Hi my name is Richelle, and I am the least technical person on the T7 team! Yet, like most, technology has crept into almost every area of my life, and with it comes a saturation of information and media messages bombarding my screen asking me to click away from my intended purpose. If you are like me, it makes you wonder, “Should I click on that?”
I am a pretty trusting individual, so if I am on MSN or Google and see a sponsored link that interests me, I click on it. But did you know that roughly 10% of those links lead to viruses and malware? I mean let’s face it, there was a time when you had to be doing some shady or risqué web surfing to encounter a virus, but that’s no longer the case. In fact, one of the riskiest words you can type into a Google search is “screensavers” – wow!
And what about email? Should I click on that link? Maybe I really do have a long lost relative in Nigeria who has passed away and needs to send an inheritance wire. Maybe I do owe money to the IRS. Maybe I really did win a cruise to Mexico.
Should I click on that pop-up that says I have a virus?
Should I open or download that file?
With all of these messages and ads popping on up our personal screens, it can be hard to know which ones are legitimate. SO, what is a technically-challenged individual like me to do?
I met with the T7 guys to ask the question “Should I click on that?”, and they gave me seven great answers. Check them out!
Should I click on that email link?
If you are not expecting an e-mail from the IRS, bank, UPS, or an unpaid invoice, then it is likely this link could be a scam or expose you to viruses or malware. Rule of thumb, be careful of any unsolicited email or web addresses you are unfamiliar with.
Should I click on that message at the bottom of my screen?
From time to time you will get little messages on your Windows taskbar at the bottom right of your screen alerting you to updates, low battery, new email, etc. Those messages are called “notifications”. Most are safe but there are some that can be malware in disguise. If in doubt, give us a call so we can check it out.
Should I click on that message that says I have a virus?
These warning messages can actually be the cause of viruses versus the solution. The messages are often easy to detect because they do not look authentic. The key is what steps to take when they pop up. Do not click “ok” and do not click on the “x” to close the pop-up. Often times, this activates the virus. The pop-up itself was just the bait to get you to click. The best thing to do is reboot your computer immediately without clicking anywhere on the box.
If you are a TechSeven Partners client, you will most likely have software in place to detect viruses. It is called Kapersky and is accessible at the bottom right taskbar on your screen. In most cases, it will send you an alert notifying you that you have a potential threat on your computer, but new viruses are created every day, and even the best software is trying hard to keep up with new threats. If you have concerns that you may be infected, give our team a call and we will assist you.
Should I click on that pop-up asking me to reboot?
If you are a TechSeven managed IT services client, you may receive a pop-up periodically that asks you to “reboot” or “continue working”. This message is safe and important because rebooting will allow critical updates and patches to load on your computer for up-to-date protection and efficiency. If you select “continue working”, it will prompt you to reboot every hour.
Should I click on that shopping ad?
The best way to shop safe online is click only on vendors and brands that are familiar. Beware of the ads that stop you in your tracks and won’t allow you to close. Those ads don’t follow advertising guidelines. Advertising pop-up ads often lead to a particular type of virus called adware. Adware is software that automatically displays or downloads advertising material when a user is online. If you believe you have adware on your computer, give T7 a call and we can help.
Should I click on that software update message?
Sometimes 3rd party software such as Adobe Reader, Java, Dropbox and iTunes will ask you to update. Can you update? Adobe Reader and Java updates will often improve software performance and stability, but most are sent to plug security holes. So, yes, you should install these updates when they pop up.
Should I click on that black screen?
If you are experiencing issues with your PC, you may see a black screen with several random sentences you may not understand. It could contain phrases like “chkdsk”, “start windows normally”, “launch start-up repair” or “safe mode”. If you see these messages than most likely your PC was shut down incorrectly or you may have a hardware failure. Contact a TechSeven technician to look into the issue.
I hope this article helps you sort through some of the messages you will likely encounter as a user of technology. A little knowledge goes a long way, but if you are unsure, you’ve always got the TechSeven team to fall back. Just email or text us a screenshot of the pop-up or message so we can examine it and give you next steps. If you are unsure of how to take screenshots, click here for step-by-step instructions.