Smart Aleck, smart alec, doesn’t matter ~ everyone knows at least one. In cyberland, there are millions. Some just give sound advice that you wish you never knew existed. Others like to point out how you can change things in your life, if only you would. Some just like to laugh at your misfortunes, even if they caused them in the first place. Some think it’s funny to make and deploy viruses.
Two days ago, I met one of the last group. It took me and my husband over four hours to “work around” and get access back to my computer. How did this happen you ask? I went out to the web to look at a thesaurus because the word I wanted to use “unfixable” just didn’t fit with my article. I found one I wanted to use ~ incurable ~ but I also got zapped with a virus of mega proportions. Ironic right after that to feel like my computer was might ultimately be incurable.
This virus would not allow me access to any of my programs, anything on my desktop or allow access to the internet. It just kept popping up and telling me I had to click here, and of course as a seasoned computer user, that was not going to happen. Even with our considerable computer knowledge, and other computers we could use to investigate and find out how to get around this particular virus, it took us four hours and considerable cursing. If that’s what the smart aleck of this had in mind, someone tell him or her, it worked.
I won’t disclose the name of this virus, so that it gets no credit here. We had to go into what was running and stop it, and then we had to quickly “kill” the computer by changing the name of all the files the virus used – before it reloaded. The files it infected were critical to the computer operating properly and so we had only a partially running computer at that point. But without doing that, we could not get into anything to even attempt a repair. Once we were able to use a few functions, we went to the control panel and did a system restore to a previous saved point in time which was uninfected.
My computer is now fine. I am sure this would not be the case for many of you who might encounter this virus. It made us so frustrated and we knew what we needed to do, and just couldn’t do it without messing with the computer in a way most users haven’t a clue how to do. And yet, if we pressed yes, or even no to the windows popping up left and right telling us we needed to press to save our computer, I fear we might have given up accesses to all our information, passwords and privacy.
So to all of you out there, be careful. To the smart aleck who wrote and deployed that , I want you to know I am going to buy a nice thesaurus at the book store for future use on my articles.
Addendum: After some research on this “virus” I have found out that the files loaded onto my computer to do this were giving mostly “false” readings and information. That’s no surprize, but this program was also controlling my access to my computer. This was and is a malicious malware program made specifically to get credit card information. The “program” takes over your machine until you give in and buy the product they are selling. The purpose is to get you to say ‘yes’ to their fix, and then pay with a credit card so they can steal your credit card information. Since most people will be stuck without a computer if they don’t say yes – many will fall for this and put in their credit card information ~ which is exactly what they want. It then removes the malware program and moves on to the next victim. The machine will clear, and your computer will be fine, but your credit card information is now stolen.
Should you fall victim to this – and give them this information ~ make a call immediately to your credit card company, cancel the charge and put a fraud alert on your card. Actually if it were me, I’d cancel my card since it was compromised and ask for an new one.