Is It A Virus Or Malware?

Many customers ask me if their computer is now protected against viruses after we remove an infection from their system. What I have come to realize that many people don't realize how their machines are getting infected. So I think the best way to answer the question is to explain the difference between malware and a virus. In my opinion, a virus is something that tries to get into your computer on its own.

Viruses are the hardest programs to write as they need to get through all the security systems, firewalls and of course, you’re antivirus. It is nearly impossible for that to happen today, in my opinion. However, malware is a program that a person installs onto their computer. Malware can be written by a junior programmer want-to-be. So why do so many people install malware onto their systems?

It is often by accident because they clicked on a button that claimed to say one thing, but actually does another. For example, if a popup came up on your screen while you were browsing the internet, this popup looks like your antivirus program just caught a virus. So let’s say you see a window that states AVG has just stopped a virus from infecting your machine, what would you like to do, Delete, Quarantine, Ignore or Close. Those are the 4 choices you have, so what do you do? Think about that and decide what you would do if your antivirus came up and claimed that is what happened.

Human Nature Does Us In

Because of human nature 99% of people opt to DELETE that sucker now, quick, before it can do more/any damage… and at the same time thinking “thank goodness my virus program saved the day”. However, what if it is a scam... by clicking anything, you have now installed Malware on your computer that takes over your system and holds it ransom via blackmail.

Each one of the selected choices can be a way of getting you to install their software. A 12 year old could write this box that pops up when you go on his/her website, which looks convincing to the typical consumer. Remember just because it says CANCEL on the box or you click the red X does not mean that it is really going to do what it states. A way to think about it is this, what if that cancel button is really the NEXT button to install malware which tries to steal information from your PC that they can sell or use to steal?

S0 What Do You Do Now ?

So, what do you do? Since you are really clicking the next button, the window would then put up another window stating this " are you sure you want to cancel" or " press OK now to rescan your system to ensure no more virus files exist" which is the second NEXT button.

Since you have installation rights as a user of the PC, you can install anything you like. I don't know of any software that can stop you from installing a program so buying software that claims to protect you is usually a waste of money.

The best way out of an unsure situation is very simple once you know about this scam. I would suggest, you click the start button and then restart the computer, or hit the power button (for not longer than 1 second) and let the computer shutdown normally... or end task the browser program and that popup window using the task manager.

Since clicking any box will result in you installing malware, the mouse is a double-edge sword in this case. Once you reboot your computer, then YOU click your antivirus program and run a full scan, to clean up any traces of that malware that attempted to trick you into installing it. I would never click on a box that claimed to be stopping a virus because the power button stops everything. (Do not hold the power button in to force the system off, that can lead to a corrupt file system just tap it or hit start / shutdown)

Stop! Further Damage

If you get caught in this trap, one of the worst things you can do is keep using your computer.

Since you installed the Malware it will use your credentials to infect the restore points, whatever antivirus you are using will become disabled or gutted, many programs won’t work. Every malware scanner that is currently loaded on that computer will be neutered and becomes completely useless. Any program that is installed that attempts to remove this malware will be disabled.

This software installed several hooks that prevent its removal and the more you try the harder it makes to get your system back up and running. If you get a Malware ( people will call it a virus ) then just turn the system off and bring it into the store, or call us so we can remove it remotely before the system is so corrupted that we have to re-install everything again.

With over 30 years of experience... we know what we are talking about.  Cut your risk and your losses by calling us today!  The call is FREE... you have nothing to loose by picking up the phone or dropping by the store.