Malware (Anti-Virus)

The first rule is don’t believe anything that pops up on your screen. The FBI is not trying to contact you, the Windows Department isn’t keep tabs on your computer’s health. Don’t call the number you see. Often times this is an ad designed to scare you.

How to clean up your system

First, run a virus scan

  • If you don’t have anti-virus software, install one.
  • If your subscription has run out, either pay for another year, or use one of the many great free ones.
  • If you think your antivirus program is not working or is too expensive, download and install a new one.
  • I recommend Panda Free Antivirus.Panda Free Anti-Virus is top rated for protection, and takes care of everything automatically and silently. It doesn’t scare users. It doesn’t require users to do anything. It does even say it’s updating. Great for most people. (But it has a popup ad you see almost daily. Not sure if other ones do that.)
  • Research and download your own, if you want.
    • I trust Gizmo’s Freeware list of best free anti-virus software.
    • I like to check AV-Test ratings¬†to see how much protection they offer.
    • There are also good lists at Slant for best free antivirus protection and as well as paid antivirus.
    • Note on 360 Total SecurityI have installed 360 Total Security and have not had any problems with it. But there is a lot of controversy and paranoia surrounding it.

      Basically, people don’t trust it.

      First, it’s from it’s Chinese company. Some Chinese company companies, like anywhere else, have down some shady or bad things. While it’s unfair to malign most of them, it’s true that we don’t often know enough of their history to determine if they are worthy of trust.

      This company has an unclear business strategy. That does not help.

      It’s virus scan was top rated, but had its top rating removed because the package it sent for testing was different than the package it makes available for downloads. The difference was the one for testing had all settings turned on, whereas the default settings are to have a more balanced for performance on low end computers (as most Chinese have).

  • Once it is installed, you can run a scan.

Then, do a adware check

Download Malwarebytes anti-malware program and run that. Between the two they should get rid of most.

Get an ad block

Finally, install an ad blocker on her computer. Adblock Plus works well.

In general, I don’t like using ad blockers. Because I want to the website I deem worthy of my time to get money for providing the content I find so worthy. Multiple problems with this. Some ads are intrusive or annoying. So that sucks. And automated ad networks let malicious providers put up ads that look like normal ads, but have exploit code, viruses, or something in them. So ads are a risk.

Ad Block Plus allows some ad networks to have ads that will show up. But you can turn it off. You can also whitelist particular websites.

This may stop those popup ads saying your computer is infected.