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Is This A Virus?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I’ve worked in the computer world for several years. Whether it has been with a company or on my own; I’ve come across a large number of infections that can render a computer useless. Recently, the creators of these viruses have become more clever in disguising their viruses to the user; particularly, in the naming scheme. Names like Anti-Virus 2011 or Windows Anti-Virus 2012 can trick people into thinking they’re real programs, when in fact, they are viruses themselves.

An Example of a virus appearing to be Anti-Virus

Viruses like this can appear out of nowhere and sometimes install without warning. Once installed, the program will find several ‘viruses’ and prompt the user to pay a certain amount of money to have the program remove the ‘viruses.’ In reality, the program doing the virus removal is actually a virus in itself.

When this happens, it’s best to have a good, authentic, business class anti-virus program and removal tool to help identify and remove these pesky programs. There are two pieces of software I can suggest. Microsoft Security Essentials is a great free anti-virus tool that runs in the background on your computer and protects from intruders while you work. In the case the computer is already infected, another great tool is Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes does a good job of removing what may already be on the computer.

However, this isn’t the solution every time. Sometimes, a virus is trickier than a program can remove, and professional assistance from an experienced individual or company like IT Resource is required. We've seen our share of viruses doing damage. What kinds of viruses or infections have you crossed paths with?

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