Dear friends, family & fellow professionals,

As your IT guy, many of you have gotten my help in the past for problems such as viruses, spyware, malware and strange pop-ups you’ve gotten after your 8-year-old wandered around the World Wide Web.  Once these things were resolved, I often get call-backs from people who manage to get infected…again and again.

With that in mind, I offer you a few words of advice…

Please, please, please make sure you know what you are installing on your PC before you install it. Places such as coupons.com, Facebook.com, ESPN.com, and many others have you install an application, or plug-in, to allow you to print a coupon, play a game or keep a running stream of scores.

Friendly IT Guy

Most often, these applications serve a dual purpose.  One, to allow the website to track your information as you browse the web for further ads focused on your shopping habits.  Second, to infect your machine so that it may transmit your sensitive data back to the builders of the website for malicious purposes.

Let me re-iterate my general opinion on safety on your PC.  First, be sure to keep your antivirus software running and up-to-date.  Second, be sure you KNOW who the sender is of that email BEFORE you open it.  Third, make sure you know exactly what it is you are installing BEFORE you install it.  If a web site says it needs to download something, double check to see what it is trying to install before you let it.  Call or email your friendly neighborhood IT guy to ask if he knows.  It is much better for us to receive a phone call at 10:30pm if it prevents you from needing us to come in next day to rebuild your PC because it got hosed, again.  If you cannot reach your IT guy, do a Google search on the file name to see if it may be malicious.

We, as computer geeks, take pride in being able to help those that need it, but please follow our recommendations for the safety of your PC.

Sincerely,

Your Neighborly IT Guy