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Your Computer Is Infected


 

Your Computer Is Infected - A Frightening Message

If you've recently seen a pop-up alert from your computer suggesting "Your Computer Is Infected," you may be a little scared. After all, most of our modern worlds depend on our PCs, and an alert message saying that they are infected can be rather scary. What are you to do? First, be sure to sort out the real messages from those that just purport to know what they are talking about.

The Good, the Bad, and The Wrong

There are computer users everyday seeing a warning balloon that says something akin to "Your Computer Is Infected." The real question, though, is whether or not it truly is. Unfortunately, there are a number of rogue antispyware / antivirus programs out there that suggest your machine has an infection when it truly doesn't. They are a form of adware that use deceptive tactics to goad users into buying a product. You might notice some of these tactics when you're dealing with a fake warning notification.

  • Your computer's background has suddenly changed to a blue screen with a warning. It probably reads something like "Warning: Your Computer is Infected With Spyware. Click Here to Solve The Problem."
  • You get notification balloons that look just like Windows system balloons coming from your system tray. Invariably, they tell you that you have a spyware or virus problem, and the only way to fix it is to click on the balloon itself.
  • A program that may or may not look like an advertisement popups during the course of your normal computing experience. You may or may not be online when the popup occurs. At any rate, the program looks to be scanning your computer. When it finishes, it will report hundreds of threats, and in some cases, it may report a serious virus threat you just heard about on the news a few months ago. Unfortunately, the scan will tell you, these threats cannot be removed until you purchase the full version of the program.

If you do have an actual spyware or virus threat, the only program that will warn you about it is an installed, trusted antivirus or antispyware program, and unless you have one that runs all of the time in the background, the only way you'll know about this threat is when you physically scan the machine or you've set it up for periodical scanning.

To Click or Not To Click . . .

So, you've gotten the message "Your computer is infected. Click here to fix the problem." Should you click? Absolutely not. Clicking on the advertisement or the notification balloon might take you to an unsecured internet location. Not only will you be subjected to more scare tactics about your computer's infection, you may also be subjected to the downloading of even more malicious programs, with or without your permission - usually without. As a result, if you can avoid the temptation of clicking on the messages your new adware friend is sending you, it's a really good idea.

How Will I Know?

Understanding whether or not the "Your Computer Is Infected" message is real is fairly simple. The tactics are basic ones. But if you get a message like that, is your computer infected anyway? The simple answer is yes - though it's probably not as infected as you might think it is. In most cases, you've got a bit of an adware infection, and that's far less difficult to deal with than other kinds of computer problems, but it is also far more annoying. Here are some other symptoms of an adware infection

  • Your computer responds slower than you think it should.
    • This happens because adware, when installed on your machine, takes up an immense amount of space and comes with some serious program baggage. Most of it tells your computer to run the program as soon as it gets started, so the adware problem is always with you, slowly eating up your computer's virtual memory. As a result, when you need that virtual memory to run one of the programs you want - whether it's typing an e-mail to your parents or working with a spreadsheet from the office - it's not there for you. That means everything runs slowly, and it seems to take forever to do anything on your computer.
  • Your internet browser always has both popup and popunder advertisements with every page you view.
    • This happens because adware wants to sell you something. Whether it's worthless antispyware products or other merchandise, adware is simply an aggressive marketing tactic. Moreover, no matter what kind of adware is installed on your machine, it has the ability to track what you're looking at. Some programs transmit that information to a third party, and they send you more ads that you might be interested in. The popups are simply the best way to get your attention right away.
  • You begin to notice new toolbars on your computer.
    • These toolbars are part of an adware program. While they may look helpful, the search portion of the toolbar will only direct you to a marketing company's affiliate list, so avoiding them is a really good idea. Moreover, they tend to be filled with buttons that will only further direct you to an affiliate's site, so they're really quite useless.
  • Your internet browser changes. You have a new start page, a new redirect page, and new links in your bookmarks folder.
    • This happens because some adware programs have the ability to physically hijack your computer and change your settings. Most of the changes you see either relate directly to the program or to its affiliate programs.

 

What Do I Do?

If you do start to get "Your Computer Is Infected" messages, the best thing to do is find an antispyware/antivirus program that you can rely on. Enigma's SpyHunter and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Malwarebytes has free malware removal) are two great choices for removing this type of problem, but there are many of them out there. Read some reviews and forum postings to see which one might be right for you. Update your definition files regularly, and be sure to schedule weekly scans of your computer. The messages will stop right away, and you'll be able to use your machine safely and effectively.

We are affiliated with some of the legitimate programs recommended on this website. Should you choose to use the programs recommended here, we may receive a fee that will help support the site.

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