Tech Problems

A Brush with Computer Malware

I didn’t sleep well Saturday night. I’d been visiting social network sites that evening and managed to get into trouble. While checking my messages, I tried to track one back to twitter but failed to connect. After trying several times, I gave up and closed hotmail – and found a disturbing message waiting for me on my desktop. It said my computer was infected with spyware and viruses. It looked genuine, referring to MS security. Then I spotted this little red flag down at the bottom and, like an idiot, I clicked on it.

That’s when the fun really started. Big red warnings began flashing all over the screen. No matter what I did, they wouldn’t stop! They told me I needed to buy this “tool” which would supposedly decontaminate my computer. That made me suspicious, but it was too late to call my son and ask his advice, so I turned off the computer and went to bed. For more than two hours I lay tossing and turning, worried sick about the distressing messages. Had I really blown it by clicking that red flag? Was there some nasty virus on my computer that would eat my writing files, my ancestry research, my family photos – years worth of work? (Most files were backed up but not all. I MUST remember to back up more often!)

As soon as I dared the next morning, I called my son, Dan. After listening to my panicky story, he said it sounded like I’d accidently downloaded a form of malware. It wouldn’t destroy my files, he assured me – to my great relief – but it would greatly slow my computer and pester me until I gave in and bought the “tool” which was supposed to get rid of the infection. To make a long story shorter, my brilliant tech-savvy offspring cleansed the bug from my computer and set up an extra safeguard to keep this kind of thing from happening again.

Moral of the story: Don’t open anything you aren’t sure is safe! Because there are a lot of creeps out there, eager to invade our computers, yours and mine, and steal from us. They are thieves, nothing more, nothing less!

Lyn Horner resides in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and a pair of very spoiled cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn worked as a fashion illustrator and art instructor before she took up writing. This hobby grew into a love of research and the crafting of passionate love stories based on that research. This blog is designed to spotlight Lyn's books and share the work of other creative people.

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