Saturday, January 23, 2010

Computer Scare

This morning I was on the internet researching regional art festivals for us when all of a sudden up pops this scary notice saying all these computer viruses and threats have been detected on my computer. Yikes! It gave me a sick feeling in my heart and my stomach.

I mean there were 4 viruses here, 23 threats there, 6 viruses over here. The detailed list said Trojan this and Trojan that.

Gasp! What do I do? It's telling me to click here to remove them. So I clicked. More scary windows popped up as the fear mounted inside me. I tried to proceed in the removal process when another window popped up. This was one of those Windows notices saying they couldn't verify the security license of the software trying to access my computer.

Hmmm. That doesn't sound good. What if all these virus detection warnings are actually a scam to get me to buy some protection product? I decided to cancel. I tried to "x" out of these layers of pop-up windows but kept getting more scary warnings. They were effective; I was scared. I went through the "fix now" scenarios again, but when it came to the Windows window about the security license (or whatever), I kept hesitating.

Since I'm using my husband's laptop (which he almost never uses), I wasn't real familiar with all the anti-virus stuff he had on it. I decided to install the one I have on mine, one that came recommended by our very computer savvy friend, Frederick. I went to AVG Anti-Virus and downloaded their free program.

After a mysterious failed first attempt at downloading the trusted software, I remained nervous. What if my computer is so infected that it won't even take this download???? I forged on, going to the website again and starting over. Success! Yeah! After an "optimizing scan" as part of getting the software ready to activate, I finally was able to run a real scan.

The result? One virus found. It was labeled as "Fake Alert".

WHEW! I was very glad to have done the right thing!!! Even though it took all morning.

All of the pop-up notices of this fake alert looked very real. They used logos that looked just like Windows messages. They displayed a screen that looked just like the "My Computer" page. I wish I would have somehow ascertained the name of the product they were trying to trick me into receiving so I could tell you not to go near it. I certainly don't appreciate their deceitful and unscrupulous means of trying to manipulate me into their business!

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