In my experience as a Support Technician I have stumbled upon quite a few types of infection, so I decided to write an article on why we get infected in the first place and how to protect ourselves.
Let's put ourselves in the shoes of the ill intended person who created the infection in the first place. If we take the time to write malicious code, we would definitely want some kind of benefit from it. Otherwise it would just be a waste of time, right?
So, how can one make money, by infecting a computer? Here are some examples: 1. Steal payment information - this is the easiest way to make money. 2. Steal e-mail contacts - we could sell these to other ill intended people, so they can have a large database of e-mail addresses they can send scam e-mails to. This will bring the ill intended person more benefits than just stealing your payment information. 3. Steal your browsing habit. With such information at hand, they can create phishing sites (sites that look exactly as the original) with which they can either get access to your e-mail contacts or payment information. 4. Steal your internet band. The programs these ill intended people run, could run directly from your computer, making you an unaware accomplice. 5. Steal company information and other "secret" documents. This is valid for most of us, even if we do not hold any classified information. With information comes power, so even if the document they steal is only an essay on marine life, they could be able to sell it to someone who's interested in buying. 6. Steal images. It's not uncommon for adult sites to buy images of beautiful young girls/boys, to display on their site, regardless of the owners consent. 7. Scam. Sometimes, an ill intended person can write an infection to mess with the computer's settings and make the person owning the computer believe that they can remove the infection only if they buy a removal tool (which of course they provide). And so on... These are just a few examples that should make you aware that anything on your computer can be stolen and sold. The infection can combine two or more of the above.
So, what can we do about it?
I personally recommend and do this, even if it's a tedious process in the beginning:
1. The first thing you will want to do is start with a clean Windows installation. Then, install your Antivirus, install all Windows Updates, install your drivers for external hardware, and install your other applications (such as the mobile phone control panel, your printers control panel and so on). At this stage, you should install only the programs and applications that you know for a fact that they are infection free.
Whenever you install a new program which is safe (it has proven to be safe), you can make a new backup of the registry. This will keep your system updated.
2. Now that we know for a fact that we can restore our registry whenever we want, thus restoring the instructions the computer needs, in order to run the system files, we can restore the actual files, if needed (when needed), with a simple command in Command Prompt (cmd.exe): sfc /scannow. Take note that this only restores system files, so if the files of your programs become corrupted, you may need to re-install them.
3. The last thing we want to make sure of is that we save all our personal (documents, images, movies) on another drive. Whatever files that you do not use on a daily basis, you should save(backup) on another drive (online backup, external hard disk and so on) I know that this calls for an investment, but in case our system get's corrupted, the information that can be stolen is minimized and also the files are less likely to become corrupted by the infection.
Ok, what this provides us with is a way to delete the infection, regardless of it's type, without us loosing precious information or files. It also allows us to restore the computer with just a few clicks and typing, without having to start from scratch again.
For people who want to protect even more, I will return with a guide on how to backup and restore your other personal information and settings, such as your browser history and favorites, your e-mails and contacts, your Desktop and so on, but those three steps are the minimum protection steps anyone should take the time and follow.
I have reviewed my article and found that one could understand you can only do this with a fresh new computer. No!
You can do this at any time you want, as long as your computer is running at 100% and you know for a fact that your computer is not infected (new computer, or have a BullGuard Supporter check everything for you :D ).
When you get infected, what you do is you double-click on the registry backup, to reinstate it, and run the sfc /scannow command to restore your system files. As long as your system is clean and safe, your Antivirus can do the rest of the cleaning.
I will get back, as promised, with further protection steps, in a few days.
Hi dear Andrea I want to felicitate for this helpful article, many of the comon users (included me) dont have good security habits and dont know how to install windows in a computer. I see now bullguard is a very stable product, and you give me the trust to navigate and doing my things whith peace and tranquility, your help is invaluable. no obstant i consider the use of resque cds necesary and have secure habits to navigate and download things. Its most important dont use pirate programs (Specially antivirus) and another things.
I going fan of bullguard thanks to you and your "amable" and efficent and patient support i must to thank you.
I come for a large antivirus products i use all in the market, and no one satisfy me like bullguard but i think they features are overstimated.
First much people in the feedbacks ask for cloud thecnology. I answer the bitdefender motor has this thectology and bullguard too. Much people ask for sand box i dont think it will be necesary at all if you dont navigate in pages whith poor reputation and in the bank they have a solid structure of security only need to ask tips.
In my experience (i use bullguard a year ago by trial user) all the shields works fine never and i say never see any chase in the shields stops like another products.
I am a paranoic you know and i hope you worte and article to firts test the antivirus (eicar is one option) test the secure navigate and test behaviora shield, some times i have experimented whith other products they stops and we need always the security of bullguard works fine. Can you title it only for paranoics.
I suggest any list of compatible and incompatible programs because much of our try to experimented whith programs of third party.
I have a serious problem now but i ask you latter by this i only want to express my gratitude for you and Robert.
BullGuard is tested by a lot of specialists and you can easily find reviews on the internet. For example, you have AV-TEST, which constantly tests all majos security programs. This is a link to their latest test results: