I recently got a virus and grumbled a little about it on my Facebook page, and boy did I hear it from all my MAC friends. They all rave about how virus-free their computers are, but a recent security expert told me MAC users better not let their guard down because they can get viruses too. In fact, he said there are more and more MAC attacks. Good luck telling that to my friends.
The infection can happen so quickly. I was printing something off from one website, and while I waited I opened another browser. Instantly, everything closed and a Media Player opened. I instantly closed the media player knowing something was wrong and within seconds the big red box alerting me to a Trojan appeared.
It’s the second time in as many years that a red warning box appeared on my screen and it appeared to be from my security software. While there was an indeed a Trojan on my computer at this point, the security alert was really a fake. It’s very difficult to tell the difference. This one was not as sophisticated as the previous one, so when I hit clean computer it told me it couldn’t. Well, I knew the security software I use would be able to clean.
It wanted me to hit “Scan Online.” I didn’t fall for it. If I had, the damage would have been worse. The attackers want your credit card information and download more fake products onto your computer that advertise virus removal.
No matter what you call your infection – spyware, malware, or a virus – it’s annoying when it happens and it makes you feel vulnerable. I’m always afraid to use my email again or open my bank account even after I’ve removed the virus.
Removal can be a pain because your security software may not be able to find it. Here are some tips to make the process a little less painful. Close your computer and open it in safe mode. You do this by tapping on F8 when you turn on your computer. You will get a series of prompts. Click on open computer in Safe Mode with or without Internet access. For the first few scans, I use without Internet access but that’s just me making sure nothing has access to my computer. Run some scans on your computer using the security software on your computer.
Run a complete scan. Once it starts, go do something else because they take several hours. I like to run these at night while I’m sleeping.
On my smartphone, I searched for answers. There are lots of great blogs out there. I tried some of their advice but nothing worked. In my case, the virus shut down my Internet options. I would double click on Internet Explorer and it wouldn’t open. I knew I was in trouble. Through some searching, I found an EXCELLENT service that I had no idea existed. I even mentioned it to my IT boyfriend and he said, “There’s not a free service that helps you clean your computer.” Yes, there is!
Before you call, you’re asked to run a FREE Microsoft safety scan. Click here for the link.
Again, this scan will take several hours.
Once it’s down, reboot your computer and see if the virus is gone. I also like to run supplementary scans just to ensure it’s gone. I’ve found all the viruses including hidden ones on my computer are not found with just one security program.
In my case, I couldn’t access the INternet so I couldn’t run the security scanner. If this is your situation OR you ran the scanner and the virus is still on your computer then fill out this form from Microsoft. I did it on my smartphone since I didn’t have Internet access. Request phone assistance and you will be given a phone number and case number once you fill out the form. Call the number and the techs will walk you through removal.
I can’ stay enough about the FREE service I received from Microsoft’s security team. They were awesome and patient as I was a bit frustrated. They knew exactly the steps to take to re-gain my access to the Internet and to remove the virus. When one of their tips didn’t work, they had another option. They were incredible.
They even called me back and sent me emails to make sure the problem was fixed. Excellent job Microsoft!
I’m not going to give out the secret phone number because then people would clog the phone lines and make it harder for those of us who followed the protocol to get help. Run the safety scanner first, and if you can’t because of Internet access problems go directly to the complaint form from a different computer and you’ll get all the information you need. Plus, they won’t help you unless you have a case number which you get after filling out the form.
Use this service. It probably saved me hundreds of dollars if I had to take my computer to a professional repair shop.