One of the most frequently provided services by ShockNet Computer Repair Charlotte is virus removal. I get asked all the time why a computer gets a virus, especially if it is running an anti virus program, and how to stop it from happening.

There are many reasons why they occur, but three immediately come to mind and here are the ways to help prevent infection.

First is simply safe internet usage.  Here is a list of safe practices:

1- Don’t download games, buy them.

2- Don’t download music or movies from P2Ps, i.e., Limewire, Frostwire…

3- Don’t follow links from chat rooms or forums.

4- Don’t click on pop-ups.

5- Don’t open emails unless you are sure you know who they are from.  Even if it is from someone you know, don’t click a link.

6- Save any Google image to a dedicated file and scan the file prior to opening the pic on your computer.

7- Pick one reputable toolbar, like Google, and use it.  Don’t have multiple bars.

8- Don’t download wallpapers.

9- Download open source programs only from safe sources such as CNet, Filehippo, Major Geeks…

10- Be wary of any suspicious looking URL before clicking it from a web browser search results page. Tools like Webrep from Avast help.

Second is to make sure your virus data base is updated frequently throughout the day.  Most run in real time and auto-update.  However, it is a game of cat and mouse with the anti virus data bases and the malicious code writers.  They change the codes frequently and until someone gets a virus and reports it, the database does not contain the code to trigger an alert.  No AV is fool-proof, paid or free.  My favorite though is Avast Free or paid.

Third is to be careful doing searches for hot topics like “Tim Tebow”, “Kim Kardashian”, “coupons”, “how to remove a virus”, “computer drivers”…  The virus writers know what is trending and plant bogus links in forums, set up bogus search links… to try and grab you and infect the machine you are using. Be very mindful of Twitter and Facebook links.

These guys are smart and they want you to pay the $29.99 on your credit card once you are infected with their fake antivirus “scanner” to “remove” it.  The only thing they will remove is your money and maybe even your identity.  It is big business.  Be smart and safe.  Peace.