3 signs that the webpage you opened is bad news

A while ago I wrote about malware and adware (if you want to read that blog post you can find it here).  Today, we’re going to dig in a little more. To start off though, it’s always best to remember: never download software on your computer unless you are 100% sure you know what it is.

Use this as your mental checklist every time something questionable comes up while you’re browsing the Internet:

Red Flag #1: It asks you to download or complete something you haven’t agreed to.

If a program asks you to finish installation before you’ve been shown a terms and conditions agreement, and preferences options like where you’d like to save it, it’s probably bad. Malware will cut right to the chase in the hopes you’ll click Finish on impulse. They’ll even use tricks like highlighting the button.

Red Flag #2: A .zip file downloads when you open it.

This one is extremely frustrating, because you have no warning. If you open a webpage and immediately you see that a file or folder is downloading, delete it. If it goes into your Trash folder, empty the trash and restart your computer. If you think it’s affecting your computer in any way, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we can arrange a site visit to clear the troublesome file(s).

Red Flag #3: The page won’t let you close.

Sometimes these webpages open automatically and then won’t let you close them. Contrary to your first impulse, don’t click the “Close” button. This can trigger a download; the best thing to do is to close the browser. If the page won’t let you close the webpage or the browser, right click your web browser icon and select close from the drop-down menu. If that doesn’t work, restart. Just don’t click anything on the page. Again, if you’ve gotten into trouble, give us a call before proceeding!

Don’t panic. There is a lot of good stuff online too! When you know what to look for, you’ll avoid the (expensive!) pitfalls of downloading malware. Your computer will last longer, and you’ll get a smug satisfaction every time you call them on their tricks.

Think you’ve downloaded malware? If your computer is really slow all of a sudden, or you’re getting pop-ups and low disk space error messages, then you could have malware on your computer. Contact me and I’ll have a look at it.