“It’s not IF you lose a hard drive, it’s WHEN you lose a hard drive. ”
This is an adage that I use on almost a daily basis when discussing data backups with our clients.
Another adage that is rapidly becoming a truism is “It’s not IF you get a malware infection, it’s WHEN you get a malware infection. And most importantly, it’s WHAT YOU DO when you get that malware infection that will dictate how much time, money and possible grief you will experience from the infection.
Stop me if this sounds familiar:
ME: How long has your computer been infected?
CLIENT: Oh, about 3 or 4 weeks. I really need the computer and can’t be without it but now I can’t open most of my programs or surf the ‘net because of all the popups.
The client then brings in the system, which has now been infected for a month or so, into our office for a malware clean. No recent backups, if any, and all of the family photos/financial data/tax records/quickbooks files/etc. are on the system that is in very bad shape. What would have been a simple virus clean for a minimal price has now turned into a full-blown data recovery, virus clean and if the virus has done too much damage, an Operating System reload. This can get very expensive if not taken care of immediately. Think of a malware infection like a leak in your roof. If you let it go and don’t get it fixed you will wind up with a LOT more damage and expense than had you fixed it immediately.
The single most important thing you can do, what you should do, when your system gets a malware infection, is to shut it down and get it to an IT professional for cleaning. Once your system is infected the cleaning process runs far beyond running a simple scan and calling it a day. Because of the steps involved in properly and truly eradication the malware we don’t clean infected systems via a remote session. A malware clean requires the laying of hands on the system, pulling it off the Internet while running a series of scans in Safe Mode, if possible running a system restore, cleaning startup items and scheduled tasks and a whole host of other processes and procedures to ensure that your system is 100% clean when it leaves our office.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!
Owner, Scurlock Systems and Associates