Twice in the past couple of weeks I’ve had people come up to me with strange pop-ups on their computers. When I ask if their antivirus programs were up-to-date, their response was, “I don’t know if I have an antivirus program.” Sure enough, when looking at their computers, there was nothing installed.
The belief of some is that the computer came with an antivirus program, so it must be there. Reasonable enough. What’s not is that the program that came preinstalled on the computer is usually only valid for 60 to 90 days and then it stops updating. At that point, you either need to pay the vendor to continue with the updates, or you need to install a different antivirus program.
What I recommend, after a user gets these strange pop-ups, is to go to malwarebytes.org, download their anti-malware program, run it to clean your system. Then, go to an online antivirus scanner, such as Panda Software’s Free Online Scan or Trend Micro’s HouseCall. One other tool to run at the Trend Micro site is RUBotted to see if your computer has been hacked and is now a Bot. After that, install one of the free antivirus programs above and make sure it is set to automatically update.
Even with all that, there’s no guarantee you won’t be infected when a virus comes out, but it’s a whole lot better than having no protection at all.
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