Primarily now a Windows user, even I was not exempt from a fake Security Scan type of advertisement this week. I was on a legitimate website and this pop up came on the screen saying it was checking my system for an infection. Well well……
No damage was actually done to my computer because I very quickly pressed Alt + F4 (a tip I’ve shared with you before), which closed my browser. If that hadn’t worked I was prepared to hold down the power key to manually power off my system (something that is OK to do in emergencies).
Our computers can become infected even if we do NOTHING wrong. I can’t always put the user at fault anymore. Why? Most very popular websites do not control the advertising on their sites. The ads are often provided by a 3rd party service. At times, bad ads get through with scripts in them. A script will execute some kind of command — doing something — on your computer, something very bad in this case.
This is why I am a big fan of browsing the Internet with the Firefox browser (as opposed to Internet explorer), with the free Add-ons Flash Block and Add Block Plus installed. These add-ons are current an on par for the Mac version of Firefox as well, but as you know, security on Macs is less of an issue right now.
Some of these hackers that indirectly do harm to a grandma using her computer in Sioux Falls do so for ideological reasons. Such nerds believe that all software should be FREE. They would be most likely to harm a Windows computer, less likely to infect a Mac, and not at all likely to infect a Linux system. Dell and other smaller computer makers do sell new systems with Linux and this segment is growing. The Linux software itself is totally open and free — think of Berkeley, CA or Vermont — but as a piece of software. With Linux you can type documents, print, email, surf the Internet, but one main drawback is that you can’t use an iPod.
One alternative is to have your new computer set up with a combo of Windows / Linux or Mac / Windows, so that you could run the occasional Windows program (for work, school, etc.) That’s where you need the help of a wizard like me. I am ready to cross that bridge with you when necessary…..