COMPUTER HEALTH PART 2: VIRUSES, MALWARE, AND EMAIL
©2021 by Donald R. Snow - Last updated 2021-04-19Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page
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ABSTRACT: Part 2 of this series deals with viruses, malware, and email helps. These are constant concerns and there are helpful programs to prevent problems on your computer. We will discuss some of these and what to do, if you get hit by a virus or other malware. There are helps for email that makes them more private and avoids some problems. The notes for this
class and related articles, all with active Internet links, are
posted on my website
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
- Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( email@example.com
) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
- These notes, with active internet links and
other related articles, are on Don's
- Tips: (1) Easy to put an icon on
your desktop for these notes or any other webpage; just
drag the icon from in front of the address in your
browser to your desktop. (2) To open
a link from here in another tab, but keep your
place in these notes, hold down the Control key
while clicking the link.
- The problem for today: How to avoid viruses and malware on your computer and what to do if you do get hit.
THIS SERIES ON COMPUTER HEALTH
- Part 1 of this series dealt with operating systems, e.g. Windows 10
and iOS, and hard drive problems
- This class, Part 2, deals with viruses,
other types of malware, including PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs), and ideas for email
that help prevent some problems
- Part 3 will deal with backups, both online and offline.
- Computers need caring for to keep them running smoothly and they
slow down with age and with virus and other problems such as 'bloatware"
- Here we discuss mostly Microsoft's Windows 10, but similar things work for Macs.
- The free programs discussed in Part 1 help here, including BELARC ADVISOR (shows your Virus Protection) and GLARY UTILITIES (The 1-Click Maintenance has a Spyware Remover.)
VIRUSES AND MALWARE
- DEFENDER antivirus program is built-into Windows 10 --
details in articles https://www.howtogeek.com/220232/how-to-use-the-built-in-windows-defender-antivirus-on-windows-10/ and TechConnect article about
anti-virus features -- works OK, but other free programs are
- To check DEFENDER on your Windows 10, type DEFENDER into the search box (lower left corner) > Windows Defender Firewall
- To check for other antivirus checkers, look at BELARC ADVISOR under Virus Protection; also type Control Panel into the search box > System and Security > Security and Maintenance> View Archived Messages
- Two good free antivirus programs are AVG -- https://www.avg.com/en-us/free-antivirus-download#pc
and AVAST -- https://www.avast.com/en-us/index#pc -- these find and prevent most problems
- MALWAREBYTES FREE -- https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/ -- free for private use; run it periodically, e.g. monthly, to find and clean out malware problems
- PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and bloatware -- these come from installation programs and can sometimes be avoided by reading carefully and unchecking itemsas you install other programs.
- Ransomware -- if you get hit, turn off your computer immediately and take it to an expert; can sometimes use a Restore Point before the ransomware hit to get back to a previous state or may be able to use a complete backup to clean it off; sometimes the hard drive needs be be reformatted and then all programs reinstalled with their licenses (Remember BELARC ADVISOR for your license keys) -- Regarding backups, you only need a backup of your DATA FILES, since the programs can be reinstalled with their licenses
- New malware problems come out all the time; keep your operating system and programs updated to avoid many problems
- Some helps, tutorials, and articles
- YouTube tutorial -- 12 minutes -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbqC2k4vbXY -- computer security technical info, but helpful; has a short commercial at the start; includes virus and backup info
- Article: Understanding Computer Viruses -- https://www.top-windows-tutorials.com/ComputerViruses/
- Article - Computer Virus (types of viruses) -- https://www.javatpoint.com/computer-virus
- Best Free Antivirus Software 2021 -- https://www.lifewire.com/best-free-antivirus-software-4151895
PROBLEMS FROM EMAIL
- Fill in the Subject line on email so
you) know what's in it
- Send yourself a copy so you know that it actually went out, how long it took, and you have a copy for your records
- Spam -- bad guys harvest email address and sell them and you get spam -- some email programs have spam filters, so check regularly to see if they have inadvertently filtered out some valid emails
- The Cc: line
is "Copy To" -- sending copies to anyone in here makes their email address visible to everyone, including the email address harvesters for spam
Bcc: line is "Blind Copy To" -- email addresses here are only visible to the addressee and to you, so addresses can't be harvested
- Don't forward messages that include
like "Forward this to everyone in your address book." -- most
are problems and hoaxes; check stories before you forward them on
- Be careful about clicking on links and attachments, even if they seem to be from someone you know; bad guys "spoof" the message so it looks like it came from your friend, but it contains a virus; if in doubt, contact the person or forward the email to them without clicking on the link and ask if it's valid
- Use an email address that you don't have to change when you move or change internet providers; e.g. use Gmail or many alumni associations will give you a free email address and you can use it anywhere
- Viruses and malware are major problems, but most can be controlled.
- Keep you operating system and programs up-to-date and use a virus checker.
- It's not always easy to determine whether a computer problem is major or minor, but be careful.
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