Your Computer is the Enemy
by MALU BRADFORD BEYONCE
Nov 13, 2013 | 1486 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
People trust their computer. Don’t trust your computer. Your computer is not your friend. Your computer is actually the enemy. Besides writing this wonderful little column, I spend most of my week helping people figure out what is wrong with their computer, aka the enemy.



I had a friend make a Facebook post about how a company managed to get his email address. I told him it was the enemy. This company told my friend his computer had been hacked and they needed him to turn on his computer and follow their instructions. Luckily, he didn’t do so.



However, I talk to people every week who are taken by this very scam. They figure since the company has a little information about them, like their phone number and email address, it must be legit. They hear their computer has been hacked and they panic.



Most people treasure their computer. They love it like a best friend. They are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to protect their friend. What these people don’t realize is, their so called friend is the one who leaked their information.



Many Web sites collect information from your computer each time you go to that page. I am not going to go into the details because it can be overwhelming. But basically not only does your computer track where you go, it leaves your information behind all the time without telling you.



Here is a simple example. I have a Web site. I track every person that visits my site. Not for harmful reasons but because I need to know for marketing reasons. If you visit my Website, I can pretty much track down your street address. I do no harm with this information but not everyone is so nice and sweet like me. You don’t even know I am tracking you. Your computer allows it happen and you thought your computer was your friend.



I get calls every week because someone has been hacked on their computer. They feel violated and they should. One of the latest most popular scams is called the FBI virus. This is not actually a virus, it is malicious software. However once again, I am not going to go into the details. All you need to know is that it is a very bad thing. When you get the FBI malware, your computer will lock up and give a warning saying your computer has been shut down because you have been involved in illegal activity. These activites can range from pornogrophy to downloading music illegaly. It will tell you that they have added you to the FBI watch list. The only way to unlock your computer is for you to send them money. People, this is a scam.



I know a lot of you are saying, this would never happen to me. I get calls everyday about this. I also get the run of the mill virus calls also. To make it simple a virus is a type of malware. A virus typically won’t do damage immediately. You most likely won’t even notice it. Over time though, it will replicate in order to damage other computers. Long story short, it will corrupt files and make your computer unusable.



In other words don’t trust your computer to protect you. It isn’t built do so. Go get an antivirus program to protect your computer. Then go buy a back up system. If you don’t know what that means, go ask the tech at the store. You need it. Also be leery of free antivirus. There are so many free antivirus programs that are actually causing more harm than good.



The people that are trying to harm you spend hours trying to get passed your antivirus and they are successful. Don’t think just because you have antivirus that your computer is your friend and you are safe from harm because even with antivirus your computer can still be infected. I see it every week.



I have thousand of pictures on my computer. I also have them backed up on an external hard drive and on cds. If you don’t understand what I am saying, go ask someone. If you have important files on your computer, you need to back them up. I don’t care how much you spent on your antivirus or how protected you feel.



I talk to hundreds of people a year who felt like they couldn’t lose their precious emails, files, pictures. When I talk to them, there is no consoling them. They are defeated hurt, mad, sad, and in denial that their computer failed them.



I didn’t even explain worms, spyware, rootkits, logic bombs, or trojan horses. All these enemies are working against you. Not to mention sometimes your computer just breaks. Sometimes you spill a drink on it and lose everything.



As a real friend, I am asking you to learn the basics about your computer. Protect your computer with a real antivirus. Backup the files that are important to you. I don’t want to be the one to tell you that you have lost all your precious files.

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