Celebrities May Be Dangerous To Your Computer’s Health
Looking for more information or the latest gossip on Angelina and Brad, Snookie, the Kardashians, Kristen Stewart, Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears? If you are looking on the Internet you may be placing your computer at grave risk. Hackers are now targeting web surfers who use search engines to look for information about the famous and infamous. If you are searching for information like that, sophisticated maleware (malicious software) creators and spreaders have automatic downloads waiting for you which are designed to implant their software on your machine in order to delete or steal your personal information, or even hijack your computer.
Anti-virus software providers like McAfee and Norton regularly issues all sorts of warnings about the latest virus or malware threat, but when McAfee recently announced that people searching for information about celebrities online might be subject to unwanted malware downloads and subsequent computer infections, it caught a lot of people by surprise. In fact, McAfee says that (as of this writing) Emma Watson is number one of the list of celebrity searches that hackers have targeted for malware infection.
In case you are not familiar with the way in which malware works and how it can infect your computer, here is an explanation:
Malware does all sorts of things for the people who create it and all of them have different agendas. Some are just hackers bent on creating chaos by spreading malware that can get into your machine and delete all or as much data as possible as you sit helplessly by and watch. Others are identity thieves who use their maleware to get inside your machine for the purpose of stealing as much personal data as they can. It is a given that some government agencies and private security or investigation groups or individuals may use malware to spy on people for their our reasons.
Apart from the identity thieves and hackers who want to delete, steal or compromise your data, there are Terrorists, Anarchists and Fanatics out there who have developed malware which can hijack your computer. Even when you are not online, they are and use your machine and many others to reproduce what they are doing by building web sites or transmitting messages they do not want tracked back to them. You take the heat for their actions while they accomplish their own agendas.
The most common way that malware infects a computer is by some sort of automatic download. You look for some information online and suddenly find yourself at what you thought was a web site, but you computer tells you it is downloading something. You have no idea what it is or how to stop it. Turning your machine off at that point or even pulling the plug will probably not help. Common names for assorted types of malware are based on their uses: malware, adware, crimeware, spyware and root kits to name a few.
The best way to avoid malware is to have a specific anti-malware protection installed on your machine. I use the free version of Ad-Aware which works great and protects better than most paid services. Without judging, I will say that most of the major anti-virus software available will not fully protect you as well as Ad-Aware does and I have the experience to prove it. If you need free virus protection, try ThreatFire which has worked great for me for years. The key is to be sure that your anti-malware and anti-virus protection, whether it is Ad-Aware, ThreatFire or something else, is always on and operating properly.
Watch for Windows Security and other computer alerts because some malware has the capability to disable anti-malware and anti-virus protection. If you do not see your anti-malware or anti-virus icon in the active display area, check to be sure they are turned on and do it right away. If you already have malware on your machine and need to get it off, you can try downloading Ad-Aware which will remove it if you can get it downloaded. Sophisticated malware creators are not stupid and many already have a feature built into their software which may prevent your machine from downloading anti-malware software, tools or fixes.
A good fix available for getting rid of malware is the Windows Malware Removal Tool available in the download section of the Microsoft Windows web site. However, once this stuff gets into you machine it is really hard to get it out. Make sure that while you are searching for information about your favorite celebrity your computer is fully protected with active anti-virus and anti-malware software. There is no reason why you cannot safely find out about the latest celebrity scandal as long as you take those kinds of precautions.