I very often get asked about Virus’ by my clients. In our opinion, there are three different types of computer virus, below is a breakdown of how we would describe them:
- Silent Viruses
These are potentially the worst of the three, as a ‘silent virus’ does not alert the computer user of it’s presence. These type of virus’ can serve to provide and number of purposes (for the attacker) and can have the highest security/ identity risks associated with them. They can log your keystrokes to obtain valuable information (bank details, passwords etc.), monitor and use your internet connection for profitable purposes, or allow the attacker anonymity and power upon on the internet (click here read about ‘botnets’ on wikipedia) to perform a variety of nasty tasks that can again profit the attacker directly be it financially or by some other form of personal gain. To us, these are most concerning and high risk virus’ for home users as they can potentially cost the user alot more than the cost of repair, be it through fraud/ extortion or security implications.
- Extortion/ Scam Viruses
The most commonly seen virus amongst computer repair companies (well at least to us) are these kind of ‘scam’ viruses. They can prompt the computer user into entering credit card information to ‘pay’ to remove this virus. They often try to pass themselves off as Genuine Antivirus Software, in an attempt to trick the user into believing that if they enter their billing information and pay the amount the software is asking for remove the virus. This is never the case, and very often can end up transferring a much larger amount from your bank account, and then go on to repeatedly distribute your card details, costing a fortune. ‘VISA’ cover fraudulent online card transactions for upto £2000, but this can still be a very stressful and painful process of recovering your money.
- Malicious VirusesJust plain nasty virus that stop you doing what you want to. They don’t stand to provide the attacker with any personal or financial gain, they just drive people crazy (computers are awkward enough at the best of times). These kinds of viruses spread quickly amongst other users on your network and also people in your contact lists. They are a real pain in the backside.
The most commonly asked question is about prevention, ‘How do I stop my computer getting a virus’. The answer is simple, a good reputable Anti-Virus subscription (yes, paying for AntiVirus is essential today) and a firewall. If you don’t know what a Firewall is, don’t panic, most antivirus software these days come with an integrated firewall, and even if they dont Windows Vista/ 7 has one built in that is pretty decent.
Free subscription antivirus software is not recommended to the average/ novice computer user. Our reasons for this are as follows:
Free Antivirus software very regularly asks you to try a ‘Free Trial’ version of their paid for service by showing ‘pop up’ windows. Very often, people accidentally choose to try this ‘Free Trial’ version accidentally by clicking the wrong button, not realising, or just simply by going for it. Now the problem here, is that after your ‘Free Trial’ has expired (usually after 30 days) you are then asked to pay for the full version. If you choose not to, then you are left with NO ANTIVIRUS PROTECTION. We regularly have people tell us they ‘had’ Antivirus protection, and then it turns out that either their license had expired, or they have tried a ‘Free Trial’ and never reinstalled the free version. This is one of the main reasons why we do not recommend ‘Free Antivirus’ protection for our clients, there are other reasons but they are not particularly interesting and very opinionated, I recommend you read this article by PCWorld (not the UK company but a trusted American resource) about Free vs Paid antivirus and the advantages/ disadvantages for greater detail.
Penarth Computers offer a cheap and fast virus removal service around the Cardiff, Penarth and surrounding local areas. Over 80% of our customers paid £25.00 (1 hour) for virus removal, the other 20% paid £50.00 (2 hours). We can guarantee to remove your virus for a maximum cost of £50.00 and get the job done within 48 hours.
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