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At DMS, we have over 27 years experience providing computer repair and network management services to homes and businesses located in Fairfax, Prince William, and Fauquier counties. We offer free on-site repair estimates for all businesses and residences located in our service district.

DMS president, Kelley Lott, explains the DMS repair philosophy, "We are geared to understanding and meeting our clients' needs. We are about solving problems as expediously as possible. Unlike some of our competitors, we are not about spending hours configuring computers with more "horsepower" or capability than a client actually needs. We consult with each client before any repair or configuration is done, and then tailor each repair, installation, or configuration to meet the client's expectations."

All DMS technicians have over 20 years experience resolving computer-related problems. Please contact us for a free on-site estimate of your computer-related needs. You won't be disappointed.

COMMON COMPUTER REPAIR Q&A

(Click on a question to display the answer)

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF COMPUTER INFECTIONS?

Malware
Malware is a computer program created to enter or damage a computer system. The name originates from a combination of two words, malicious and software. The name describes the intention of the author rather than functions of the program. Viruses, trojan horses, spyware and adware all belong under the common label "malware". In legal terminology, malware is sometimes called a computer impurity.

Trojan Horse
The name trojan horse comes from the ancient Conquest of Troy. The Trojan horse is a part of a program, which is hidden to the user and performs a function, which the user doesn't know about (usually a harmful function). Trojan horse can be a standalone application, which appears to be useful. Screensavers, cutesy cursors, free browser search bars often disguise trojan horse viruses. Erotic webcontent/pornography are common sources of trojan horse infections. Trojan horse viruses often disguise as a program for malware removal. But this function serves only to conceal the harmful activity, which the trojan horses performs without user's notice.

Virus
A computer virus is able to spread itself without interaction of the user. It injects itself in other executable files usually with malicious intent. A computer virus may corrupt or delete data on a computer, use an e-mail program to spread the virus to other computers, or even delete everything on the hard disk.

Spyware
Spyware sends information from the infected computer over the internet without user's consent. Spyware often sends the user's personal information such as passwords or credit card numbers. Some spyware also functions as a backdoor to access the computer. Spyware often spreads as a part of eligible shareware applications.

Rootkit
A rootkit is a set of computer programs and technologies, which are used to cover up presence of a malicious software on the computer (e.g. presence of viruses, trojan horses, spyware etc). Rootkit technology masks presence of malicious software to make it hard for anti-virus applications to detect these malicious programs. Rootkits are tools enabling one to hide running processes, files and system information and therefore help the attacker to remain hidden. Rootkits modify the operating system so the malicious software cannot be found by standard methods.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF COMPUTER INFECTIONS?

Infections are often embedded in email attachments. They usually have an executable extension such as .exe, .com, or .chm. Often they are compressed into password protected ZIP archives to avoid antivirus scanners built into the mail servers and clients. Occasionally viruses are embedded as macro scripts in other types of files such as .doc, .pdf, etc. There have even been instances of virus code being embedded in JPG images files (GDI+ bug).

Another common source of infection is visiting a website that has either been compromised and embedded with malware, or which is malicious in nature. By simply visiting the site with a vulnerable browser, you may be infected by a virus. This is becoming more common as attackers are compromising legitimate sites and embedding malware.

WHAT ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE INTERNET SECURITY SOFTWARE PROTECTION APPLICATIONS?

To protect your computer against viruses, follow these steps:

  1. On the computer, turn on the firewall.
  2. Keep the computer operating system up-to-date.
  3. Use updated antivirus software on the computer.
  4. Use updated antispyware software on the computer.

IF A HARD DRIVE "DIES," IS DATA RECOVERY AN OPTION?

While there are companies that specialize in data recovery, they are often only able to restore a percentage of the data. That raises the question of how much value is a Word document, a spreadsheet, or a photo if every 10th character or pixel is corrupted.

Every computer should have a backup system in place that backs all critical data every day automatically. These backup utilities are included with newer operating systems (like Windows 7) and backup utilities can be purchased for as little as $30. When hard drives fail, it's usually fatal. Don't risk losing your valuable and irreplaceable data. Get an automated backup system in place today. Contact us for free recommendations.

Contact us if you have other questions about how to keep your computer(s) healthy and functioning at peak efficiency. We'll help brainstorm your problems for free.

HOT LINKS

http://www.pcworld.com/news.html
http://news.cnet.com/
http://www.computerworld.com/
http://www.tomshardware.com/