If you own a PC, you need to have some level of protection against malware and viruses.
Most PC’s come with a trial version of anti-virus software pre-installed. If you decide to use that software, i.e., pay for it after the trial period, or install another anti-virus offering, make a mental note of the name of it. Keep an eye out for its status by checking the Taskbar every so often to make sure there are no notifications, or worse, indications that it is not running.
Reboot that Perpetually Running PC
If you are like me and keep your PC running 24/7, you should be more diligent in making sure that it is running properly. The Windows operating system has always had issues with memory allocation, i.e., when opening and closing programs, Windows does not always efficiently re-allocate the RAM used by programs. This causes many erratic things to happen, and I’ve seen many PC’s where the anti-virus program disappears from the Taskbar. That doesn’t mean it’s still not running, it may just be that the Taskbar icon indicator utility has crashed. Or worse, a malicious script may have disabled your anti-virus progam. The whole point of having a Taskbar indicator is to know the status of the software. If it is missing, your best bet is to reboot your PC and make sure it loads properly.
Better yet, if you keep your PC running 24/7, you should be mindful and reboot it at least once per week. This can alleviate all sorts of issues. I’ve had many a client call me telling me their PC is “not doing this or that”, and after I have them reboot, the issue disappears. Windows is not like Linux which is known to run for years without an issue.
Which Anti-Virus Program Do I Have?
‘Time Flies When Your Having Fun’, and ‘Out of Site, Out of Mind’ are 2 cliche’s that can have detrimental effects when it comes to your PC. It’s easy to forget the name of your anti-virus program over time when you don’t ‘mindfully’ keep track of it. If you use free anti-virus, it will usually remind you it’s there in the form of ‘Upgrade’ notices. But if you purchased it, and especially if you paid for several years in advance, it’s easy to forget about it. And if you’re just plain forgetful, a month may be all you need to be oblivious to it.
Knowing the name of the anti-virus software on your PC can be helpful for when a pop-up shows up on your screen indicating that your ‘Bla-bla Anti-Virus Detected Malware Running On Your PC”. Many malicious websites try to scare/trick people into clicking on their ‘malformed’ warning only to invite them to accept & install malware on their PC. By always being mindful of which anti-virus program you have, you can reduce the risk of being tricked into accepting their mis-intentions.
And as a rule, if you see a suspicious pop-up, DO NOT CLICK ON ANY PART OF IT. Even if you see a Cancel button, or the X to close the window, DO NOT CLICK ON ANY OF THEM. If it is a malicious pop-up, chances are that anything you click on will have the same result – accept their malicious intents. And if you see a phone number in the pop-up threatening that your PC has been hacked and you must call to have it fixed, DO NOT CALL IT!
Any time you see a suspicious pop-up, try holding the Alt key and pressing the F4 function key which is designed to close the foreground-most window. If this does not work, your best bet is to reboot the PC without click off anything. If you have apps such as Word or Excel, etc. open and need to save their contents before rebooting, either navigate to the Taskbar and click on them, or use Alt-Tab to navigate to them and save your work.
You Birthed It, You Take Care of It
Remember, your PC is your responsibility. And unfortunately the security of any device connected to the Internet is something we all have to be mindful of.
While we are not 100% protected when connected to the Internet regardless of having security software installed, knowing that you do have it installed is more than half the battle, and even more so when you keep yourself aware of your security software and its status.
If you’ve purchased a new Windows 10 PC, you now have anti-virus built in. Windows 10 PC’s all have Windows Defender built in. Windows Defender automatically starts protecting your PC when there is no other anti-virus program installed. And if you install some other anti-virus program, Windows Defender steps aside to let your choice of security software take over.
Do Not Install More Than One Anti-Virus Program
As mentioned in the beginning of this post, most new PC’s come with a trial version anti-virus program. If you decide not to use it, MAKE SURE TO UNINSTALL IT. You do not want to have multiple anti-virus programs running at the same time. Some anti-virus’s will warn you when installing with another running, but don’t count on it.
I recently encountered a Windows 10, Core-i3 laptop with 4GB RAM running 5 anti-virus programs! There are so many things wrong with that sentence! The user is a complete ‘non-techy’ and had no idea that:
- the specs of the laptop were very low end
- there were 5 anti-virus programs running!
She was about to discard the laptop and get a new one. Luckily, she brought it to me and I remedied the situation. She had actually paid for 2 auto-renewing anti-virus subscriptions, and the other 3 were free anti-virus.
In this case, it SAVES TO BE MINDFUL!
If you’d like to learn more about how anti-virus programs compare to each other, check out AVTEST’s website to compare and learn more about PC security.
If you have issue’s with your PC that need attention, contact The PC Tune-Up Guy today.
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