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 Virus and Spyware Help

Viruses  Spyware  Adware  I  Windows Update  I  Additional Help

Internet threats such as viruses, spyware, and adware are a common cause of many Internet problems. Below we will provide information to help you become familiar with these threats, software recommendations, and tips to help protect your computer from infection. All the software listed below is effective and free to use. Feel free to print this page using the Print button from the top of your browser window.

Viruses

Why is virus protection important?
Computer viruses are an increasing threat and new viruses are released every day. Some viruses may cause severe computer problems or loss of data. Others will cause dramatic decline in your system performance. Antivirus software is critical and prevents your computer from becoming infected with viruses and other threats.

There are many antivirus solutions available for purchase or download. Most common are Norton Antivirus and Mcafee Antivirus - which would be available to purchase on disc at any computer software vendor. Below are a couple of free antivirus solutions available on the web.

AVG Free Edition

  • Go to http://www.free.grisoft.com.
  • On the left hand side of the page, click on the Download button beneath AVG Antivirus Free Edition. 
  • You will be taken to a page where you will again need to click on the Download button beneath the Free version of AVG.
  • Click the filename under AVG Free Edition installation files. This will open a File Download box.
  • Click Run or Open depending on your version of Internet Explorer.
  • When the installer starts, click Next through all of the defaults, accepting the License Agreement after reading it.
  • You may be prompted to enter a license agreement.  If you are downloading the free version you can leave this empty and click Next
  • Choose Standard Installation.
  • When AVG runs for the first time, it will open a Congratulations box. Click Next, then click Check for Updates. Check the "Do not ask" box and click Internet. Click Update if AVG finds an update.
  • Click Next twice, then click Scan Computer!
  • When the scan finishes, AVG will either automatically clean the files, or prompt you to take action. If prompted, first try clean, if that doesn't work, click Move to Virus Vault. If the virus cannot be removed, take your computer to a repair shop.

Trend Micro

  • Visit http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
  • Click on the link Scan Now. Its Free!
  • You may receive a security warning click YES to accept
  • The scan may require you to download their Virus Scanning files
  • Once the page loads place a check mark next to My Computer and click the SCAN button to begin the scan.
  • When the scan is complete be sure to delete any infected files if prompted to do so. If the scan reports any viruses detected that were not successfully removed for you, we would recommend purchasing an alternate Antivirus software such as Norton Antivirus from Symantec and installing.

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Spyware

What is spyware?
Spyware has become a major threat on the Internet. It runs in the background on your computer and can perform a variety of tasks. Spyware can monitor your browsing habits, generate unwanted pop-up advertisements, download additional unwanted software or even report Internet usage information to hackers or other sources. Spyware can cause your computer to slow down, crash, or not start up at all. Running an anti-spyware program regularly will help keep your computer clean of these programs.

Installing Spybot Search & Destroy

  • Go to http://www.download.com.
  • In the search bar enter spybot.
  • Look for Spybot - Search & Destroy in the results. Click Download Now.
  • This should be a free edition.  If it tells you otherwise then you have selected the wrong program for download.
  • Windows will open a File Download box. Click Open.
  • When the program downloads it will automatically run the installer.
  • When the installer opens, click OK to use English.
  • Click Next, then check I accept after reading the license agreement.
  • Click Next using all of the defaults, then click Install. Click Finish.
  • Click OK to run the program.
  • When the Spybot - S&D Wizard opens, click Next, then click Search for Updates. Click Download all available updates. When the update downloads finish, the program will restart.
  • Click Check for Problems to scan your computer.
  • Any spyware found will show up in red. When the scan finishes click Fix Selected Problems to get rid of the spyware. Click Yes to the confirmation box.
  • If Spybot says some problems could not be removed, click Yes to run at the next startup.

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Adware

What is Adware?
Adware is similar to spyware. Less malicious but perhaps just as annoying or harmful. If you see a lot of popup ads on your computer, it is likely be due to spyware or adware. AdAware is a program similar to Spybot Search & Destroy, but try running both to make sure your computer is clean and protected.

Installing LavaSoft AdAware

  • Go to http://www.download.com.
  • In the search bar enter ad aware.
  • Look for Ad-Aware 2007. Click Download Now.
  • Windows will open a File Download box. Click Open.
  • When the program downloads it will automatically run the installer.
  • Click Next, then check I Accept after reading the license agreement.
  • Click Next using all of the defaults, then click finish.
  • Click OK to check for updates. Click connect. Click Ok to download the updates, then click Finish.
  • Click Start, and then click Next to start the scan.
  • When the scan is complete, click Next, right-click any of the check boxes and click Select All.
  • Click next, then click OK to remove the objects.
  • You computer should now be clean.

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Windows Update

Keeping your Windows software update is another important step in keeping your computer protected against future infections. This is important in preventing worms and viruses, and it helps patch vulnerable software flaws.

Microsoft has made it easy to check and install updates to your computer. Simply visit http://www.update.microsoft.com/ and follow the directions.

You can also get to Windows Update by clicking the Tools menu in Internet Explorer, and then choose Windows Update.

Be sure and install any critical updates recommended for your computer. This will keep you protected against some of the most prevalent threats on the Internet.

It is also recommended to enable automatic updates. This feature allows your computer to notify you when critical updates are available, and automatically install them if you choose.

To enable Automatic Update, right-click on My Computer located either on the desktop, or in the Start Menu. Choose Properties at the bottom, and then choose the Automatic Updates tab in the System Properties window.

Check the box at the top next to Keep my computer up to date. Then select one of the three methods for automatic updating: We recommend the option that says Download the updates automatically and notify me when they are ready to be installed.

Note: Automatic Updates are only available for Windows XP and Windows 2000. If you are running an earlier version of Windows, you can still stay up-to-date by visiting windowsupdate.microsoft.com.

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Additional Help

Visit Microsoft's Security at home site to learn more about how to stay protected against threats on the Internet.

Print out this document and keep it in a safe place if you need to refer to it in the future.

If your computer is already infected with viruses or spyware, it may be hard to follow some of these steps or install software to prevent it. In these cases you may have to take your computer to an authorized computer repair shop for assistance.

Your computer manufacturer may have supplied you with a rescue/restore disc. This can be used to restore your system to factory settings. Please note however, that this option will delete any existing files on your hard drive. Make sure you have taken steps to back up your data first.

If you need further assistance contact our Support Desk at 800-232-7094.

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