All computer owners know that it isn’t enough to protect their desktops, PCs, tablets, and even cell phones from last year’s viruses. In order to ensure that your machine, data, and login information stay safe, it’s important to keep them protected from potential new computer viruses that emerge on a frequent basis.
Typically, the best way to protect your devices is to rely upon quality antivirus protection software and keep it updated every single time the software developer releases an update. You might also take the proactive step of making sure your computer is always backed up, just in case your virus protection strategy fails.
“Ransomware” is one of the latest types of computer virus threats to make the rounds over the Internet. Even though this virus has been detected all over the world, it is also serious enough in the United States to have the FBI release a warning about it. Ransomware got its name because these latest computer viruses will actually take control of a computer and demand that the computer owner pay a ransom to get control back.
These are two examples of ransomware computer viruses that the FBI recently got control of:
- Gameover Zeus
However, the FBI warns that their actions did not put an end to all viruses of this type. Criminals will quickly modify their scripts to evade remedies and virus blocks. Fighting these new attacks always becomes a sort of game of cat and mouse between the hackers, law enforcement personnel, and virus-protection software developers.
The FBI encourages people to resist the temptation to pay the ransom. This usually only makes victims more vulnerable as criminals attempt to steal financial information. Instead, victims might contact law enforcement and try to have their problem resolved by a trusted expert, rely upon their virus protection company, or try to remove the threat themselves.
In any case, the two best remedies against these threats are proactive:
- Backups: Have computers backed up to external storage. There are both external hard drives and cloud services that do a good job of this. This way, the computer can simply get wiped and refreshed without the virus.
- Virus protection: Use quality virus protection and keep it updated.
One recent computer virus threat doesn’t actually attack computers but smart phones via free apps. Since most smart phone owners spend most of their time using phone apps, hackers have found a new, vulnerable, and unsuspecting pool of victims in the market for free phone apps. Before downloading any apps that don’t come from a clearly recognized company, it’s always best to research previous user feedback and decline any permission requests that the app should not need. Hackers can load these apps with viruses that steal personal information and even listen in on phone calls.
The best way to cure viruses is to avoid them. Be careful before downloading software and keep virus protection software updated. Taking the proactive step of backing up computers to external storage can help restore machines, but it won’t stop the theft of private information. If you do believe your machine has been infected, you will surely want to change all your passwords right away. In some cases, you may want to also report the attack to law enforcement.