Long gone are the days when your computer security was so easy to achieve just by installing a simple AntiVirus. According to study conducted by Bitdefender, 11% of computers that have an antivirus installed are infected with a virus and the owners have no idea about this fact. Here are cues that can identify a compromised computer.
- The computer is sending you awkward messages and alerts – these may appear on screen in form of windows “pop-up” and advertising
- Suddenly, your computer gets slow and apps start slower than usual
- You can’t connect to the Internet or Internet pages are opening much slower than usual
- When you connect to the internet, your browser opens all sort of unwanted websites
- Your files are gone or they are transformed into shortcuts
- There is no AntiVirus icon in tray (near the taskbar clock)
- Your operating system language has changed
- Some files are missing and you can’t play games that previously worked just fune
- Your computer is sending mails without your approval or it opens unwanted programs when the opreating system starts
- Some apps will not start
A computer virus may have many purposes, none positive. Some viruses will try to steal the sensitive data stored on your hard drive (passwords, credit cards, personal mail, images, videos), others will make your browser visit various websites automatically in order to make traffic, some will do the same thing but in background so you’ll never know of their existence, some will promote various products to your main screen and some are just destructive without a specific purpose. To protect your data try going to: http://www.securedatarecovery.com/services/database-data-recovery/sql in order to make sure that your sensitive information is safe if you get a virus.
According to Martha Kent, in order to reduce the damages created by a virus you should always have your Windows/Linux/Mac updated and ugpraded and you should operate your computer using a non-administrator account. This way, when an unwanted program will try to modify files from your install you will be asked. If your user gets compromised, you will have to delete all the files corresponding to that user, but you may still save your operating system by accessing the administrator account. In addition, you should install a secondary Antivirus or a Malware Detector. As I said in the beginning of the article, a Bitdefender researcher wrote in his blog that having an antivirus is not enough to block all the viruses. As an additional precaution, you can use an online scanner to test your computer from time to time.
Some viruses are light and easy to spot, some will get past your security no matter how you protect your computer. Kaspersky Lab researchers have announced a new attack from NetTraveler group (also known as “Travnet” “Netfind” or Red Star APT), an Advanced Persistent Threat Type Threat (APT) which has already infected hundreds of very important victims in over 40 countries. Among the NetTraveler’s targets are known Tibetan activists / Uyghurs, companies in the oil industry, research centers and institutes, universities, private companies, governments and educational institutions, embassies and military contractors. Immediately after they were discovered, back in June 2013, the attackers shut down all systems and controls and have moved their operation to other servers in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and continued the attacks.