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Posts Tagged ‘malware’

Cryptolocker and Cryptowall Ransomware

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

It can happen in an instant. You click on an attachment from Granny and the next thing you know you are watching your files getting locked up before your eyes. Then an important-looking message pops up on your desktop demanding you pay a substantial fee to a group you’ve never heard of using a online payment method. They make it clear – pay now or you’ll never see the precious photos of your Chihuahuas again.

 

You sit in shocked silence. You then do everything you can think of to get a look at your data. No luck. There don’t seem to be many options. Cryptolocker is holding your data ransom.

Cryptolocker, and it’s cousin CryptoWall, are malicious Trojan virus programs, also called “ransomware”, that take your data files hostage by encrypting the data stored in the file. The encryption process rewrites your files in a way that prevents them from being opened normally. In order to open an encrypted file, the file must be opened or unlocked using a type of encryption that is virtually impossible to break if you don’t know or have the “secret key”— which in the case of Cryptolocker and CryptoWall will only be provided by the malware’s operators, if you pay a ransom for your data.

These viruses usually target Microsoft Windows computers and were first seen in the wild in September 2013. There have been instances in which this kind of phishing scams have targeted Android phones and Mac users, so no one is totally safe. Always remember to follow safe browsing practices to protect your identity.

The most common way we see computers become infected is when our clients open infected files attached to an email they receive. The virus itself can be removed, but the files will remain encrypted. There is no simple solution to un-encrypting those files. A user may choose to:

  1. Pay the ransom [which does not always lead to the files being decrypted],
  2. Restore the files from good backups, [if you have them], or
  3. Try data-recovery options [generally very expensive and also not guaranteed].

Recently, the CryptoLocker 1 virus was isolated and, in late May 2014, Operation Tovar took down the Gameover ZeuS botnet that had been used to distribute the malware. In addition, security firms FireEye and Fox-IT have managed to recover the encryption keys used by CryptoLocker’s authors. These groups have set up a private website that will allow victims to test an encrypted file to see if the security outfits have isolated a key that will let victims decrypt their files. Unfortunately, experts have identified at least 3 versions of CryptoLocker and 2 versions of CryptoWall in circulation. Fireeye warns that some data may not be recoverable using their portal, especially if a victim’s machine is infected with a variant of the virus and not the CryptoLocker virus itself.

We recommend develop a strong anti-malware strategy to prevent contracting the Cryptolocker or similar virus. The strategy should include all of the following steps:

  • Use safe browsing practices,
  • Buy and install a quality triple protection antivirus/antispyware/antiphishing program (covering Windows, Mac and Android machines) to help prevent infection, and
  • Make regular backups of your files so you can restore your data from backup should you become a victim of this kind of malware infection.

If any of your machines have been infected by Cryptolocker or similar malware, we’re here to help. We have Agents standing by available to chat if you need help immediately, or look into our Tech Support service plan so you are ready if the worst happens.

Agent Kate B is a 3-year veteran of Geek Squad, currently on assignment at Geek Squad City. Follow Agent Kate on Twitter @AgentKateB.

Phishing Scams Target Android Phones

Friday, January 9th, 2015

According to a New York Times article from last fall, Android devices are a new target for “ransomware”. These malicious software apps act similarly to the fake FBI virus scams that have been attacking Windows PCs for years. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help protect your Android smartphone or device from these scammers and their malware apps.

 

Stick With Trusted App Sources

Android devices generally come setup for downloading apps from a trusted app store, like the Google Play Store. For extra security, don’t change the settings on your device that allow 3rd party apps to be downloaded from the official app stores. Sometimes called “sideloading”, allowing apps to be installed from less trustworthy places on the Internet increases your chances of accidentally loading malware onto your device.

Stay Updated

Just like your computer, your smartphone’s operating system and apps need to be updated periodically. It’s important to keep an eye out for system update notifications on your device. You can also check for system updates by visiting “Settings,” then “About” (or “About Phone”), followed by “System Updates.”

For app updates, visit the Google Play Store app, then the “Play Store” icon. Select “My Apps” to view your downloaded apps and any available updates. You can also touch the Menu button to check the “Auto-update” option to keep that app automatically up to date.

Practice Safe Internet Habits

A common attack method, known as “phishing” on the Internet, isn’t technical, it’s psychological. Scammers will create fake websites, pretending to be your bank or shopping site. They’ll send you emails asking you to sign in and provide your account information, which they’ll then use to access your account on the real sites.

For more information on how to protect yourself, check out this article on how to avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam.

Some malware attacks come in the form of banner ads designed to look like a security warning telling you viruses have been detected. The error will ask you to download and run what it claims is an antivirus app, but is really the scammer’s software waiting to load onto your device.

The same safe Internet habits you follow on your computer work on your mobile devices as well. If you do find yourself falling victim to one of these attempts, here is what to do if you are scammed.

Security Software

The rapid growth in the number of Android devices being used worldwide has made the platfom a growing target for malicious software makers. Keeping your settings in check, your system updated and avoiding unsafe behavior will often be the most powerful ways to protect your device. To help take your protection further, security software makers have made a range of protection products for the Android platform.

The good news is that many of the major security software suites, like Webroot’s SecureAnywhere Internet Security or Trend Micro’s Titanium Internet Security, include Android security apps that you can install on your device in addition to their Windows PC or Mac coverage.

If you still have questions on how to best protect your Android device, or need help with a potential malware issue like viruses or spyware, chat with an Agent or or stop by the Precinct at your local Best Buy store.

Agent Derek has been removing techno-stress from the lives of his Geek Squad clients since 2005. When not providing remote help as an Online Support Agent, he likes to take to the road on a vintage motorcycle for adventures through Ohio country highways.

Microsoft Intensifies Efforts to Fight Fraudsters

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

You’re online, watching a compilation video of cute kittens, and your home phone rings. A person claiming to be a representative from Microsoft tells you they detectsed a threat to your computer. The caller tries to frighten you into allowing a remote connection to your computer, showing you a bunch of warnings, maybe even some red error messages on your computer. The caller pressures you to take immediate action and buy their service because you are in imminent danger!

In a video published on Microsoft’s blog on Thursday, December 18, Kirsten Kliphouse, VP of Customer Service & Support for Microsoft, reported more than 3 million of their customers have been victimized by scammers. Courtney Gregorie, senior attorney for Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, said that Microsoft has identified more than 50 enterprises in the US alone that allegedly engage in this type of deceptive behavior. Microsoft is partnering with investigators and law enforcement to aggressively crack down on companies that are trying to scam clients using Microsoft’s name and reputation.

If you receive a call from a person identifying him or herself as a representative of Microsoft and telling you there is a problem on your computer, remember two things:

  1. STOP! – neither Microsoft nor any of its partners will ever reach out to you directly. That is not Microsoft calling. Hang up now.
  2. GO! – Go to www.microsoft.com/answerdesk and report the situation.

Some additional resources to learn more about phone phishing scams of this type:

Agent Kate B is a 3-year veteran of Geek Squad, currently on assignment at Geek Squad City. Follow Agent Kate on Twitter @AgentKateB.

HeartBleed: The latest threat to our security on the web

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
The web can be a dangerous place for computer users and sometimes the latest news can be scary — much as is the case with the recent news around the recently discovered “HeartBleed” security bug in OpenSSL, a common form of encryption on many websites today.



How do I know if I’m affected?

Unfortunately, as a user there is no way to really know for sure if you’re affected unless your favorite websites explicitly tell you they were affected. Here at Best Buy and Geek Squad, our web sites dealing with your personal data and accounts were not affected by HeartBleed, so your user accounts are safe. However, when it comes to security online, we always recommend being proactive and protecting yourself first and foremost, so here are a few action items that you should take today to protect your data.

Immediately change all your passwords

This is the first step no matter what the security risk. Anytime you feel your data has been compromised, your first step should always be to change all your passwords. This includes your emails, banking, social media — literately any website that has a password that you use frequently needs to be changed. Because the HeartBleed bug may have exposed your login credentials, we recommend immediately changing all of them to ensure no one else has access to any of your accounts. This article on mashable.com identifies some popular accounts and whether or not they were impacted. Choosing strong passwords and changing regularly is still the best practice and this should prompt you to be safe and change all of your passwords even if only as a precaution.

Monitor your identity and personal accounts closely

As with any potential theft of personal data, you should closely monitor all your accounts moving forward. Watch activity on your all your accounts from credit reports, bank and credit statements as well as any other personal accounts like emails for any suspicious activity. Since the HeartBleed bug may have allowed people to see the data you were submitting on secured forms, potentially, they could have gained enough information to steal your identity. Closely monitoring your accounts will help you take quick action in the event your personal details were compromised.

Be vigilant for phishing attempts

Phishing attempts have been a favorite of con artists for a while now and they are constantly looking for ways to make their attempt seem more legitimate. If they were able to use the HeartBleed bug to gain some personal information, like a bank account number or password, they may use it in an attempt to gain more information from you. Never respond to unsolicited emails asking for your personal information and always ensure you only update information on the legitimate websites. Banks and credit card companies will never ask for information via email, only on secured forms.

If you’d like more information on the “HeartBleed” or “HeartBeat” OpenSSL bug, you can read all about it at techcrunch.com.

You can find out more about OpenSSL and their see their April 7th “Security Advisory: Heartbeat overflow issue.” announcement at OpenSSL.org.

Agent Tanya B. has been a woman of technology since 2009. When she steps away from her role maintaining the Geeksquad.com website, Tanya is either at the gym, walking her dog or gaming with the other Agent B. Having moved to corporate from Florida last spring, she’s trying really hard to not complain about the cold too much.

Routers & Malware: No Longer Just Your Computer That's Vulnerable

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Warning: it isn’t just your computer at risk from hackers. Some recently discovered issues with wireless routers from two different companies show that they too can be vulnerable to hacker exploits that can leave your data exposed to online evildoers. In one case, the affected routers allowed hackers to access data on the victim’s network, while in the other the router was used to distribute a self-replicating worm onto other users’ networks.

Users of Asus RT routers have reported that a router flaw allows hackers access to data on external USB hard drives attached to the router. Although some security experts believe that only users who have turned on the https service (part of the router’s AICloud feature) were affected, some users have reported their systems were compromised even though they never enabled that feature.

The best way to secure these potentially hackable routers is to update the router’s firmware, make sure all default passwords have been changed, and deactivate any remote access options. For more details on this, check out the excellent article about the situation on ARS Technica.

Dear Asus Router User: You’ve Been Pwned, Thanks to Easily Exploited Flaw (Ars Technica)

Security experts have also identified activity online indicating a persistent attack on networks using Linksys routers, particularly those of the Linksys E series. The attack involves the distribution of malware designed to seek out and hijack other networks connected to the Internet by vulnerable devices. Although experts have not been able to identify the purpose of the attack, it is consuming significant bandwidth in specific IP ranges. Some speculate the attackers may be testing their ability to assemble a botnet (a network of compromised computers) that could exploit the Linksys router vulnerability.

Observers say simply restarting the router appears to remove the malware. However, this does not prevent the router from being reinfected. It appears that routers using updated firmware do not become infected, so it is suspected that the vulnerablity must be part of earlier versions of the firmware. Users with Linksys routers in the E series should go to the Linksys website and look for the 2.1 version of the software.

For more on this router-based vulnerability, check out this detailed article on ARS Technica:

Bizarre Attack Infects Linksys Routers With Self-Replicating Malware (Ars Technica)

If you think your system may have been compromised, we offer a Virus and Spyware Removal Service online, on-site and at Precincts in Best Buy stores.

Agent Williams joined the ranks of Geek Squad in 2007, earning the badge number #13337 and the alias “Agent Leeet Sauce”. Now Agent Williams protects the internetz from the Geek Squad Magic Castle. When he’s not policing unruly technology (or eating cookies) he can be found making music, chasing down his badge (it’s been on a trip to the stratosphere) or riding his imaginary pet unicorn.

Phone Scams and Computer Repair: Know Your Facts to Protect Your Computer

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Imagine this – you are sitting at home minding your own business when you receive a phone call from an official sounding person telling you that your computer is seriously infected with viruses. They say they will help you out and eliminate the viruses if you will provide a credit card number.

An increasing number of computer users are receiving similar phone calls and some — afraid of potential data loss and device damage — are surrendering their bank account information in the hope this will protect their tech.

If you get such a call, we’re here to tell you — hang up. It’s a scam!

Geek Squad Agents are seeing a rise in phone scams targeting PC and Mac owners. Cybercriminals pretending to work for Microsoft, Geek Squad, or any other nationally-recognized tech company call their intended victims, claim they’ve scanned their computers remotely and found viruses on them. Relying on computer users’ fear of viruses, data loss and identity theft, they trick people into giving them actual access to the computer.

Once the scammer has access to the victim’s system, they will often show the user scary looking error messages on the machine, require immediate payment to cleanup the “dangerously infected” computer and install more “protection” software onto the system. Chances are they’ll take the opportunity to install other bits of malware to capture the victim’s online shopping or banking information.

 If your first instinct is not to trust cold calls about fixing your computer, you’re absolutely right. Scammers often use publicly available information (like your name and telephone number) to make initial contact, and can often make an educated guess about your PC’s operating system. They can sound very convincing (they are good at this), but don’t be taken in.

It’s important to understand that reputable tech companies (like Microsoft, Geek Squad and other tech leaders) will not scan computers remotely without permission from the owner. They will not call computer users unless they are already working with them on a support issue.

Should you receive one of these telephone calls, here are a few tips to help protect yourself:

  • When in doubt, hang up the phone and call the company back at their publicly listed telephone number. You can usually find contact information on their web site.
  • Never provide a credit card or banking account information to someone on a cold call — even if they claim to be from a computer support company.
  • Never give remote access to your computer to any technician unless they can confirm they are a legitimate member of a computer support company with which you have an existing support agreement.

 If you’ve been a victimized by a phone scammer:

  • Contact your credit card or bank and speak with the fraud prevention team to have the charges reversed and the account protected from future charges.
  • Change your computer password, along with the password of any online accounts that may have been provided to the cybercriminal.
  • Update your security software and run a full scan on your computer, or use one of our tools.  You may also want to contact one of our Geek Squad Online Support Agents to have the PC checked for malware.

Phone scams are successful because cybercriminals rely on computer users trusting an unknown person with access to their computers. Together, we can defeat these scams by simply hanging up when you receive an unrequested support call, regardless of who they say they are.

Agent Derek has been removing techno-stress from the lives of his Geek Squad clients since 2005. When not providing remote help as an Online Support Agent, he likes to take to the road on a vintage motorcycle for adventures through Ohio country highways.

SIM card phone hacking — How It May Affect You

Monday, July 22nd, 2013
The news media is currently abuzz over an announcement by Karsten Nohl of Security Research Labs, indicating that there’s a new phone hack affecting some SIM cards. What does this mean to you, and what do we know about this latest threat? 

 

 

Before we break out the tinfoil hats, let’s start with the basics.  A SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) is the small card slides into the back of many smartphones on the market.  It acts as on official identifier, telling your cell phone provider that your mobile phone belongs to you, and allows it to use your phone and data service.

According to the Security Research announcement, Nohl discovered a flaw in older versions of the DES encryption found on some SIM cards.  Nohl was able to send a fake text message pretending to be a mobile carrier with a fake encryption code.  In 75% of the tests, the phone correctly determined the message was not real and ignored it.  In the remaining 25% of the cases, the phone responded to the fake text message with its encrypted digital signature. — a signature that gives a hacker the ability to send malware to infect the phone, or perform other unwanted actions.

So, what does this mean to you, and your smartphone? Let’s take a look at it closer.

One important thing to understand is that the announcement does not include full details of the flaw, and that the research won’t become available until the BlackHat security conference on July 31st. Until then, there’s going to be a lot of wild speculation on the full impact. Another important thing to note is that the hack is designed to exploit older DES encryption schemes, versus the more modern (and secure) triple-DES protection available on more than half of currently available SIM cards.  And even amongst older DES encrypted SIMs, less than a quarter of them were vulnerable.

Nohl said he believes 750 million out of the billions of mobile phones used today may be vulnerable to this exploit.  The GSM Association has been given information around the flaw, which has been passed on to mobile carriers.  According to Nohl, it will take criminals at least six months to make use of the flaw, time that will be spent implementing fixes on the affected cards.

The important thing? Don’t panic. This will be addressed, and fixed. Check with your local service provider on whether this impacts you or not. As this story develops, we’ll keep you posted.

Agent Derek has been removing techno-stress from the lives of his Geek Squad clients since 2005. When not providing remote help as an Online Support Agent, he likes to take to the road on a vintage motorcycle for adventures through Ohio country highways.

Ransomware Now Targeting Mac Users

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Apple computer users have mostly flown under the “malware radar” for years. For a variety of reasons, the Mac operating system (OS) wasn’t targeted by hackers as much as Windows was, and Mac users were able to browse the Web largely unaffected by infections. But as Apple’s share of the computing market has grown, cyber-criminals have set their sights on the Mac OS.

The latest development is a variation on a “ransomware” program that has in the past only targeted Windows users. Ransomware – a version of malware that seemingly locks up a victim’s computer and demands a one-time payment to “unlock” the computer — usually masquerades as an official communication from the FBI. The highly visual warning usually accuses the user of downloading or illegally distributing “prohibited ” content, and requires the payment of a “fine” to unlock the machine. (Note to readers: the FBI doesn’t do this.) Agent Derek wrote a blog post about the Windows version of this security issue last year.

Hackers are now distributing a version of this malware online that targets Mac users. Fortunately, there is a fairly simple solution. To find out how to remove the malware or learn more about this, see this post in the Malware Bytes Unpacked blog.

For a longer discussion of ransomware on Mac OS computers, take a look at this thread in the Apple Support Communities.

If your computer has picked us a virus or is experiencing unexplained performance problems, we have Agents standing by ready to help online, instore and onsite.

Agent Ron G. has been battling the forces of unruly technology run amok since 2001, prior to Geek Squad’s acquisition of Best Buy. When not busy creating video & technical training content for Geek Squad Agents in the field, Agent Ron enjoys home brewing, international travel, sketch writing, and learning how to cook new cuisines.

10 Reasons Your Computer May Be Running Slowly

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Frustrated with your computer or cell phone? Embarrassed to ask your kids/grandkids for tech help? You’re not alone. According to AARP, 33 percent of Boomers report frustration with technology.  Here’s some tips to help you take control of your technology.

 

One of the most popular computer questions people have about their computer is “Why is it running slowly?” Through the years, we have narrowed down the list of possible reasons to ten:

1) Too many programs are running at the same time.
It is common for users to download utilities, applications, and other programs that run in the background. The more programs that are running – whether you see them or not – the less “attention span” your computer has to do other things you are asking it to do.

Avoid downloading web browser-helpers, more than one anti-malware program, or applications that claim to “speed up” your internet or your computer, as each one added will slow down your performance. (It’s also a good idea to uninstall programs that you do not use to increase your machine’s processing speed.)

2) There’s not enough free RAM.
Random-access memory (RAM) is what your computer uses for temporary working and thinking space. The more programs running at time, the more RAM is used. If your computer is running slowly, it could be because too many programs are running, and not enough RAM. To make your computer run faster, run fewer programs at a time or upgrade your RAM.

3) You have a virus/malware infection.
Internet slowdowns and slow computer operation can be a symptom of an infection. To find out if you have a malware problem, use an anti-virus and anti-spyware application to find it – like the free scanning tool we have available in the Self-Help area of our website.

4) You have low hard drive space.
Lack of hard drive space often affects older computers, or computers that do a lot of video editing or design work. Hard drives, which store all of your computer’s information, have a finite amount of space. Once they’re filled up, the computer no longer has the ability to manipulate files. The computer will slow down, eventually becoming unusable.

Generally, Windows will alert you to “low disk space” if this is the case. Moving some of your less-used files – such as pictures, music, and movies – to an external hard drive would free up some of your computer’s hard drive space and make it run faster. Deleting temporary files and performing a disk cleanup are also good ways to reclaim wasted space. Another solution? Install a bigger hard drive.

5) Restart your computer.
Every once in a while, it is a good idea to restart your computer. A computer cannot complete some of its updates until you restart. Restarting your computer can also free up memory resources tied up by buggy programs.

6) Sharing a wireless network.
If your internet is running slowly, but your computer is running quickly, you could have a lot of activity on your wireless network. Check to see if anyone else on your network is doing something that uses a lot of bandwidth (like streaming video or playing online games), as this can make your computer run slowly. You should also make sure your wireless network is secure so someone else isn’t using your Internet bandwidth. If your wireless network is not secure, Geek Squad recommends you create a password to secure your data and ensure strangers don’t join your network.

7)  Too many “bells and whistles.”
Animated pointers and hi-resolution images of your favorite vacation spot may look nice, but they can also slow your computer down. Since animations and images  load into memory every time you start your PC , there is less processing power available for more important tasks.

8) You have a scanning program running.
When a scanning program such as an anti-virus, anti-spyware, or automatic backup is running, your computer may respond slowly. We don’t recommend disabling these, as they are an important part of your computers safety. These programs should be run at least once a week, but don’t plan on using your machine while they are running.

9) Your computer barely meets your software’s minimum requirements.
Software usually has a list of requirements for things like processor speed, operating system, memory (RAM) and hard drive space. These specifications are the absolute minimum levels needed to make the software run. If your computer just meets the requirements, the software will run, but it might not run well. Try to meet or surpass the system “recommendations” of your software, rather than just meeting the bare “requirements.”

10) You have a fragmented hard drive.
It’s important to defragment your hard drive to help the computer organize itself better and make sure it runs smoothly. Think of your hard drive as someone who really likes to be organized but is always in a big hurry. Because you hard drive is low on time, it might save bits of a file here and pieces of it there, rather than all together. This works fine for a while, but eventually everything is scattered, and it takes your hard drive longer to find everything and get moving. Defragmenting is like a really big clean up. Your hard drive will put everything back in the right place and, as a result, will be able to move more quickly.

That’s it! If you’ve follow these ten steps, it should help you resolve a decent amount of your slow computer problems. There’s always more to learn, and lots to do in order to keep your computer running smoothly. Of course, there’s always help from Geek Squad, if you need it, but don’t be afraid to try some things on your own as well. We’ll always be available for you at www.geeksquad.com, at 1-800-GEEKSQUAD (1-800-433-5778), or at a Geek Squad precinct in a Best Buy store near you.

Agent Wiebusch carries badge number #3881, and has thwarted rogue technology issues since 2004, helping clients in store, in their home or business, and now online. When away from computers, he enjoys playing sports, playing videogames, and tinkering with motorcycles, classic cars, and anything else fast.

Fake “FBI” virus scam alert (Beware of Reveton)

Monday, September 10th, 2012
So you’re sitting there, innocently using your computer, when a window flashes on the screen, bearing the logo of the FBI. You’ve been locked out of your computer for breaking some not-too-specifically-identified copyright law. The solution on the screen? Pay a fine to the “FBI” to “unlock” your computer and use it again.

 

Think this is a new way for the FBI to deal with computer crime? Think again – you’ve just been a victim of a particularly nasty new virus – Reveton.

Ransomware — A Sneaky Form of Virus

Like a biological virus, computer viruses are constantly evolving to take advantage of unsuspecting hosts. In this case, you are dealing with a form of virus called “ransomware”, because it holds the victim’s computer hostage until a ransom is paid to a mysterious third party.

Reveton disables the computer and displays a bogus-but-somewhat-intimidating message on its screen claiming that the computer’s owner has violated federal law. The malware locks the system until the owner pays the “fine” using a specific pre-paid money card service. For added spookiness, some variants of this virus will use your  webcam to take a photo of you to include in its faked warning window. (Yikes!)

Most law enforcement agencies in the United States do not issue fines and disable computers without due process – meaning you have a legal means to defend yourself. Plus, we are pretty confident the FBI would never take payments from only one specific brand of money card (even if it is widely available at your local convenience store).

What to Do If Infected

Geek Squad has the following recommendations for anyone who believes they may have a computer infected with this Reveton virus:

  •  First: don’t panic. (Fear is the mind killer.)
  •  If asked to enter a form of payment, credit card, or personal information into any web window you did not specifically request, do not do so.
  •  If you have already paid (or somehow manage to bypass the lock), you’re not out the woods yet. There may still be malware running on your computer that can impact your privacy or security. Contact a Geek Squad Agent through our Online Support website, by phone at 1-800 GEEK SQUAD, or at a Geek Squad Precinct in a Best Buy store near you.

Preventative Measures

To help prevent your computer from becoming a victim of a virus infection like this, always remember to keep your antivirus protection current and up to date. Feel free to use our free virus and spyware scanning tools in the Self Help area of our website.

To help protect your important data (such as photos, documents, or music), create and follow a consistent backup plan, using an external hard drive or online backup service.  We have tips on backing up your data (link to http://www.geeksquad.com/do-it-yourself/tech-tip/tips-for-backing-up-your-data.aspx), creating good passwords (http://www.geeksquad.com/do-it-yourself/tech-tip/keys-to-a-secure-password.aspx) and protecting your computer against spyware (http://www.geeksquad.com/do-it-yourself/tech-tip/how-to-protect-against-spyware.aspx) in the Tech Tools area of our site.

As always, Geek Squad Agents are ready to help you with any questions you have about your technology. Visit our web site (www.geeksquad.com) or give us a call at 1-800-433-5778.

Agent Derek has been removing techno-stress from the lives of his Geek Squad clients since 2005.  When not providing remote help as an Online Support Agent, he likes to take to the road on a vintage motorcycle for adventures through Ohio country highways.

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