How Much Money would it
cost you to regain the use of your computer after a serious
by Richard Rossbauer
It cost one of our friends a whole lot of money, much aggravation
and lost time, lost records, and a major inconvenience to recover
from the havoc caused by the worms and viruses that had infiltrated
their computer over a period of many months.
The cost of regaining the use of their computer came as a big shock
Actually, our friends are like so many other people who use their
computers primarily for communicating with family and their friends
by email, sharing personal pictures, playing a few games, doing a
little research now and then, making airline and hotel reservations,
and maybe even balancing their check books.
|Surfing the internet for them was just a sometime thing, not
must-do daily routine.
They were aware of computer viruses and had even heard of firewalls.
Occasionally, public comments on TV and in newspapers about wide
sweeping virus attacks with odd names like MyDoom, Sasser, "Zotab", and
Bagel caught their attention.
So, when those reported epidemics were no longer news items, they
simply put them out of mind, maybe stopped using their computers for
a few days, and gradually resumed use of the internet.
When they purchased their computer a few years ago, it came with
virus scanning software but not a Firewall program. So, they
believed they were protected!
The general public didnt really care about Trojan Horse dangers
then, because no one was really making an effort to inform them of
the insidious efforts of Hackers, spammers, and malcontents who were
flooding the internet with their poison.
Even today, there are computer users who believe that they dont
need a firewall. They arent aware that Firewalls help stop some of
the viruses and worms that are hidden in email attachments and other
They arent aware of the new strains and variants of worms, adware
and other spyware
programs that crop up nearly daily, or that there are over 60,000
identified computer viruses.
They arent aware because for the past few years, their chances of
actually being infected by a computer virus were very small.
Not so any longer!
Some authoritative researchers have determined that the internet is so
dangerous today, that an unprotected computer connected to the
internet is likely to become infected within 20 minutes of going on
A protected computer today MUST HAVE an up-to-date Firewall
program, up-to-date virus scanning software, up-dated Spyware
scanning software programs, and the latest updates from the
manufacturers of their web browsers (MicroSofts Internet Explorer
in particular and even the popular Firefox).
Unfortunately for our friends, they were not aware that their
anti-virus program needed to be brought up to date on a regular
basis. A few years ago, maybe a monthly update would have saved them
from their virus grief.
(Actually, they had never updated their anti-virus program at all).
The safest way today is to use anti-virus software that can be
programmed to download updates automatically from the Virus
Protection Software providers themselves.
Also true for Firewall and anti-spyware program updates.
Todays major scourge, however, seems to be the rampant spread of
spyware (keyloggers, adware, malicious software known as malware,
all designed to be invisible and often self propagating).
Spyware seeks information about you and your computer-use habits
that are private and personal. It's a threat that can often lead to
loss of a persons identity, bank accounts, reputation and
There are major efforts on an international basis to stop the spread
of SPAM (unwanted email), that has been responsible for much of the
Viruses are spread in other ways, too. Downloaded music files,
downloaded programs and information gained from Chat Room visits,
hidden worms that activate just by clicking on links in some
unsolicited emails and pop-ups, are just a few.
There are other protective tools available at no cost (FREE) from
many of the software manufacturers of Firewalls, anti-virus and
spyware searching programs. Many are included with the email
services provided by AOL, Earthlink, MSN, etc.
These are primarily Pop-up blockers and virus scanners. The ISPs
(Internet Service Providers) also scan for and filter out email
messages that look suspicious before being passed on to you.
Pop-up blockers, spam filters, message blockers, and other
protective defenses can be installed on everyones personal
computer. They are often free, or relatively inexpensive.
Our friends now know a lot more about protecting themselves from all
of the dangers lurking in the Cyber-Jungle.
To clean out their infected computer, which required a clean wipe of
their hard drive, re-installation of their Operating System, and an
updated anti-virus program, they were charged $180.00!
Needless to say, they have increased their defenses with updated
virus-scanning software, Firewall, and spyware scanners and
They learned a lesson the hard way, and theyll help their friends
avoid the problems they experienced by sharing their story and
encouraging them to get their computers up to date and prepared for
the ever increasing threats by the spammers, hackers and virus
If you use the internet regularly, a subscription to one of the
security oriented newsletters can alert you to the latest threats
and provide helpful information for maintaining a secure, virus free
computer and avoiding potential identity theft.
Alerts News Reporter
published by our Firewalls and Virus Protection website is free,
its distributed about once each month and is written in an easy to
understand, non-technical style.
We want to help all of our friends avoid the hassle and expense of
recovering from a computer virus infection.
to receive the Security
Reporter at our website:
http://www.Firewalls-and-Virus-Protection.com where many of the
issues mentioned in this brief article are addressed in greater
We encourage you to visit. A few minutes browsing there now might
save you many hours of agony and grief later.
Please help us educate and protect the unwary by sharing this
Reprint it if you have a newsletter, website or ezine.
(Please don't change or edit content and links). Copy
it to give to your friends. Help everyone understand that
has become a Cyber Jungle, loaded with ambushes and booby-traps.
in our Computer Virus Awareness Campaign by Sharing this with a friend