I give you ... The Trojan
Up until recently, I mistakenly referred to this nasty little bugger as a virus. Well, it's not. It's much worse. A virus can be detected by your antiviral software. A Trojan is similar in nature to a simple download…ie, your computer doesn't recognize the difference between downloading a Trojan and downloading music. However, the look of a Trojan is much more clever.
A square will pop up in the lower right hand corner of your computer, telling you there are multiple infections and to click the link to update your security settings. If you see this, for Heaven sake's, DON'T click anywhere on that box. Not even to x out! Clicking one sliver of this box, will enable the Trojan to download software onto your computer, thus seizing your ability to adjust firewall settings, block viruses, or spy ware.
They offer an upgrade to your security program and then a window pops up asking which protection package you would like to purchase. They are creating a huge problem and then offering the only solution possible as you can not access any other part of your computer. Don’t click the box. I repeat, don't click the box!
Instead, shut your computer down immediately, or use the control, alt, delete, to activate your task manager and end the program from there. Had I known about this little piece of knowledge a week ago, I could have averted disaster, instead, my laptop went in to the shop.
If I have learned anything from this little experience, it is this: I will be buying an external hard drive this week! AND…backing up my computer daily!