A computer virus is keeping me awake, literally.
The clock reads 3:26 a.m. and I wake up to voices in my apartment. I begrudgingly get out of bed and trace the sound to my closed laptop.
Opening it, I see a video being played on my computer.
I have a virus, adware to be exact. When my computer sits idle for an extended amount of time the malware opens an Internet browser and starts playing a video.
I consider myself a pretty savvy computer user. So I'm pretty embarrassed to admit I know exactly how I got duped into downloading this virus. I was multitasking around the house while trying to finish some work on the computer and I needed to download MSN Messenger to communicate with an editor. I went to Google and typed in MSN Messenger and hit the first link that came up. There was a button to download. Before it was done downloading I realized what I'd done. But it was too late.
It wasn't a legit MSN Messenger site. In fact, recent reports show that as much of 38 percent of Google searches can lead to malicious software that can infect your computer.
In my case, I ended up with three unknown icons on my desktop, which I was able to identify and uninstall, but I kept having the reoccurring problem of my computer playing random videos like the one that woke me up at an ungodly hour of the morning.
A scan of anti-virus software seemed to fix the problem for good, but not after a few frustrating and sleepless hours.
Lesson learned, the hard way.
Hindsight is 20/20
One way to prevent virus even having a chance to infect your computer is to have an upgraded antivirus software program installed on your computer like Norton 360 2014, which can be purchased with a coupon code that will save you a whopping $40.
Norton can actually evaluate any file download or attachment opened and will automatically delete it if it finds it a threat to your system. Norton 360 uses technology that monitors the computer it is installed on to identify and eliminate threats.
And Norton even offers free tech support through online chats, phone and email. I wonder if they're available at 3:30 in the morning.