Top 5 virus protection measures to keep any computer safe

Chris Medina from Simple Computer Repair addresses common concerns 

Virus protection is usually a hot topic at Simple Computer Repair, but in the wake of the theft of Target customers’ information, those who value their Internet want to know exactly what they can do to keep their information and equipment safe.

Chris Medina, Simple Computer Repair’s general manager, equates pop-up ads to a stranger walking up to someone on the street claiming to be a bank representative ready to discuss their compromised account. In person, it’s laughable and unbelievable, but on a computer, suddenly things take on a different angle.

Below are five tips for reducing risk of obtaining computer viruses:

1. Read before you click. With pop-up windows inundating computer users daily, sometimes it’s difficult to tell which ones are legitimate and which ones are sketchy. A user’s best defense is to carefully read everything that pops up onto their screen. Adware and malware companies trying to trick a customer into downloading their product will make it difficult, but reading everything in the box will ensure a customer knows exactly what they are saying “yes” to.

2. Know your anti-virus software and what it does. Some adware and malware companies will use fake anti-virus pop-up windows, saying a computer has a virus when all they want to do is trick the user into installing one. Users can protect themselves by only answering questions in pop-up windows from their anti-virus software. If another anti-virus software window pops up, it can be safely closed by right-clicking the window in the task bar (at the bottom of the computer screen) and choosing “close window.” Allowing another anti-virus software to talk you into believing something is wrong is like a stranger walking up to you on the street and telling you the same thing. If you need to ask, “How would they know?” they probably don’t.

3. Free isn’t always free on the Internet. Even apps purchased from trusted providers such as Apple or Google Play can have ads that will trick customers into downloading software that can hurt their computer and put their safety at risk. On another level, watching a free movie online may “require” a specific program to run it. Once that program is installed, the company behind the installation has access to the computer to upload a virus, coupon downloader or adware. When asked to download  something in order to get what you want, always say “no” by closing out the window.

4. Understand your web browser. A web browser is a means to view information on the Internet; however, many times people think the browser determines how fast or safe a website can be to view. All web browsers (Chrome, for example) view the same information, the same Internet. Which web browser is used is all based on user preference. Web browsers don’t need add-ons to run any smoother. “If you had a website running slow, that page will run at the same speed on any other browser,” Medina said. “You don’t have to download anything extra.” If a pop-up window says any different, close out the window.

5. Learn how to properly close a web browser window. Companies seeking a computer user’s information or that want to install a virus are tricky. Sometimes, clicking the “X” doesn’t always close a window, but it can install the software a user is trying to avoid in the first place. There are two ways to safely close a browser window and ensure an unwanted virus or software isn’t installed. One way, as previously discussed, is to right-click on the window in the task bar and choose “close window.” The second way is to simultaneously hold down the buttons for “control,” “alt” and “delete” and click on the “task manager.” Once it pops up, click the “applications” tab and then choose the window you would like to close from the list provided and click “end task.”

Simple Computer Repair opened in 2008 and provides repair services for all makes and models of desktops and laptops, Apple iPhones, iPads and iPods; game consoles and flat screen TVs. There are two locations in the Las Vegas area, including the southwest location at 5130 S. Fort Apache Road, Ste. 263 and the Henderson location at 1000 N. Green Valley Parkway. There are also franchised locations in Arizona at 13050 W. Rancho Santa Fe #B-5 in Avondale, near Phoenix, and in Michigan at 50480 Schoenherr Rd. in Macomb, near Lake St. Clair.

For additional information on Simple Computer Repair, visit simplecomputerrepair.com.

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