A current backup CD/DVD or other media containing your irreplaceable files – your probably going to need it.
Your original operating system install disk – you’ll need this too.
Your system and peripherals driver disks. Without these you’re going to spend hours on the Internet locating (if your lucky), drivers that were written specifically for your peripherals.
You can save yourself all this trouble, and heartache, just by one simple action, or more properly; by a single inaction. Don’t click!
As is usual with malicious emails, (and this is a malicious email), clicking on the embedded link will begin the process of infecting your computer with malware, which could put at risk, your financial and other confidential information, not to mention your computer and its operating system.
Scam emails like this are designed, and crafted, to seek out financial information on your computer that can be used to steal your money, or they can be designed to install various types of malware on your computer that can have drastic consequences for your system’s stability.
You may well be curious when it comes to emails like this, but don’t let your curiosity override your common sense. Security experts argue (none to successfully it seems), that a significant number of malware infections could be avoided if users stopped “just clicking haphazardly” or opening the types of files that are clearly dangerous.
You may be lucky, and you may be able to recover control of your computer if your anti-malware applications are up to date, and the malware signature recognize the intruder as malware. But I wouldn’t count on it. Often, anti-malware programs that rely on a definition database can be behind the curve in recognizing the newest threats.
It is beyond dispute that the Internet now fits the criteria of a world that is not just perceived to be, but is in fact, personally threatening to uninformed or casual Internet users. I could go on but I think the message here is clear. Think carefully before you click.
As I have pointed out in the past (I’m sure regular readers of this Blog must be tired of seeing this), the following are actions you can take to protect your computer system, your money and your identity:
Install an Internet Browser add-on such as WOT (my personal favorite), which provides detailed test results on a site’s safety; protecting you from security threats including spyware, adware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, and online scams.
As an addition to your existing malware applications, download and install ThreatFire 3 (provided free by PC Tools), which blocks mal-ware, including zero-day threats, by analyzing program behavior and it does a stellar job. This is one of the security applications that forms part of my front line defenses. I have found it to have a high success rate at blocking mal-ware based on analysis of behavior.
Don’t open unknown email attachments
Don’t run programs of unknown origin
Disable hidden filename extensions
Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched
Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when not in use
Disable scripting features in email programs
Make regular backups of critical data
Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised
Turn off file and printer sharing on the computer
Install a personal firewall on the computer
Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software and ensure it is configured to automatically update when you are connected to the Internet
Ensure the anti-virus software scans all e-mail attachments
Be proactive when it comes to your computer’s security; make sure you have adequate software based protection to reduce the chances that your machine will become infected.
If you are unsure of you current security software, then checkout “Need Free Security Programs? – 10 Of The Best!” on this site.