When a client calls us with the complaint that a certain computer in their network is acting funny, we can pretty much guarantee that the user has downloaded something. By now we have encountered this situation often enough so that we know the symptoms. Resolving and removing Spyware and Malware can be time-consuming, but often we have a successful outcome and are able to get our clients back up and running.
My team here at Unified Techs warns our clients to be very careful of opening emails which are not from someone you know and giving up private information over the web. But we will always have one or two people who forget, and they end up creating a situation which can affect all of the computers on their network and can sometimes even infect the computers belonging to their clients.
Most recently we noticed an uptick in SPYWARE, in particular, we saw a rash of fake anti-virus programs. These are malicious programs which get installed on your PC and pretend to be legitimate programs trying to remove a virus for you; all you need to do is enter a credit card number to buy a subscription. Never enter your card info… at
First of all, PLEASE do not download any FREE programs which promise to optimize your PC performance, and protect your system. They are designed to do just the opposite. These programs are called Spyware, and while some are simply a nuisance, others will take over your computer and demand ransom money. They will bury malicious code in the dark corners of your system and it can be almost impossible to remove them.
Second, never enter your card info… at best you will be charged the subscription fee and a virus installed on your system. Which you will then have to call us to remove.
The absolute worst case is these hackers will go on a shopping spree with your credit card info.
If you are not certain who these Spyware companies are, here are some of the more common names:
– Win Antivirus Pro
– Antivirus Pro 2009
– Micro Antivirus
– Antispyware Pro XP
– AntiVirus 360
– AntiVirus Lab 2009
Unfortunately, these programs will not easily uninstall and require some advanced tools and registry editing to remove. DO NOT attempt to remove them yourself!
Unless you are very familiar with editing the guts of your Operating System (OS) you will likely cause more harm than good trying to remove them. Your best defense is continual awareness, not opening unknown applications or downloading from unsafe websites, especially ones that give away free music, movies, games, or other computer programs you would normally pay for.
Your IT Guys