Virus Threats – Malware Myths and Misconceptions

internet safety securityVirus Threats and Malware Threats – Know the Real Story

Virus threats and malware are subject to so many myths and misconceptions, that it’s hard for anybody to know what to think. Here are a few of the most common myths about Viruses, Trojans and other Malware, along with some tips from a computer repair shop.

Myth 1: I am Fully Protected from Viruses Because I Have an Antivirus Program on My PC

Many people ask us how they can get a virus when they have Norton, Kaspersky, McAfee or some other Antivirus or Internet Security program installed on their computer.

The answer is that NOTHNG is 100 percent effective against virus threats and malware. If Hackers can break into government computers with their sophisticated security programs, they can certainly break into your PC. Being too confident in your security software can lead to a virus repair job.

Myth 2: A Full Internet Security Suite is Better Than a Basic Antivirus Program

Full security suites, like Norton 360 or Internet Security are marketing hype and fluff for the most part. The main extra they include is a firewall. Windows has its own firewall built in and is all you need.

The only exception is for laptop users who travel or go to lots of WiFi hotspots, like coffee shops, airports and hotels. If you just use your laptop at home, only occasionally go out with it, or use a desktop PC, stick with the plan, basic-level Antivirus programs (i.e. AVAST, Norton Antivirus). Otherwise you’re wasting money.

Myth3: My Computer Is Getting Lots of Windows Errors, So It Must Have a Virus

Error messages can come from literally thousands of possible issues. Files can get corrupted, there can be a software bug, a bad sector on your hard drive, faulty memory, or a software conflict between some of your programs .

While some viruses can cause error messages or even the feared Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), the majority of the time it’s caused by bad drivers or faulty hardware.

Myth 4: A Virus or Malware Can Cause Data Loss

This is both true and false. The only type of Malware that can affect your data is “Ransomware”. That’s the one that encrypts your data, then demands you pay a ransom to retrieve it. This infection can be repaired, but your data is gone. The only way to get it back is to pay.

A smart choice is to use a Cloud Backup service, like Carbonite, Mozy, etc. So you have working copies of your data.

In all other cases, data recovery is possible, even if your computer won’t start up. A computer repair shop can easily recover your data and perform a virus repair.

Myth 5: Viruses Can Physically Damage Your Hardware

No, a virus can’t physically damage your PC. There is such a thing as a BIOS-level virus (extremely rare), that can reprogram a chip on your motherboard, but a computer repair shop can wipe and reload the BIOS manually.

Myth 6: I Can Just Reinstall Windows and Copy Everything Back

We often see somebody reinstall Windows on their PC after a virus infection, only to copy their files from a backup drive and then re-infect themselves all over again. You need to make sure that your documents and data have been scanned for and are free from viruses before copying them back.

Myth 7: Only Windows PC’s Get Viruses and Malware

While it’s true that most viruses are targeted at Windows, there’s been a recent increase in Ransomware and other malware targeting Macs, usually through pirated software cracks and of course, email.

If you’re using a Mac computer, you can protect yourself from virus threats by following many of the same rules that you would for Windows: Don’t install software from places you don’t know, be wary anytime an email asks you for your password, and avoid installing “special” software from questionable websites.

As always, we here at Saguaro PC Tech can help you with virus and malware issues, as well as any othe Tucson Computer Repair needs.

About Steve Frantzis

Steve Frantzis is the Owner of Saguaro PC Tech, LLC, a computer repair shop in Tucson. If you have any questions or need help with your laptop, desktop, Mac, or mobile device, please call Us at (520) 250-5948.

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