Malware and Spyware and Viruses…oh my!

I frequently get calls that go something like this:

“Hi I need you to come over to take a look at my computer, it seems like it is really slow, and I can’t do the things I used to on it.”  Whenever I hear this, I used to think that a hard drive needed to be defragmented….but that is rarely the problem these days.  Now it is malware, spyware, browser hjacks, host redirects, registry hijacks, crapware (I use this term for software that gets installed alongside something that you want, but you have no real use for).

The reality is that I get these calls mostly from people using windows, and I hear “I never go to any bad websites or anything”…

The reality is that you don’t need to go to bad websites to pick up malware.  Hackers infect popular servers in the hopes that they will be able to infect unsuspecting visitors.  These “drive-by” exploits are often discovered in a matter of hours and removed.  However, they rarely announce to their visitors that they were compromised and that they should inspect their systems …… so the people who visited early on never suspect that they are now carriers.

“But I have an antivirus program already installed”

That may be true, but no antivirus program is perfect.  They rely on various methods to detect “known and unknown” bits of code…the hackers are working hard to find ways around that detection.  Your antivirus may also not be designed to detect malware – they are usually designed specifically to prevent the spread of viruses.

“So what am I supposed to do?  Why is this so confusing?”

Get into a habit of checking your machine regularly.  There are plenty of free tools available that will allow you to do this for yourself for free – but like a gym membership – it does no good unless you use it.  If you rely on your computer for more than just entertainment, do it every week.  If all you do is surf the net and watch netflix or hulu, then every couple weeks to once a month should be fine.

“I don’t have time for that!”

Well, if that is the case you have 2 options –

1. Do nothing and wait til your machine can no longer function (kinda like a car when you don’t take time for an oil change) or…

2. Call someone to take care of it for you (kinda like going to the quick-change oil store)

This is where comes into help. I offer a subscription service that will do the routine maintenance for you, remotely if you like, on a regularly scheduled routine.  This cannot guarantee that you will never get any malware, spyware or crapware, but it is a good step into making sure your machine is cleaned regularly.

If you are interested in scheduling a regular maintenance send me an email at and I will get back to you.