Computer viruses can infect your machine in different ways. Clicking on a suspicious link or opening a confusing email attachment are just a few ways users can invite a virus onto their computer.

Viruses can have a detrimental effect on your system; they can misplace files, cause your screen to go black, or lock up your computer leaving it rendered useless.  New ransomware viruses BadBlock and DMA Locker 4.0 infect users through fraudulent emails. The viruses encrypt important data, disable back-up applications, demand fees to restore files, all while locking the user out of their computer. Also, there is no guarantee that you will regain access to your computer and documents after paying the ransom.

Remember: If you receive an email from an unknown or untrusted source, do not respond or answer the message. Instead, contact the sender without using email to make sure they intended to send the message.

To avoid these complications, it is important to take a preventative approach with anti-exploit software, spam filters, and content filtering, to detect and destroy viruses before they come in contact with important files on your computer. Even if you use all of these preventative measures there is still a chance that you could get malware. When you accidentally click on an unwanted email link or attachment, and it seems like nothing is working immediately begin the recovery process.

Some important tips to remember to minimize downtime after being infected after a virus are:

  • Isolate the infected machine from harming other computers on the network by manually disconnecting any network cables.
  • Remove the virus or dangerous code.
  • Restore your computer by installing any software or programs that may have been harmed by the virus (be sure to have registration codes and any other original information when reinstalling programs).
  • Practice frequent backups to an external device to ensure any important information is not permanently lost.

Virus protection should always be a primary concern for any user. Following safe practices, updating anti-virus software regularly, and backing up to an external device can help users experience little or no downtime when encountering a threat online. If you have any questions or concerns regarding virus prevention or data backup, please call Plummer Slade, Inc. at 412-261-5600.