Day-to-day, the most common problem we see is infected PCs. Anecdotally, about 40-50% of the computers we see are infected with some type of malicious software (“malware”), whether viruses, toolbars, adware, ransomware, or others. And many of these computers came to us for other work!
Malware must be dealt with, both for your own sake, and for everyone else’s. Not only can it slow down your PC to a crawl, it can steal your personal info, like passwords, social security number, credit card numbers, and banking info. Some malware can pose as anti-malware scanners, claiming to find all sorts of infections, and insisting that only by purchasing their product can you rid yourself of the infection. Probably the worst infection, called “ransomware” is where your data is literally held hostage. Ransomware completely locks your PC down, and gives you 72 hours to pay them several hundred dollars, or your data will be deleted.
And malware can easily propagate within a local network, like a house or small business. It can even send malware-laden emails to all your contacts, and potentially infect them!
Fortunately, the nasties that you encounter can be dealt with. For light infections, like strange toolbars or popups, we can employ software tools such as MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, and about a dozen or so others, to rid your PC of the bad guys. But if the infection is serious, we can backup your data, perform a factory reset, which entirely erases your hard drive and returns it to how it came from the factory, and restore your data and apps (excluding commercial software you own).
We can also instruct you on how to avoid infections in the future. As it turns out, the best anti-virus software is the one between your ears!