to be updated. If you think the website is right, go straight to Adobe’s webpage to update, or the browser’s tool bar to perform the updates. Do NOT let the webpage you are on do the “update” for you.
- Speaking of updates, make sure you are always up to date on your Operating System (Windows Updates) Browser (Windows update will update Internet Explorer, but you may need to visit the Chrome or Firefox websites to check for updates on those), your Flash plugin, and PDF Reader (both available at adobe.com), Java (available from java.com). By staying current on all updates, you will ensure that any security flaws that have been discovered are taken care of on your system. Most malware creators go under the assumption the majority of people will not be current on their updates.
- Don’t search for Adult Content or Cracked/Pirated software & media. A high percentage of these are malware lures.
- Keep your AntiVirus software up to date.
- Run a good Web-malware filter like ChicaPC-Shield™