V is for . . . Virus–Watch Out for Bugs in Your Computer
Posted: April 25, 2014 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a-to-z blog challenge, Adobe Flash, antivirus programs, blue screen, Childless by Marriage, computer problems, computer viruses, infected laptop, opening links, popups, unleashed in oregon, viruses
Wednesday I was feeling all right, just a little tired. Then, about 3:00, things changed. I was still tired, but now achy all over, and my throat felt like it was full of coffee grounds. Uh-oh. I had to sing at church for the kids, then do choir practice. I made it through, hoping I was just tired from the steady stream of Easter singing events. But no. The sore throat turned from gravel to knives. My nose started to run. By bedtime, I was speaking to the dog in sign language. I looked in my medical encyclopedia and deduced that I probably have a virus, one I’ve had before. Rats.
Meanwhile, my laptop computer caught a virus, too. Have any of you had notices that pop up on your screen telling you that “you must download the latest version of Adobe Flash to view this content”? Don’t. I got tired of looking at it, so I clicked “okay” and installed the dang thing. Next thing I knew, ads and TV commercials were popping up all over my computer. I mean, I’m writing along and suddenly there’s a voice talking to me about cars or arthritis pills.
I was in the process of buying a new computer (typing on it now, love it), so I asked my computer guy about the popups. He shook his head. “You’ve got a virus. That program you downloaded was a scam. Not the Real Adobe Flash.” Nuts. I have been so careful with my laptop. I used an antivirus program and never opened any emails that looked suspicious. But one click, and it was sick. I ran scans, and I told my antivirus program to get rid of the infected files. Well, it tried. But the next day when I booted up, I got the blue screen, the fatal error screen. I rebooted. Same thing. I took it to the shop. Spent $69 to have it cleaned out.
As my computer guy said, every computer gets viruses. But there are some things you can do.
- Install an antivirus program and keep it up to date. If it doesn’t automatically scan your computer on a regular basis, take the time to do a scan on your own at least once a week. Don’t install more than one antivirus program; they’ll render each other ineffective.
- Don’t open emails or attachments that don’t come from recognized sources.
- Don’t click on links from people you don’t know.
- Don’t download anything just because a popup tells you that you need to. If you didn’t ask for it, you probably don’t want it.
- If you’re not a techie, don’t try to fix it yourself.
I’m going to pick up my rejuvenated laptop today and hope that all of my files are intact. I welcome your suggestions for combatting viruses in both humans and computers.
V is for virus. I have almost reached the end of April’s A to Z blog challenge. My posts can be found in my three blogs, Unleashed in Oregon, Childless by Marriage, and Writer Aid. Visit Unleashed in Oregon tomorrow to find out what W stands for.