Among friends, family, and co-workers, I have gained a reputation for being in touch with electronics so much so that people have begun to come to me for their computer problems. When people ask me about how they can protect themselves from viruses, I always recommend one piece of software and that comes from the folks at AVG for their amazing products that do work.
A few years ago, I searched high and low online for a good anti-virus software that could match my budget. My budget at the time was anything that didn't cost any money. I stayed away from any websites that offered programs for limited time free trials as these wouldn't be reliable. It was at this time that I came across AVG Free Antivirus software.
AVG's free antivirus software has been something that I have installed on every single one of my machines since first getting it. In my former days of downloading software that was known to have viruses such as the infamous Trojan virus, AVG still kept my computer running smoothly. When I would download one of these files with a virus in it, AVG would alert me that there was a virus being downloaded to my computer. It would then give me a few options as to what I'd like to do such as deleting the file or even moving the file to a virus vault where it wouldn't be allowed to harm other pieces of my computer. Needless to say, AVG has done a stupendous job of protecting my computer. And it all came at a price of nothing to me.
Everyone always asks me how AVG can provide software like this for free. Well, AVG provides one piece of software for free as it will encourage users to purchase other products and increase the services they already receive. AVG free antivirus is simply a free antivirus software and doesn't do much else except find the viruses and help you remove them. AVG provides other services at a price such as scanning e-mails and providing a better firewall than the one that Microsoft provides standard to Windows PCs.
One of my co-workers asked me to look at her desktop a few weeks ago and I finally was able to get around to it tonight. Her mother's computer was heavily infected with not just one, but multiple Trojan viruses that were mimicking real antivirus software and tricking the user into thinking that other software was damaging the computer. It was the same procedure as a previous virus I had seen on another computer where the virus wouldn't allow any .exe files to run.
.exe files are extensions for Windows programs that are necessary in running them. Just about every program that runs on Windows has a .exe behind its name. Macintosh and Linux have different extensions for their programs as well. This particular Trojan identified any .exe files that would open and immediately shut them down, claiming that the file was "infected" with a Trojan. The only way to fix the issue would be to buy the full version of their software. What gave away their scam was that they also required a payment to shut down the program. Any program on Windows can be properly shut down with the click of a button unless it was designed like this malicious program was to stay open permanently. This virus got so bad that not even Ctrl+Alt+Del would work. Bringing up the Task Manager would immediately be shut down.
On a previous computer, I was able to get into Safe Mode (on startup, click F8 during and after the BIOS screen) and successfully remove the virus. This virus was a bit tricky as it still had some control in Safe Mode and Safe Mode wouldn't allow me to do the same thing as before.
What ended up happening was that I decided that I would try and install AVG on a USB then plug it into the computer and run it this way. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that AVG can work this way. But, AVG does have software that will run on a Windows based computer and find any infections in the hard drive and remove them.
This program is called AVG Rescue CD. As I understand, this software is actually an operating system of some sort built on Linux. You can download it and extract it into a USB. Once it has been extracted, you can plug it into the computer's USB port, start the computer and while it starts go into System Settings in the BIOS and run the USB. This is where you will be able to run a scan and find any infections in the hard disks and heal or remove them. This way worked 100% as the virus has no way of manipulating the OS because it wasn't designed to do so.
The virus is now gone and back to its original state. When I deliver the computer tomorrow, I will be sure to advise my co-worker to get AVG to prevent this from happening again.
Time and time again, AVG has proved to be a great company that has helped me in my various virus troubles. Their software has never failed me and always found a way to fix my problems.
With that said, I highly recommend their software to anyone and everyone who wants to protect or fix their computer from a virus. I'd say that a company like this is deserving of my or anyone else's money. If you're a new user, try them for yourself for free to see how great they are and decide for yourself!