When is an anti-virus not an anti-virus?

This is the question.  If something labels itself an anti-virus, is it?  What do you do when you are on the internet and a window pops up telling you that you have many viruses?  Here is what you need to know.  I have previously described the effect of viruses and spyware.  If you are not experiencing those problems, you probably do not have any viruses.

If that pop-up tells you that you have many viruses, it is lying.  The purpose of that lie is to get you to spend money and purchase a useless program in order to remove those viruses or spyware.  These programs may have names like Antispyware 2009, Antivirus 2009, Personal Antivirus, and the like.  But whatever name is used, programs of this type are known as fraudulent or rogue programs as opposed to legitimate programs which you can trust.

How do you know if you have one of them?  Warnings of infections and an antivirus or antispyware program which cannot be removed normally.  They are not easy to remove and your best chance is to disconnect that computer from the internet and call us.

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Viruses—What do they actually do?

Here are what they may do.

  1. Block access to legitimate websites or your homepage.  If you find that you cannot access Microsoft.com, Redcross.org, or your homepage and other valid websites, you may have a virus.
  2. Delete Windows files.  This means that Windows will not work properly and it may mean that even if we remove the virus, Windows will not work properly and may need to be reinstalled.
  3. Steal your identity.  A virus may install a keylogger that tracks what you type and can therefore steal information like your name, address, your user name and passwords for websites, your email address, and any other information you may type.
  4. Download and install spyware and viruses.  Think 1 virus is bad?  What if that virus installs 20 more? 

Of course, you can prevent all this by having a good security system on your computer.  We recommend Norton 360.

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How to contact us.

I do not check my office number frequently, so please do not use it.  Messages on it occasionally get lost.  The very best way to contact me is to call my cell 329-6671 or email me.  If you want to contact Jeff, you can email him or call him at 787-0184.  If you want to contact Suzanne, you can call her at 657-0552 or email her.  And of course you can always go to the website and contact us from there.  At times, when I am unavailable, Jeff will answer my phone or when Jeff is unavailable, and I will answer his phone.  However, you should always be able to reach one of us during normal business hours.  And we will return your call as soon as we can.

So make note of these numbers and use them!

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