I got a call from a good friend yesterday. She was surfing the Web and a “dialog box” popped up telling her that her computer was infected with more than 300 flavors of viruses and spyware. I asked her a couple of questions and we determined that the message was completely bogus. The bad guys pop up those messages with the solution being the download of something they offer. Of course their download is infected and may even mean you are giving them your credit card number. Yes, you are paying them to infect you.
One of the questions I asked was whether she had some sort of anti-virus and/or spyware software on her computer. We ran it and it found no infections. If she did indeed have more than 300 as the bogus message said, even the worst software would find some of them.
So the first thing I want you all to know is to not trust a message in your Web browser saying you are infected. I can’t think of any reason it would be valid! You definitely do need software to protect your computer. One of the surprisingly good choices is Microsoft Security Essentials. Not only does it grade well when various software is tested, it has everyone’s favorite price. That’s right, it’s free. If you need something to protect your computer, you should definitely give it a try.