How did your computer fail?
The usual description of a broken computer is that it crashed. Crashed had become the normal word to describe a broken computer. Have you ever wondered where that word originated?
Conventional hard drives consist of one or more platters that spin at a very high rate of speed. The head or read/write device hovers very close to the spinning surface. If that head touches the surface due to some malfunction, the hard drive will have a catastrophic failure. The head will gouge into the platter and cause a real mess. When these failures first occurred in the 1960s, they were called crashes. Many people incorrectly diagnose every computer failure as a “crash”.
Another very popular description of a computer failure is, “it has a virus…” or “someone got on to my computer…”. Virus scanners will catch the majority of viruses that are out on the Internet. Any program that causes a problem on your computer could be called malware but all malware is not necessarily a virus. Most computers get bogged down with adware. Adware is a program that gets installed on your computer that generates ads for you. We don’t get bombed with enough advertising on radio and tv. Clever advertisers are determined to turn our computers into advertising machines.
Viruses are a nasty part of the digital age. They used to be nuisances but they have become tools of extortion. It doesn’t matter how you use your computer. Government, businesses, and personal computer users are all potential victims of ransomware. Criminals use ploys to trick victims into opening email that contains the virus. It is too late after the virus has infected your computer. Would you pay a criminal to get back your information? You might think that it’s ok to pay but you are encouraging bad behavior.
There is a new twist on the ransomware attack. The attacker will give you the option to pay a ransom or allow you to get back your files if you provide names for more potential victims. It isn’t bad enough to find your files held hostage but the scammers are accepting names for more victims. Would give up your friends to get back your files? What kind of friend gives a friend’s name to a scammer?
Hardware repairs are not required to resolve malware infections. You may have to reinstall Windows and any applications that were on the computer when you bought it but you don’t have to buy a new computer.
Have you ever bought a new computer as a repair to remove a virus? If you completely erase the hard drive and reinstall Windows, you should have a clean/virus free system. You don’t have to buy a new computer.