John Savage

Tech News, Tips & How-to's 6th November 2014 1754

Beware Trojans Bearing Malware!

With Christmas coming up and computer products high on the list of presents, it is perhaps worth remembering some of the problems now associated with the digital age. John Savage from PC Pal gives us the low down . . .

Computer viruses and scams

There are many different varieties of computer malware (the “mal” stands for malicious), too many to list here, I’ll just deal with the two main types I’m seeing at present and a popular phone scam.

Trojans

These are programmes that have installed themselves on your computer and quietly run in the background harvesting passwords, credit card details bank details and sending the details back to the owner. They are designed to be symptom free so you don’t even know they’re there. They are mainly acquired from websites (even innocent websites can become infected) and you don’t even have to click on anything just looking is enough.

Fake Antivirus often referred to as Scareware

You’ll know if you’re infected with this as a popup will tell you your machine is infected and the only way to remove it is to buy their software Of course if you do they will now possess your credit card details and it won’t remove the infection. It’s a no win situation, the infection will make your computer unusable and will continue until it’s removed, which is not always easy even for an experienced user.

Don’t open email attachments you’re not sure about, and if you get a popup saying your computer is infected don’t click on anything just shut down the browser.

For more information about keeping safe online go to www.getsafeonline.org

 Phone Scam

I’m hearing a lot about a scam where the caller says he’s from Windows Support or Microsoft and your computer is running slowly or is infected. He asks you to turn on your pc, go to a website and download software so he can remotely control your pc. Of course you have to pay for this, it doesn’t fix anything, there may now be Trojans on your pc and you could become a victim of identity theft.

I have had several calls myself from these people and they can use quite aggressive tactics to get you to comply.

Anyone calling up out of the blue and asking to connect to your PC should be refused. Never give up sensitive personal information to someone who has cold called you.

Passwords should always be kept secret.

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