Yes, Windows 7 gets chased by viruses and can in fact get both virus and malware infections! In fact, we have already started to have Windows 7 based computers carried into our shop for virus removal. The spyware prevention tips you have been learning for previous Windows versions still apply for Windows 7.
But in defense of Windows 7, I will have to say that these internet surfers either let their trial antivirus products expire, or they just practiced the same naive internet surfing habits we see no matter what operating system they use. In other words…it was preventable!
I have installed Windows 7 Ultimate on 3 of my computers so far and am more than satisfied. While I have heard of people having issues even upgrading, I’ll bet that they have some form of malware, application or driver incompatibility that they didn’t resolve before upgrading. Please run and heed the results from the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor before actually upgrading. And by all means, don’t try to upgrade an infected computer!! It could prevent the upgrade from installing properly and you may just end up with a broken computer.
Moving on…Windows 7 boasts a much improved version of its built-in firewall, scaleable User Account Control, as well as Windows Defender for malware protection. If you have no or expired antivirus software, you might at least install Microsoft Security Essentials which is available for free from Microsoft. I haven’t seen enough computers using this product to form an opinion yet, but as I usually say, freeware usually only offers “basic protection”.
So although the threats are still out there, Windows 7 is a bit harder to infect and when it does get infected, I can say that it is much easier to disinfect than the same infection on a Windows XP computer. With that said, why not learn more about prevention. Use a Standard User account for your internet surfing, make sure you use multi-layered protection with top-tier antivirus and antispyware products, links scanners, and always do your homework before clicking that link.
In my role as a computer grief counselor, I hear customer after customer cry out “How did I get infected, I’ve got “that antivirus program from the yellow box?” While I’m not going to make this article into a smear campaign about how I don’t like that antivirus program in the yellow box…or the red box for that matter, there are several other lesser known products that I see trojans get past on a daily basis. Keep reading and I’ll tell you the name of the antivirus product that we have come to know as the very best antivirus product available.
Most customers come in with a pretty good idea they have a virus infection. The truth is that only about 3% of the computers we see actually have a traditional virus. Usually it ends up being some form of malware, but not true viruses, but they will all probably make your computer very slow.
Whether you use your computer for business or pleasure, if you surf the internet, I’ll bet that you have already been infected with some form of malware at one time or another such as: adware, bots, botnet , hoaxes, malware, payload, phishing, rootkits, scams, spyware, trojan horse, viruses, and worms. They are all unwanted software items that you absolutely do not want on your computer. You don’t even have to know all the technical names to avoid them. And just to keep things simple, most people have distilled these terms down to just “viruses and spyware”. We are not going to get into the technical differences other than to say that viruses replicate and spyware doesn’t.
So can we avoid them? Ever heard of abstinence? Just stay off the internet, stay off networks, and don’t insert and untrusted CDs, external hard drives or flash drives into your computer. That’s it! I just saved you hundreds and hundreds of dollars you would otherwise spend in the next couple years repairing your computer.
OK, so you wouldn’t even use the computer if you couldn’t surf the internet, and you use an external drive to save your files from work to bring home and work on them there. So lets find a happy compromise out of the usual spyware prevention tips in our favor where we can use our computer on the internet to the full.
We will clue you in on what we consider the very best antispyware and antivirus products, none of which have a high price tag. They are actually quite reasonable compared to what you have already been paying. Most of these tools are downloads and you probably won’t find them in a store. There will also be a few freeware tools to use as well, but the main course will be educational. It will focus on developing safe internet surfing habits, how to recognize potential malicious search engine results, malicious websites, their tactics and how to get out of a drive-by download.
We are confident you will be able to learn these techniques, even if you are a self-described computer illiterate. You probably know more than you realize anyway. We know this because we actually meet many of our customers in person at our shop in Hawaii.
So stay tuned for more exiting, powerful, spyware busting lessons. Some of which I would have to say would blow the whistle on our secrets of spyware removal that many of you may be able to do yourselves…for the most part. But know this, it takes a couple good years of removing spyware for a living to really do it thoroughly, to my standards anyway. But who gets off every water spot when washing their car, who gets an A on every test, who can draw a perfectly straight line…freehand. I think you get the point.