Anyone who’s had a computer virus knows the desperation when a hacker gets into your account. Change your passwords frequently, now.
The first thing that happens is that friends tell you that your Twitter account sent them a message that says, “Someone is saying really bad things about you,” or “I can’t believe you were in this nasty video…it’s so horrible that you look like this,” or “This video you’re in is so bad. Have you seen it?”
Don’t click it and don’t pass it around. Go to your Twitter account and change your password. Then change all your other social media, website, e-mail and shopping and banking accounts. You may have been hacked.
The last several weeks hacking has reached into Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook and Google, yes, even Gmail. Gmail now offers a two-step verification. Register for it and use it.
If you don’t change your passwords, your identity can be attacked, your bank accounts accessed, e-mail account information hacked and the dark screen and a cryptic message in white letters. No start-up with a virus will be next.
How did this happen? What did you click or bring into your computer that caused this? It could have been an e-mail you opened with the promise of a hilarious video. It could have been a music download from an unsafe website. It could have been that FREE virus “protection.”
Come on, pay for virus protection. It’s less than $40 a year. Never use virus protection? That’s just asking for it. If you have a Mac you’re not safe. The worst viruses out there are hitting Macs. They can erase your hard drive, steal information and hijack your “virus-proof” computer.
Don’t Click It: It’s a Virus
Viruses can come from anywhere. A good rule of thumb: if it’s an odd message from someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. If it’s an e-mail from a friend that says “Your Pictures” anything that doesn’t make sense, don’t open it.
Compelling subject lines may be calling to you, but don’t open them. If you’ve not been e-mailed by a friend and suddenly have a friendly notice from them, unless you’ve recently been in contact, delete it. It’s probably a virus.
Facebook is a culprit if you let anyone post anything. Spammers love to stick garbage on your page. Just delete it but don’t click it.
If you open a Facebook message from someone you don’ t know or even a message from someone you rarely interact with, delete it. If you really need to know what they sent, call them.
If there’s a filthy video posted on your Facebook page, delete it and reset your password.
If it is a video posted by a friend but seemed very unlike anything that friend would post: i.e., watch the Osama Bin Laden video, delete it and change your password.
Here are a few common tricks to get you to click on Facebook:
“Get a Free iPad, This is how I got mine”
“Here’s my party video and you’re in it”
“Free Jordans just for completing my survey”
You get the idea…they’re teases.
If you get a message on Twitter like this: “Thanks for following let’s meet on Facebook and do viruses together.”
Don’t respond. It’s a virus. You can report the SPAM as well on Twitter and on Facebook.
Backup to the Backup to the Backup
Viruses are destructive so be sure to back up your computer DAILY with Norton Anti0-Virus AND with MULTIPLE methods:
1. CD: It’s old school, but it works
2. Cloud: Pay for it or get 2 GBs free with Norton or through DropBox
3. Flash Drive: Be sure to do a safe removal every time you pull it out!
4. Hard Drive: Seagate is a great brand. Back up daily and do a safe removal or you can lose everything.
Don’t be cheap. Pay $100 bucks now or pay $1,000 or more for your new computer minus your information.
After backing up please do not pull your flash drive or hard drive out of the computer without safe removal. You can lose what you just tried to save.
Take your cursor and hover over the bar at the bottom left or right of your computer screen and look for the safe removal icon.
WAIT until a “pop” sounds and the little notice says: “The USB Mass Storage Device may now be safely removed.”
If you pull it before that, you’ll destroy your own information.
Confused? Call The Marketing Square. We can walk you through it over the phone and can recommend a location to take your computer for repair, replacement or information retrieval.
The Marketing Square is a website and advertising agency in Madison, Wisconsin, and Winter Park, Florida. We build and rebuild websites for small business owners in WordPress. When the websites are complete owners learn how to use the website to post updates, photos and video. We also provide reputation management, search engine optimization, content and video.