Are You the Virus Link?

By Will Claney

The Weakest Link

In a world filled with high technology gadgets, application programs running on super fast computers sporting advanced software applications that are designed to keep your computer healthy, safe and operational, why do these gizmos keep getting infected so badly they break down, why do these bad things keep happening?

Have you ever wondered why your computer gets infected? Is it a mystery to you? Do you believe something must be wrong with the defensive software you purchased, or some hardware went bad? Do you believe that attachment you received and opened was the source of your problem because bad things started happening shortly after? Perhaps it was something you forgot to do? What, why, how?

Most likely your virus software is doing its job and your computer is just fine. But you still have problems keeping bad things out of your computer. Was it that attachment, a missed anti-virus update, perhaps you didn’t renew your antivirus subscription.

You wouldn’t intentionally invite a virus or malware software program into your computer, would you? Surely not malware or virus that could harm you, hold your data ransom by encrypting the data and requiring you to make a payment to decode it? Or, worse, deleting your data altogether.

So who, or what is at fault?

What I am about to say may rattle you to the bone. In my experience your antivirus and anti-malware software is working to protect you. Attachments are usually screened by a decent antivirus program, the hardware rarely dies and allowing your subscription to lapse aren’t big issues. I am not saying a lapsed antivirus subscription can’t do harm, I am saying for the most part it isn’t an issue.

Think back, have you ever experienced a pop-up admonishing you to “scan” your computer because you have a virus, in fact the quick scan report from the pop-up window says you are a suspect. The truth is your virus scanners will only report they have found an issue and have fixed it.

The moral of the story, your protection software will protect. It won’t display something like you may be infected. Antivirus protects, that’s the job, it doesn’t guess or speculate. If and when it finds something mischievous it will fix it and tell you so.

Perhaps you visited a web site and a pop-up said something like, “In order to view this file you need to upgrade your Adobe Flash player,” just click here. This is such a simplistic come-on isn’t it? So simple, just click here.

Well, did you figure it out yet? The problem isn’t your computer, antivirus software, or a botched attachment. The problem, my friend is you.