How computer viruses work; courtesy of HowStuffWorks.com / YouTube
POPULAR ANTIVIRUS PRODUCTS
https://antivirus.thetop10sites.com/best-antivirus-software.html (new window)
Beginning with Microsoft's release of Windows 8, and continuing with 10 and 11, a comprehensive anti-virus product is included with the operating system by default. Other popular antivirus products are ranked on the above site, as alternatives to the "Defender" product included with Windows, or for people who do not run Windows at all but would still like extra protection.
THE DISEASE THAT MASQUERADES AS THE CURE?
Because antivirus software is so important, virus-writers have taken a new tack on propagating their code - make it look like an anti-virus product! Rogue Security Software continues to be a growing and serious security threat in desktop computing, and was first referenced in a 2008 Microsoft Security Intelligence Report.
An example screenshot of such software is shown below. Please see this website for more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_security_software
NAME CHANGER - WINDOWS RECOVERY, SECURITY 20XX
This is an example of the many fake anti-virus programs out in the wild.
For removing these and other variants, please visit BLEEPINGCOMPUTER.COM (new window)
WEB MAIL ACCOUNT HACKS: SOCIAL MEDIA TO BLAME?
It used to be that an e-mail viruses propagating through Windows used your address book to spread themselves. Now, in 2012, more people are finding their web mail accounts -- such as those from Yahoo or Hotmail -- spewing OUT junk mail besides receiving it! The old "safety checks" still apply - make sure your password is secure, change it often, and double check your contact list to ensure there are not any rogue addresses. But, how DO modern-day hackers get access to your e-mail account now? The answer - common sign-in services that link your e-mail or portal account to another account on Facebook, or Twitter, for example. While this is convenient, there is a caveat that if anything goes awry at Facebook, for example, and you've GRANTED PERMISSION for Facebook to access your address book at ANY TIME, your e-mail account is at risk.
Another way for hackers to grab your e-mail account details is by trying to log in via the MOBILE vector of these services. Some people turn on mobile access to their mail, Facebook, Twitter, or other such account, then forget about it ... until it is too late. So, unless you really have a need, UNLINK your account from your phone, or establish secondary credentials to authorize only YOUR specific devices. Also, if available, make sure that log-in sessions time out after a short period, as well as making sure that they can only take place from your specific city, state, or country, as most hacks take place from off-shore locations.
If you have any questions about this, or need assistance in clearing up a supposed breach, please let us know... CONTACT US right away! Meanwhile, read:
11 Sure Signs You've Been Hacked: