Your Computer May be at Risk ! – Windows Edition
Here are some tips next time you start getting strange pop-up messages on your
computer that tell you “your computer might be infected, click here….”
Steps to computer safety and recovery:
2. If the box has an X at the top right corner, many times it is safe to click this. The pop-up might come right back though, so this is a temporary solution to get the window out of the way. Sometimes these pop-up windows will block something else on your screen that you are trying to get to.
3. To close a stubborn window (Internet Explorer or other), try pressing “Alt F4” (both keys at the same time). This will try to close the top-most browser window on your computer screen.
4. Reset your browser to defaults. If you use Internet Explorer, try going to the Tools menu, and then to Internet Options. You can also reach Internet Options by clicking on Control Panel, and making sure you are set to show Classic View, or Small Icons. Inside of Internet Options, click the right-most tab labeled Advanced and click the Reset button. This will remove add-ons and sometimes fix your pop-up problems. Afterward this will close Internet Explorer and you will have to re-open it. You may have to reset your homepage, but your bookmarked pages should still be intact.
5. Run a virus scan or malware scan using one of the popular free anti-virus programs. AVG, MalwareBytes, SuperAntiSpyware, AdAware and Microsoft Security Essentials are all free programs that you can download from the internet. If you have any questionable software on your computer (hacked, pirated or program that can crack serial numbers on other programs), these may occasionally cease to function after running a malware or virus scan. Note that if your computer is infected, these sites are sometimes blocked, as are other utilities like Windows Command Prompt, Control Panel and any existing anti-virus programs on your computer. If you cannot reach these websites, you can locate your Hosts file and carefully remove the entries that are preventing you from reaching these specific sites. This is a tip for more advanced users, but is useful nonetheless.
6. If your computer is still in trouble, Reboot into Safe Mode. On many Windows computers you can accomplish this by shutting down the computer and holding down F8 or F12 keys as soon as you press the power button to turn it on. Continue to hold the buttons until you see a black screen asking you if you want to start in Safe Mode. Choose Safe Mode with Networking. Once Windows fully boots, see if you can run another anti-virus scan, or download a program called ComboFix.exe from BleepingComputer.com. Do not download it from any other site besides BleepingComputer.com. This program will scan your computer (it may take a while).
7. If you are really in trouble, you may get the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) to show up on your computer. If this is happening you may need to reinstall Windows from the installation DVD, or you might actually have a hardware problem and need a new computer. You may end up losing important data on your computer (pictures, music, videos, documents). If you are not familiar with removing your hard drive and transferring data to another computer, stop here and seek assistance from someone experienced. Problems of this nature are more difficult to diagnose and sometimes can require inspection by someone who is experienced with viruses and computer troubleshooting. If you don’t know anyone who you trust to look at your computer, take it to a respected computer repair shop in your area. It could be expensive. This is the price of technology if you are unable to repair it yourself (just like a car, plumbing, electrical repairs ona home, etc…). Good luck !! 🙂