Pop-up notifications are aimed at those who aren’t as tech-savvy as most users; those who use a computer portal for something like a call-center job, or data entry and processing. Viruses usually work like this: you’re on a website, doing research, when out of nowhere this screen jumps in front of the window you were using and tells you that your computer has been infected with a virus. It then tells you that getting out from under the thumb of this virus requires you to “download” something. This is a kind of Trojan Horse. The virus is actually in the “antivirus” download that disguises itself as your protection.
Unfortunately many don’t realize this, and they’ll download the negative software right onto their computer. Even worse, those who do see the danger may unknowingly download it as well.
The goal of the window is to make you click on it by any means. So if you go to close it down, the “X” you click may-in-fact be coded to “download” the virus on your computer. Usually, when you click on it, another pop-up notification will jump up in order to shroud the downloading that’s actually going on.
You desperately need to shut down your Internet browser at this point, before the download is complete. Hackers who have malware or ransom-ware understand that the most effective virus software is that which can be downloaded the most quickly. Said software should look exceptionally legitimate, be impossible to avoid once it pops up, then download in either a few seconds or a fraction of a second. If you see such a pop-up, your best course of action is to understand this programming perspective and fight back immediately.
Close your window with keyboard commands. On a Windows device, this usually incorporates a “control/alt/delete” command. With a Mac, you’re going to need to do “command/option/escape”. After you’ve done that, shut down the computer and notify IT. You want to shut it down because if it’s part of a network, then it’s possible the intranet connectivity which naturally connects your workstation could be used to infect other computers, or the server array powering the network itself.
It’s amazing that software can wreck a system from something so seemingly insignificant as pop-up notifications, but that is the reality. IT security can be the most proactive feature of your company, but such a pop up can still slip through the cracks and compromise the entire system. You’ve got to guard against scenarios like these.
Pop-up notifications may not be completely defensible, but there are quite a few MSP options out there who can help secure your system against these intrusions. Such systems use proactive support measures to continuously monitor systems and ensure compromising agents do not infect them. Additionally, regular software upgrades and patches are brought to the table in order to protect against “trendy” computer viruses that may be in the process of “making the rounds” among big-ticket organizations.
Malware is a nuisance that compromises system stability, and ransom-ware is a curse that keeps on cursing, often continuing to hold your system hostage even if you pay the desired sum. You can’t afford to be treading water in choppy business seas with such viral sharks nipping at your toes. You need the lifeboat of IT security to float your business safely ashore.
What To Do
To review, should pop up notifications make a cameo on your browser, your mode of approach should be:
• Use keyboard commands to quit the web browser
• Shut down your computer as quickly as possible
• Contact IT security
There’s no way to completely guard all systems from all viral agents perpetually. But through reasoned, conscientious security protocols, you can curtail most negative fallout from caustic viruses that will diminish your business’s operation-ability. The best way to have this protection is through IT security measures conducted by an MSP who has the ability to devote directed, continuous measures toward security maintenance, continuously upgrading and patching your system. The financial seas are stormy, but your business ship can avoid the viral monsters and make it home.
About the Author
DCG Technical Solutions
Los Angeles, CA
Brent Whitfield is CEO of DCG Technical Solutions, Inc. providing IT Support in the Los Angeles area since 1993. He started DCG as a results-oriented IT solutions company for small businesses in 1990 and built it into a company that was recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP mentor. Brent has been featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business.