Malware FAQs

How did this stuff get on my computer?

1. Free game and cheat downloads. The games and cheats that are downloaded to your computer may contain trojans which are bundled with the download. When you install the game or cheat, the payload is also delivered and installed.

2. Free music (and videos). Everybody wants this but if you give in to the temptation, the download for the music program will infect your computer with a trojan.

3. Pornography. The porn web site will try to infect you with a pop-up that says you may be infected with viruses and spyware. Click on it and the website will start to install its payload.

4. Random searches using a search engine such as Google. Google itself will not infect you, but clicking on a website of unknown origin just may. They're called poisoned websites and they're waiting for you to click on them so they can download their payload to your computer.

5. Email attachments. Malicious emails all have one thing in common: they all try to get you to click on a link or open an attachment. If you do, the payload is delivered to your computer.

How can I keep it off?

1. Download NO games or cheats. Don't download anything for free unless you know with 100% certainty that it is not infected.

2. Do not EVER download free music (or videos). Use iTunes or some other program that has a respected brand name in online music and you'll be safe.

3. NO PORN. PERIOD.

4. Stick to brand name websites. Anyone that has a brand name has a reputation to protect and will not try to install malicious software on your computer. If you must do an online search, realize that your risk of infection increases by clicking on unknown sites.

5. NEVER EVER open an email attachment or click on a link within an email.

Exception: You can safely open a document or picture from others if they created it themselves.

Example: You receive an Excel spreadsheet from your business partner that s/he created or a picture that grandma took of your son at his birthday party.

Use Task manager to kill a pop-up. If a pop-up appears telling you that you may be infected and inviting you to scan your computer, don't click anywhere in or on the pop-up! Instead, do a control-alt-delete and select applications (XP) or task manager (Vista, Windows 7). Then select the item for the pop-up and kill it (click end task) using the task manager. Then leave the web page immediately!