How to Avoid Malware Infections

Hackers and malware distributors are out there just waiting for people to visit the wrong site. There are several kinds of malware including rogue anti spyware programs, keyloggers, Trojans, fake ActiveX add ons and many others. The story of one internet bingo player illustrates just how dangerous the internet can be for the uninformed and unwary.

An internet bingo player named Tim who lives in the state of Washington found out the hard way just how vicious some of the malware programs can be. Tim, who suffers from liver and spinal cancer, want to play internet bingo and went to a site he saw advertised on the Fox network. While visiting the site Tim lost control of his computer. Tim had been redirected to a site pushing rogue anti spyware programs, in this case one called Malware Alarm. Tim was presented with a dialog box that asked permission to do a scan for spyware and other threats. What Tim didn’t know is that no matter what action is taken the rogue program opens a browser window and shows what appears to be a scan for viruses. The software then claims to have found several threats and tries to trick the user into purchasing the program which actually does nothing at all.

Malicious ads like the one that all but destroyed Tim’s computer are an ongoing concern for companies that depend on internet advertising. Many legitimate companies have been tricked into running the bogus ads that download malware. The New York Times website had been hacked but fortunately the problem was addressed and very few people were affected. Fake ActiveX programs are a growing problem. Generally a user will be prompted to download an ActiveX control to watch a video when in fact no add on is needed. In many cases the malware can destroy a computer within twenty four hours and can make it impossible to fix. If a popup appears for any anti-virus program or an ActiveX add on the best course of action is to take no action and restart the computer. Some experts recommend pressing control-alt-delete but some malware programmers have found a way around this.

Internet bingo players spend a lot of time online and on occasion may run into one of these rogue programs but there are precautions that can be taken to protect their computers. There are many free antivirus programs available that can detect and remove most kinds of malware. Most come with regular updates that stay current with security threats. By using a legitimate antivirus and malware program internet bingo players can have safe and enjoyable internet bingo games.