Many people feel uncertain about how to protect their home computers from viruses and threats.
We can help you become self sufficient by recognising potential threats, recognising virus symptoms (like your PC slowing down), keeping updated and running your own scans.
If the worst has happened and your system is infected we can offer either on site removal for most simple viruses, or back to base removal to minimise charges for long scanning times on difficult viruses.
Please do be careful if a computer shop is offering fixed price or cheap virus removal – they sometimes just wipe your entire computer if that’s faster than removing the virus. At Help Me Dave we know that your photos are precious to you (just as our photos are precious to us), so we will never wipe your computer. Actually, we’re very proud of our track record for recovering data that other companies have given up on.
Most times we can recover data from a virus – Cryptolocker is the main exception to that and one reason why everyone needs a good backup system. (If you haven’t heard about Cryptolocker – the virus that encrypts your data and then asks you for MONEY to ransom it back you might like to read the article in the link).
If you are a business, we have ideas just for you in our Business Virus Removal section.
Virus Protection for Home Users.
A lot of people feel unsure about Virus Protection:
- Which software is it safe to run updates for (or is the update really a virus trying to trick me…)
- How do I run an update?
- What is a good antivirus software for me at home?
- How can I stay safe from email scams?
- How do I run a virus scan if I’ve clicked on something I shouldn’t?
We can help you with all of those questions so you can become self sufficient at home.
We can help you install some virus protection:
We often recommend AVG or even the AVG free product for home users with lower risk. When we install it we can show you how to do the updates, and talk about which other software updates help your computer stay secure.
Common Email Scams and Viruses
We use our FaceBook page to remind our clients and friends about the latest email scams, please feel free to like the page if you want to receive the updates too.
If you are new to FaceBook we can also talk to you about getting your security settings right and what steps you should take before posting.
Some typical email scams include:
- Emails pretending to be from Australia Post (especially around Christmas) – it’s generally safer to go to the Australia Post website and track your parcel from there.
- Emails pretending to be a speeding fine. You won’t get a speeding fine via email!
- Emails pretending to be from your bank and asking you to log in. Banks will NEVER email you a link to click on that asks for your login details. Always type the banks web address into the browser bar yourself rather than following an email link.
- Emails saying “Your Invoice has arrived” or “You have received a payment from” – these are designed to make you curious.
- Scammers pretending to be the ATO with an attachment showing your tax refund (even if you have just done your tax return, they won’t send you refund information as an attachment).
- Quantas seat booking advices (if you are concerned because you haven’t booked a QANTAS ticket recently, delete the email!)
If in doubt – always delete the email!
Ask yourself if the police (or the bank etc) would even HAVE your email address?
It can be scary to delete an email telling you that you have a fine, or thanking you for a payment to a company you have never heard of – that is unfortunately what the scammers rely on. That nagging little voice that makes you want to check. You can check your bank account (by logging into it the way you normally would – NOT by clicking in the email!), or even do a google search on some of the words you can see in the suspect email. Websites like Hoax Slayer will usually be able to put your mind at ease by telling you that it’s definitely a hoax email.
Having a backup protects you from so many things – hard drives dying, laptops being stolen, lightning or electrical surges, and virus attacks.
If you don’t have a backup system in place we can help you set one up – there a lot of different backup solutions (and they don’t have to be expensive), but which one you choose will depend on the amount of data you have as well as your internet speed and how automated you want it to be.
If you are not sure how much your data is worth to you – think about losing your computer right now. What’s on there? Even if you replaced it with a new computer do you need the files, photos, budgets, university assignments, calendar, emails and contacts, web favourites, preferred settings, special software and games, printer drivers….
The physical computer is usually worth much less to you than the information you have stored on it!
Some viruses will just slow your computer down, some might leave you open to security breaches (for example key logger viruses can record which keys you type when you log in to your bank account).
A bad virus can stop your computer from working all together, and then of course there is Cryptolocker.
Quite often the first thing a virus will do is to switch your antivirus software OFF, which can leave you vulnerable to even worse malware.
We can remove a virus, and in most cases recover your data.
A very easy virus can probably be removed on the spot, but for more difficult viruses we may need to take the computer back to our workshop – back to base.
In the workshop we have special equipment so that backups and scans go faster, and since we can work on other things while your computer is scanning we don’t have to charge you for every minute. We call it ‘live time’ – the time actually spent working on the computer, rather than the time the computer is working on itself, and we only charge you for the live time.
Every virus removal in the workshop will start with a backup, then removing the virus and recovering the data. We may need to use several different software packages to recover data.
For an average home computer that needs to come back to base the total live time is usually an hour or two.
If you have a virus to remove, or want to get proactive about virus protection give us a call: