I Run Anti-virus Software. Why Do I Still Sometimes Get Infected?

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I have AVG virus protection always on and have the Windows firewall enabled. Why do I still get infected with some Trojan horses? I check for updates every day so I am sure I am up-to-date.

That’s a very good question. Most people believe they’re totally protected because they have an anti-malware program.

Unfortunately, that’s not true.

The answer is partly the nature of anti-malware software …

… and partly the nature of the race.

Read moreI Run Anti-virus Software. Why Do I Still Sometimes Get Infected?

Internet Safety: 7 Steps to Keeping Your Computer Safe on the Internet

The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet – FREE EditionSubscribe to The Ask Leo! Newsletter and get the 88-page Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet – FREE Edition digital download as a gift. Based in part on this article, the Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet – FREE Edition will help you identify the most important steps you can take to keep your computer and yourself safe as you navigate today’s digital landscape.

Viruses and spyware and worms … oh my!

The very concept of “internet safety” is almost an oxymoron these days.

It seems not a day goes by that we don’t hear some new kind of threat aimed at wreaking havoc across machines connected to the internet.

Here are some things you can (and should) do to stay safe.

Read moreInternet Safety: 7 Steps to Keeping Your Computer Safe on the Internet

My Machine’s Full of Malware; Should I Get a New Computer?

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I give up. My computer has been infected with malware – lots of it – and I can’t seem to get rid of it all. I’m ready to throw in the towel. Should I just get a new computer? Wouldn’t that just solve everything?

You should never have to buy a new computer because of malware.

I hear from people all the time who have machines infected with varying degrees of malware. Their goal is simple: their computer is crippled with malware and they just want it to work so that they can get on with their lives.

If that’s you, and you’re at the point where you’re considering getting a new computer because of it, wait.

Before you get out your credit card and lay out money on a new computer, allow me to clear up some common confusion and possibly save you some cash.

Read moreMy Machine’s Full of Malware; Should I Get a New Computer?

Why is my machine so slow after a recovery from malware?

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I had Microsoft Security Essentials installed for my anti-virus in my Windows Vista but it was still infected with malware that was added from the search site Conduit. I removed it, Conduit, and all its garbage but I kept getting malware detections when I did the security scan. My Microsoft Security Essentials kept getting turned off when I shut down my computer so when I turned my computer on again, I had to turn Microsoft Security Essentials back on. So I downloaded Bullguard because I tried the free version a while ago and it worked great.

Well, it also caught the malware, but I went through the process a few times before it deleted the malware. Also, my main computer profile will not open since View Password was part of the malware and the anti-virus deleted it and my profile is closed. So, I had to make a new profile but strangely, I can open the closed profile in Safe Mode. My scans are clean now for the last 3 days (or so it says) so that problem appears to be gone. I have no more malware or virus notices. I also deleted all temp files and all other non-essential files that were downloaded on that date as well. My problem is this: my computer is very slow now.

I have three bars of internet and plenty of disk space so it should be faster. I keep it cleaned and defragged but many times now I have to refresh to do anything online and sometimes offline. So I’m wondering if the malware has somehow embedded itself and is hiding in my anti-virus? Is that possible? Or am I just paranoid. I wonder if it’s really cleaned? What is the best and safest way to be sure – and the best cleaner that you would recommend?

The best and safest way? I’m afraid you’re not going to like my answer.

Read moreWhy is my machine so slow after a recovery from malware?

Why does this malware keep coming back?

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When I click on a search program or email site, I see “infospace” first before the site. It slowed my computer down somewhat. I’ve had it removed but it always comes back. How can I get rid of it forever?

Infospace is actually a search engine that’s got a pretty good reputation. I suspect what you’re seeing here is some kind of intrusive adware that’s associated with that same name.

There are several possible things that could be going on here. I want to walk you through some of the possibilities and what you should be looking at.

Read moreWhy does this malware keep coming back?

Will Malware Infect the Backups on My Connected Backup Drives as Well?

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You stated elsewhere that typically backup images are not compromised by malware. Is this because the malware works by searching for specific file types and the backup file types aren’t in the list? As I understand it from your articles on encryption, a complete disk could be encrypted rather than only some of the content. Could an external drive being used for backup storage be so encrypted by malware?

Typically, backup images and drives are not affected by malware. I have to say “typically” because things can happen, but it’s just not very common.

Read moreWill Malware Infect the Backups on My Connected Backup Drives as Well?