The Bad News


Adware is software that is designed to display advertisements on your computer or mobile device. Adware is different from malware or viruses because adware by itself isn’t always used by cybercriminals; there are legitimate, harmless uses for adware. Adware that is legitimate and harmless is usually found in conjunction with free apps where you consent to see ads in exchange for getting the app for free or at low cost. But adware can also sometimes be a problem for you. Cybercriminals can try to put adware on your system that you don’t want (often as part of a virus or malware attack) or don’t consent to (very often showing you ads for pornography or financial scams). And malicious adware can often also have spyware, Trojan horses, keystroke loggers, viruses or other malware silently included without you knowing. While good adware can enable you to enjoy apps for free, bad adware can turn your system into a zombie computer that is part of a botnet and is sending out spam, phishing emails, and even attacking other computers.


Phishing (pronounced as “fishing”) is a type of attack that cybercriminals carry out to get your valuable personal and financial information. Phishing is different from malware or virus attacks that primarily use technology to get this kind of valuable information. Phishing instead tries to fool you into handing over this information. Because phishing relies more on targeting people than technology, it’s sometimes referred to as a type of “social engineering” attack. Since phishing generally doesn’t try to install malware like Trojan horses or keyloggers, regular antivirus and anti-malware may not help protect against it. But more advanced security suites do include “phishing filters” and web reputation services that can help protect you from phishing attempts. Phishing is often sent out to thousands or millions of people as part of a spam attack, very often sent from zombie computers that are part of large botnets.


Ransomware is a type of malware you may find on your system or device after a successful virus or malware attack. Ransomware is different from other kinds of malware. Like keystroke loggers, it focuses on you and your data, but it makes no secret that it’s there. As soon as it’s on your system, ransomware announces itself to you. Ransomware works by taking control of your system and holding your information hostage until you pay the ransom to your attackers to get your data back. Ransomware is one of the most blatant and obvious criminal money-making schemes out there. And because it can be the most immediately painful to you by locking up your data, it’s also one of the most successful schemes out there. Antivirus and anti-malware help protect your data by stopping ransomware attacks before they can touch and harm your data.


A botnet is a special kind of network that cybercriminals build up, one compromised system at a time. Hackers create botnets by successfully attacking your computer or other device and turning it into a "zombie computer" by leaving a small program called a “bot” on it after a successful virus or malware attack. Once the bot is on your system, it’s no longer your system; it’s under the control of the hacker. After you’ve lost control like this (or been “botted” as security people say), the cybercriminal can use your system to send spam and phishing messages, host pornography, or even attack other computers. But while your computer or device may be powerful enough for what you need, by itself it’s not enough for the big business of cybercriminals. So they take compromised systems and build them into a vast, powerful network of systems at their command. This network taken as a whole is called a botnet: a network of botted systems. Botnets are one of the biggest sources of money for hackers and greatest dangers for the Internet. Anti-malware helps protect you and the Internet by protecting against virus and malware attacks in the first place, and removing bots if they get on your system.

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The Good News

What to Do?

Is your computer displaying unwanted pop ups? Is it running slow? Is your browser going to websites that you did not choose?  You may have a virus or malware. We can remove the malicious software from your computer and protect your data.  We use industry standard virus removal and protection tools from Avast, AVG, MalwareBytes, Microsoft, and Panda Security.

Give us a call today. We can get your system healed so that it is a productive tool again. We can also install antivirus and malware detection software to prevent those unwanted bugs from infecting your systems.

We can customize monitored antivirus software for your home or business computers.  We can install protection on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.