I Have Anti-Virus Running - How Did I Get A Virus? PDF Print E-mail

A good anti-virus software is recognized as a prerequisite for protecting your computer. Generally, it will be the first line of protection. These programs will scan for viruses, defend critical system files, quarantine, and identify rogue scripts and programs.

A large variety of anti-virus software programs are available both on the internet and at local retailers. Each type of anti-virus software has some common features, for adware blocking and spyware defense, internet surfing protection, and registry cleanup.

However, computer users shouldn't abandon caution because their favorite anti-virus software is running. Why? Because everyday our computer users are asking "How did I get a virus, when I have Anti-Virus software running on my computer... ". Listen to this users' account of how it happens:

"My office computer today got taken over by an 'antivirus' program that starts out as a pop up that repeatedly offers a free trial virus scan. My co-worker called me at home to ask me if this was OK. I didn't know this was NOT an "Anti-virus" scan, so I said don't worry... a short time later the program was displaying a "Personal Security" window with a Windows Security logo with a long list of viruses discovered and another window asking you to register. I tried to shut all this off but it refused."

This computer user was tricked into installing the virus on his system. Once he clicked on the pop-up window, his Anti-Virus Software "thought" he meant to install the program on the computer.

This is the new breed of virus. It operates by getting you to click on any window that pops up. Once you do that, it installs itself on your computer rather than go away. Because...

"Anti-virus software will not prevent YOU from installing software on your computer. But, It will prevent software from installing automatically, or remotely, or otherwise."

Once the virus "tricks" you into clicking on the pop-up window, it can safely install itself with even with your virus software on guard. In fact, the program will stay resident on his computer until the next time a virus scan is run.

Something we see quite often, is that the virus immediately to disables any anti-virus software that is running on the computer. This can be accomplished in a few ways:

* Completely shutting down the anti-virus software
* Making the user think the anti-virus running, when in-fact it isn't
* Changing the settings in the anti-virus so that the virus will not be detected during scans
* Changing the settings so that the virus automatically reloads when the computer starts
* And quite a few other methods

What can you do: If you see this type of pop-up on your computer, instead of clicking on it try pressing "ESC", or use task manager (ctrl-alt-delete), to end the application or process.

Always run a full system scan on your computer regularly. It will prevent many problems, and it may un-cover infected files that may have gotten past your anti virus program. Often an after the fact scan will remove enough of the virus and its programs to allow your computer to run smoothly again.

If your computer is still mis-behaving, take it to a reputable computer shop. It should have the tools to remove the virus from your computer. Many of the tools available to remove viruses are very effective, and a good computer shop should be able to get your computer working normally again without much data loss.