How To Keep Your Computer Network Safe From Crippling Malware, Pop-ups, Viruses, Spyware, & Spam, While Avoiding Expensive Computer Repair Bills
If you are a business owner with a computer network connected to the Internet, then it is only a matter of time before you fall victim to a malicious (malware), or spyware program, virus, worm, or hacker. Every day we get customers calling our office who are experiencing computer problems due to these threats, and it is only getting worse.
What is even more frustrating is that many of these clients call back a few days or weeks later with the EXACT same problems and end up having to spend ANOTHER hefty fee for restoring their computer network back to normal.
Unless you learn how to secure your network from cyber criminals and beat them at their own game, you will constantly fall victim to their pranks and criminal intent and end up spending hundreds – possibly even thousands – of dollars to get your computer network running normal again.
Just recently we have seen a sharp increase in the number of businesses falling victim to these attacks and that is why we decided to write this Business Advisory Guide. We wanted to arm our clients and the general public with the facts so they could avoid problems and expensive repair bills.
The information in this Guide will not only educate you as to WHY you are experiencing these problems, but also what you *must* do now to guard against the unethical actions of these malicious individuals.
Three Most Common and Dangerous Threats You Must Be Aware Of
One of the most dangerous aspects of online threats are their ability to cloak their existence. Hackers and the authors of malicious spyware and malware programs go to great lengths to create programs that are difficult to identify and remove. They are also highly experienced at finding tiny, overlooked loopholes in your security to access and infect your network undetected.
That means a malicious program can be downloaded and doing its dirty work on your network long before you are aware of it. Below are the three most common threats you’ll need to guard against with a brief explanation of what they are:
Spyware: Spyware is Internet jargon for hidden programs advertisers install on your PC without your permission to spy on you, gather information, and report this information about you and your online activities to some outside person.
Spyware is NOT harmless; it can be responsible for delivering a boatload of spam, altering your web browser, slowing down your PC, and serving up a bounty of pop-up ads. In some of the more extreme cases, spyware can also steal your identity, passwords, e-mail address book, and even use your PC for illegal activities.
Most spyware finds its way onto your computer network via file downloads including free programs, music files, and screen savers. While you *think* you are only downloading a legitimate program to add emoticons to your e-mails, you are unknowingly also downloading a heaping spoonful of spyware programs. All it takes is one employee downloading a questionable file to infect your entire network.
Spyware piggybacks the download and runs undetected in the background collecting information about you and sending it back to its originator until it is removed. Although spyware has malicious components, it is not illegal, and it is not considered a virus because it doesn’t replicate itself or destroy data.
Malware: Malware is short for malicious software and represents all programs, viruses, Trojans, and worms that have malicious intent to damage or disrupt a system. Malware is harder to remove and will fight back when you try to clean it from your system. In some extreme cases, we have had to completely wipe out all of the information on the computer’s hard disk and start with a complete re-install of the operating system.
Among other things, a malware infection can corrupt your files, alter or delete data, distribute confidential information such as bank accounts, credit card numbers, and other personal data; it can also disable hardware, prevent you from using your computer, and cause an entire network to crash. Malware is designed to replicate itself from one computer to the next either through a network connection or via your e-mail account without your knowledge or consent.
Hackers: Hackers are computer programmers turned evil. They are the people who design the spyware and malware programs that attack your computer.
Some of them have criminal intent and use these programs to steal money from individuals and companies. Some have a grudge against the big software vendors (like Microsoft) and seek to harm them by attacking their customers (you). Others do it purely for fun. Whatever the reason, hackers are getting more intelligent and sophisticated in their ability to access computer systems and networks.
Surefire Signs That You Are Infected With Spyware, Malware, and Viruses
Since most malicious programs are designed to hide themselves, detecting their existence not always easy. However, there are a few surefire signs that you have been infected:
- You start getting swamped with pop-up ads that seem to come from nowhere and constantly interrupt your use of the computer.
- Your computer is unstable, sluggish, locks up, or crashes frequently.
- Your web browser’s home page changes on its own and you cannot modify the settings. You may also see toolbars on your web browser that you did not set up.
- You get a second or third web browser popping up behind your main browser that you didn’t open or request.
- Mysterious files suddenly start appearing.
- Your CD drawer starts opening and closing by itself.
- You get constant runtime errors in MS Outlook/Outlook Express.
- You find emails in your “Sent Items” folder that you didn’t send.
- Some of your files are moved or deleted or the icons on your desktop or toolbars are blank or missing.
If you are experiencing one or more of the above when using your computer, you are infected and should seek help from a senior computer technician. Before I talk about getting rid of it, let me share with you 4 costly misconceptions about spyware, malware, hackers, and other threats that you will also need to know…
The Four Most Costly Misconceptions About Spyware, Malware, And Other Computer Threats
#1: Spyware and Malware is easy to remove.
Some spyware and malware CAN be easily removed using a program such as Malwarebytes.
However, not all malicious programs can be removed – or even detected – using the above software. Many programs integrate so deeply into the operating system that it takes a skilled technician several hours to fully diagnose and remove the malicious program. In some extreme cases, we have had no alternative, but to wipe the hard disk clean by deleting all of the files on it and re-installing the operating system…
Don’t Be A Victim To Online Crime!
Fill out the form here to receive a copy of the Business Advisory Guide To Spyware and Viruses:
How To Keep Your Computer Network Safe From Crippling Pop-ups, Viruses, Spyware, & Spam, While Avoiding Expensive Computer Repair Bills
In this guide, you will discover:
- Computer scams, threats, and rip-offs that you MUST be aware of.
- Surefire signs that you are infected with spyware, malware, and viruses.
- Sneaky, underhanded ways cyber criminals access your computer, and how you can stop them dead in their tracks.
- The absolute worst type of program to install for your network’s health; if you or your employees go to these sites and indulge in these seemingly innocent activities and you’re practically guaranteed to get infected with vicious spyware and destructive viruses.
- The single biggest cause of expensive computer repairs – and how to avoid it.
- 6 Simple steps to keep your computer safe from pop-ups, viruses, spyware, malware, and expensive computer repair bills.