I've been fighting a Virus all day!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Zion Realty
http://actvra.in/4BYH

If you have a computer you've gotten a virus. They are everywhere and they are practically unavoidable. No matter what you do to safeguard yourself against them, hackers and shady computer programmers are relentless in their attempts to invade your PC. 

Even the most highly recommended anti-malware or anti-virus software can't always protect you from being infected. I run a very well touted anti-virus software called Avast which several IT guys have told me is the best one to have however, about a month ago my main PC started locking up on me almost everyday so I instantly knew something had gone awry. But this morning it froze up on me and couldn't be revived. I've been able to get rid of pesky viruses in the past several times but this one was tough. 

Every time I ran the anti-malware scans the virus would lock up the computer and shut down the scan. I rebooted in Safe mode and tried running the scans again but with each attempt the virus would lock me up. I even tried to run a boot scan which scans the computer for viruses and malware before the system even begins to boot up but guess what? Locked again! 

After several attempts and hours later I finally had to call in reinforcements. My go-to computer guy came over to my home office to lend a hand but this virus was buried so deep in the computers code and registry that not even he could get to it. So, after fighting a virus all day I had to watch my PC get whisked away to his shop so that he can backup all of my systems and completely wipe clean my whole PC. Hopefully I'll have it back by Monday or Tuesday so until then I'm stuck using my old laptop that is a few seconds slower than molasses in January. Not a great start to the weekend.

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Rainmaker
2,762,156
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Nicole -- Not fun!   We all feel your pain.  Here's hoping that virus is eradicated quickly.  

Apr 11, 2015 05:17 PM #11
Ambassador
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TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning Nichole. Not fun! That is one of the main reasons that I do not like PCs. They are so susceptible to viruses.

Apr 11, 2015 07:24 PM #12
Rainmaker
2,219,196
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Hope it all gets fixed and you're back to happier times.  It must be reminding you it's time for a break.  

Apr 11, 2015 08:06 PM #13
Rainer
297,448
Edward Gilmartin
Boston Homes - Boston, MA

Macs seem to get fewer viruses. I hardly ever get them anymore.

Apr 11, 2015 08:39 PM #14
Ambassador
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Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Keller Williams Commerce - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

I will have to try out AVAST.  Both of my computers are running a little slow.

Apr 11, 2015 09:00 PM #15
Rainmaker
533,638
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint
Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

I am fortunate in having in house tech guy who is available to us.  These computer glitches would drive me crazy before that.   Hopefully your techie will have you up and running as promised.  Mark

Apr 11, 2015 09:20 PM #16
Rainer
375,793
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH
CRS

How annoying it is to get a virus, no matter how you get it.  There is no fool proof way of avoiding it.  Good antivirus softvare makes it lot easier to detect and stop before it messes up your computer.

Apr 11, 2015 09:36 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,062,214
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Alliance Real Estate - Minot - Minot, ND
Bob Timm, Broker Associate, Alliance Real Estate

As you mentioned Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert it's not just viruses that are a pain. I downloaded a Java update the other day and I was in a hurry. I failed to pay attention to the possible "add ons" and found myself spending at least an hour getting rid of the damn things.

Apr 12, 2015 12:34 AM #18
Rainmaker
679,229
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Myrl - It's so maddening that there are people who spend their time creating these things.

Evelyn - Almost all my files are in Dropbox now.

Freddie Laser - I'm going to look in to some of those because the Malwarebytes and Avast combo have failed me a few times now.

William - I'm pretty good at finding and getting rid of a lot of them but this one was too much.

Shuchi - I will definitely look in to Fred's programs as well! Thanks for stopping by.

Bob - At least in this case it's not too expensive of a fix. 

 

Apr 12, 2015 12:53 AM #19
Rainmaker
679,229
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Nancy - He's a great computer guy. I've used him several times in the past for other stuff so I feel confident he'll do a great job.

Michael J - Isn't it sad that we've all been there? What a pathetic existence these virus makers must live to do this to people.

Michael T - I have plenty of Mac products but not a main Mac computer. It may be time to go that route.

James - That's what Josh told me. I may just have to sit back and relax for once today.

Edward - I have a close friend who only uses Mac's. They haven't had a virus since switching to them. Meanwhile I've had several.

Russ - It came highly recommended by several IT people I know. They said it's far superior to McAfee and Norton but so far it's let me down a few times.

Mark - I am the in house tech guy 

Sham - The anti-virus program has caught a lot of them but apparently not enough of them.

Bob - Those add-ons are so annoying!

Apr 12, 2015 01:01 AM #20
Rainer
295,819
Jerry Lucas
ABC Legal Docs LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training

Sorry to hear you are having a virus problem.  Always a pain.  Hope you are back to normal soon.

I was a principal computer design engineer for 23 years with a major computer company and write some tech tips and security tips in my blog.

Protection comes from user actions and knowledge of computer security, not a free anti-virus program.  Relying on an anti-virus program alone will not work.

Based on your description, it sounds like a root kit infection.  That gets installed deep in your system and is very difficult or impossible to remove. 

This is usually caused by operating your computer while using administrative privileges.  If a virus get in while you are using administrative privileges, the virus will have full control of your computer to install malware.  Administrative privileges should only be used when installing, removing or updating software.  Always create a system restore point so you can go back to a previous configuration that worked, if needed.

In normal daily use, log in to a user account with standard user privileges, not administrative privileges.  Then, if a virus gets in, it can't install malware at the system level, because it will not have administrative privileges.  Use a long, strong password, not "admin".

Many anti-virus programs only warn you after your computer is infected.  They may not check incoming email for viruses or warn you before opening a malicious website.  There is consumer grade (free) and business grade (paid) anti-virus software.

Security suite software includes anti-virus checking, malware protection, anti-root kit protection, email protection, website protection and other features, and frequent updates with latest virus definitions.

I use ESET Smart Security which is security suite software.  Highly rated by security professionals.  I use Firefox as my web browser, not Internet Explorer. I turn on the ESET interactive firewall feature.  Any internet traffic going in or out of my computer is reported and must be approved by me.  For known safe traffic, I can give permanent approval by creating a rule.  For unknown traffic, I can investigate before approval or deny access.

In addition to backing up your data files, make an image backup of your entire drive using cloning software.  That will include all of your installed software and settings.  If you get a bad infection, remove your infected drive for repair or destruction and install your image backup drive.  Takes about 5 minutes.  Drives are cheap.

In case of hardware failure, I also have backup computers.  I buy refurbished computers for about $200 from reputable sellers on eBay.  I haven't bought a new computer in many years.  I upgrade the refurb computers by replacing the hard drive with a solid state drive (SSD) which is very fast and more reliable.

Also install anti-virus and anti-theft software on your smartphone.

Apr 12, 2015 01:16 AM #21
Rainmaker
3,194,495
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Nicole, that is so unfortunate, and those viruses can get deep into your computer.   One of my laptops had to be wiped as well.  

Apr 12, 2015 01:18 AM #22
Rainmaker
1,726,644
Rob Thomas
Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954 - Bristol, TN
Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro

Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert ....Hope you are back up and running soon ....Once I bought my mac a few years ago I've never had one since.

Have a great week!

Apr 12, 2015 05:56 AM #23
Rainmaker
2,030,827
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Nicole, 

Sorry to hear about your PC virsus issues. hopefully your tech guy can salavage the computer. Let us know how things work out. 

Apr 12, 2015 06:10 AM #24
Rainmaker
2,243,991
Rebecca Gaujot
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

I am thinking of buying a MAC when I need a new compter..hope that will not be anytime soon. Jerry Lucas  gave a good detail comment.

Apr 12, 2015 07:49 AM #25
Rainer
48,982
Craig Gallegos
Fairway Independent Mortgage - Phoenix, AZ
Your bridge between Contact, Contract & Closing

Yikes, sorry to hear it. Hope all your data gets restored. Good luck.

Apr 12, 2015 08:19 AM #26
Rainmaker
3,201,732
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Nicole

I also keep a backup computer for emergencies . . . . I hope you get your computer back on line soon.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Apr 12, 2015 09:18 AM #27
Rainmaker
679,229
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Jerry - Wow Jerry thanks so much for all of that information! I will look in to ESET!

Joan - This is the second time I've had to wipe my main CPU. There's got to be a better way to protect ourselves!

Rob - That's what all of my Mac friends are always saying. I will seriously consider one when my main CPU finally dies!

Bob - He was able to save all of my files and programs and he seemed very confident that once he wipes it I will be back to normal.

Rebecca - Yes, Jerry gave us some great information! I have iPad's and iPhone's but it's time to look in to a main Mac for my PC use.

Craig - Thankfully he pulled and backed up all my data so now it's just wiping it clean and getting it back to me.

Lou - My laptop is functional but not something I want to use very long!

Apr 12, 2015 01:47 PM #28
Rainmaker
3,178,020
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Nicole,

Never fun battling a virus...I feel your pain and hope you are back up and running today!

Apr 12, 2015 10:01 PM #29
Rainer
390,454
Paul Peck
Peck Drywall and Painting serving Brevard County, Florida - Melbourne, FL
Licensed Drywall and Painting Contractor

No fun at all. Hopefully you get your computer back today!! 

-Paul

Apr 12, 2015 11:56 PM #30
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Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert

Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com
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