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Malware is an ever-present threat Malware on Android: The 5 Types You Really Need to Know About Malware on Android: The 5 Types You Really Need to Know About Malware can affect mobile as well as desktop devices. But don't be afraid: a bit of knowledge and the right precautions can protect you from threats like ransomware and sextortion scams. Read More to anyone using a computer or other device connected to the Internet. And it doesn’t really matter what operating system you use either, because (Shock! Horror!) Macs get malware too Mac Malware Is Real, Reddit Bans Racism... [Tech News Digest] Mac Malware Is Real, Reddit Bans Racism... [Tech News Digest] Unmasking Mac malware, the Reddit racism row, Apple Music users, YouTube moves on from 301+, Destiny drops Dinklage, and The Human Torch drone. Read More .

OK, so the average Mac user is unlikely to encounter as much malware as the average Windows user, but they still ignore the threat at their peril I Think My Mac Has A Virus! 3 Ways You Can Tell I Think My Mac Has A Virus! 3 Ways You Can Tell Is your Mac acting kind of... weird? Whether you're seeing adverts you can't explain, or your system is unreasonably slow, you might think the problem is malware. But you're probably wrong. Read More . With that in mind, we want to know all about your most recent experience with malware.

Windows 10 Is Great

To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “How Do You Rate Windows 10?

Out of a total of 1,557 votes, 29.1 percent chose 4/5 – Great, 22.9% chose 5/5 – Brilliant, 13.3% chose 3/5 – Good, 9% chose 2/5 – OK, 7.3% chose 1/5 – Bad, 3.4% chose 0/5 – Shocking, 12.9% chose I Haven’t Decided Yet!, and 2.1% chose What Is Windows 10?

These results suggest most people are pleased with Windows 10, with the top three choices all being positive. Between them these positive results represent 65.3 percent of the total votes cast, with just 19.7 percent of voters registering a negative reaction to Microsoft’s latest, and possibly last Windows 10 Is the Last Version of Windows. Ever. Windows 10 Is the Last Version of Windows. Ever. Microsoft is sick of you not upgrading, and has a solution: Windows 10 will be the final "version" of Windows. Ever. This could mean that you will never again have to buy Windows. Read More , version of its operating system.



Comment of the Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from Bill McNair, Lottie Miller, and Howard Jordan. Comment Of The Week goes to Andy Roberts, who earns our admiration and affection for this comment How Do You Rate Windows 10? [MakeUseOf Poll] How Do You Rate Windows 10? [MakeUseOf Poll] Microsoft needs Windows 10 to do well, especially as Windows 10 is likely to be the last version of Windows ever. So, on a scale of 1 to 5, how do you rate Windows 10? Read More :

I’ve been using Windows 10 since it’s release in October (?) and have watched it get better and better as the bugs were fixed and features added. I felt, as the final release date approached that it still wasn’t 100% and there was going to be a big new build with everything ironed out, but no, it’s still at the same stage as the last insider preview, with perhaps a few extra features for show.

Having said that, I still think it’s a better system than Windows 7 and despite Cortana not working well and a few other things, I think I’m going to enjoy watching it get better still.

We chose this comment because it offers a nice, sensible attitude to the whole thing. Windows 10 is far from perfect, but then this is, and always has been, the intention.

Windows 10 is a work in progress 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 is coming on July 29. Is it worth upgrading for free? If you are looking forward to Cortana, state of the art gaming, or better support for hybrid devices - yes, definitely! And... Read More , with Microsoft committed to improving it immensely over the next few years. So, if it’s merely “good” now, just think how brilliant it may be by 2018 and beyond.

Malware Maelstrom

Most of us have encountered malware at some point. Clicking on a dodgy attachment in an email, visiting a website that has been hijacked, or downloading a media file that turns out to be anything but what it’s claimed to be. These are all likely scenarios.

However, with more ways to filter, detect, and eradicate malware 10 Steps To Take When You Discover Malware On Your Computer 10 Steps To Take When You Discover Malware On Your Computer We would like to think that the Internet is a safe place to spend our time (cough), but we all know there are risks around every corner. Email, social media, malicious websites that have worked... Read More than ever before, following common sense advice means you can mostly avoid malware. So, we simply want to know, “When Were You Last Hit By Malware?” Please vote in the poll below before reading on for further instructions…

Once you have voted in the poll above, please explain in the comments section below why you voted that way. Tell us about your most recent encounter with malware: How did you discover it? What was the source? What operating system do you use? How did you get rid of it?

The more information you can provide with your comment, the more accurate our conclusions can be based on the results. The best comment of the week will win our everlasting admiration and affection. At least until we all meet back here again this time next week with a new question.

Image Credits: Yuri Samoilov via Flickr

  1. Leo Iannelli
    August 15, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Just earlier today on my Mac, I went to download something and got redirected to a dodgy site. I could force close Safari, though.

  2. Janet Chauvin
    August 12, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    I downloaded PhotoScape last winter to try out a new free photo editing software. I ended up with some malware that took me a very long time to get rid of. I hit my computer at work and because of my Google account, followed me home to my laptop. Finally able to completely extricate it, but it took a long time.

  3. A41202813GMAIL ..
    August 11, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Last FEBRUARY.

    Puny Attempts, Really.

    Starting In Safe Mode And Loading An Old Restore Point Solved The Problem In A Timely Manner.

    I Use 5 Browsers, And Yes, I Access Shady Sites With IE8 Every Single Day.

    And No, I Never Ever Use My PC For Financial Transactions.

    And Yes, I Changed Several Settings Since - Live And Learn.


  4. Un Laur
    August 11, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I have never been hit by malware. And I am using a free security solution. But its creators have a very good understanding of security and prevention. So their security product not only has AntiVirus/AntiMalware, but also a HIPS, a Firewall, and containment technology. Good files run on my machine, bad files are blocked and the suspicious/unknown/not in the whitelist files and being run in a containment area. If they were good, they would work anyway ; if they were bad, they wouldn't be able to access my computer.

    Even if I DID get infected, I can use the firewall included in the software to block connections to that application while I gather more info about it. (while it is already been sandboxed as unkown).

    Do I know what malware is? Most probably yes... Am I concerned about it? Not a single second.

    • Amit Roy
      August 14, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      What is that free security solution that you are using which helps keeps you safe from malware/virus? Could you please let me know.

      • Un Laur
        August 14, 2015 at 5:38 pm

        The software is called Comodo Internet Security. it has the features described above.

        Preventing infections and cleaning them are two separate stories. And Security companies that claim they can offer both are lying. There is no such thing (from what I know)

        You can try COMODO Internet Security to prevent your device from being infected, and you can also download Emsisoft Emergency Kit for manual scanning and removal.

        Note that COMODO is advanced software, with settings that can be fine-tuned. There are also default configurations which you can select.

        You don't need to take me for granted. But for a free software that you can use, which has Internet Security features, doesn't hurt trying it, right?

      • Amit Roy
        August 16, 2015 at 3:31 pm

        Thank you for sharing your experience. I am personally using Toolwiz Time Freeze 2015. It is a simple sandboxing programme. For cleaning my system if at all it is infected, I use Anti-Malwarebytes. I'd like to say that I have never been infected with any malware as yet. Besides both these programmes do not consume much of your hard disk space. Both these programmes are free.

  5. Dennis Primm
    August 11, 2015 at 2:10 am

    Thank God, I have never been hit by malware. In the past 8-9 years I have used MS Security Essentials and Defender and found them to be very good at preventing viruses and malware on my computer. Before that I used mainly McAfee which was free at the time. I have also used AVG and Kaspersky too.

    I also installed SuperAntiSpyware (SAS) and Malwarebytes to scan my computer when I get off the internet and want to make sure that nothing got by Security Essentials or Defender. SAS usually catches all the adware and I'll delete that stuff when I run it. But all in all I think MS has a good anti-virus/malware product.

    I believe it was either you guys at MakeUseOf or the guys at How to Geek that told us that we don't need all the expensive bells and whistles and you were right! Thank you for saving me a lot of money!

  6. Mike Dunn
    August 10, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    I must sound like a broken record on this subject,but I have been using a sandboxing program any time I surf the net or check my email.I admit to visiting some pretty scuzzy websites,and have yet to have anything infect me.Yes,I also use the usual anti-virus software as well.

    August 10, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    What about mobile? Its rare to get hit by malware or viruses on PC nowadays, but mobile web has a serious issue with excessive, even aggressive, ads and clickbaity call-to-action links everywhere you look

      August 10, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      And nobody seems to want to admit it for some reason

  8. likefun butnot
    August 10, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I've never personally been impacted by anything more serious than an unwanted toolbar, but I deal with Malware issues that others have frequently enough that I have a 41 printed page walk-through of the cleaning and post-recovery security steps I use to protect Windows computers. Oddly, it's not normally part of my job, just something I do because I'm "the computer guy" that a lot of people know.

    It's my experience that there are many people who, given basic security software and ad-blocking, never have a problem at all. Other people can have every safeguard known to mankind and will still get an infection within minutes of touching a computer.

    I can't put my finger on any single internet behavior that leads to malware. Some people can look at quasi-legal streaming sites, downlload porn and gamble all day long without any problems and other people have but to open Facebook.

  9. Dave Dörenberg-Veltman
    August 10, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    It was last year. Had adware in my chrome browser and in Internet Explorer. I noticed I had a lot of extra search results that were not google's ads results. To get rid of then I used hijack this and ccleaner and deleted the add-ons in Chrome as in Internet Explorer. Needed to reboot several times and redo the cleanup to be sure. Add and spyware are a real pain in the *** but viruses I haven't seen them in years (lucky enough). Never had them on my win7 system but did on XP.

  10. Maryon Jeane
    August 10, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    A year ago in March - my router, being a TP-Link, was hacked and I couldn't get onto the Internet at all. Somehow I'd missed the fact that there was a problem with these routers (unusual as I'm signed up to all sorts of geek newsletters etc.), so I didn't take any preventive measures and the router was knocked out. I'm pretty paranoid about the computers themselves and so - touch wood - I haven't had any malware installing on them. It was a nightmare, though, because I couldn't work. However my ISP (Andrews & Arnold) were brilliant and configured a new router for me and sent it out by courier so that it was grab from the courier, plug in and go - and they only charged me for the router itself!

  11. Elaine Harbron
    August 10, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    I haven't had any issues with malware on my Mac and I use Sohpos on that. First experience of malware was when I had windows XP or the version before XP

  12. Kelsey Tidwell
    August 10, 2015 at 10:58 am

    A couple days ago I noticed that every time I opened Chrome, it wasn't my default browser anymore. Hijack!

    A deep scan with Avast! fixed me right up.

    I'm glad to say that I've never had any really destructive infections. Pure luck, I'm sure lol.

  13. Read and Share
    August 10, 2015 at 5:49 am

    I honestly cannot remember exactly the last time I got hit by malware.... got to be 20+ years ago -- sometime back in the '90's -- via email.

  14. hildyblog
    August 10, 2015 at 3:35 am

    About a 15 years ago (on Win98), I had my IE toolbar hijacked. That's it. My one and only mal-experience.

    I should also note that for the last 5 years the only AV I run constantly is Microsoft's (although I do run Malwarebytes every 3 or 4 months as a double check). I use Firefox with an ad blocker (AdBlock, then AdBlock+, now uBlock) with a malware site filter as well as an ad filter.

  15. Andrew Kelley
    August 10, 2015 at 12:35 am

    I haven't had any issues with malware for nearly 10 years. I made the move to Debian Linux about that time because my Windows XP box had gotten messed up with a virus and have never looked back. Have been virus / malware free ever since. Thank you Linus.

  16. EM
    August 10, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Don't know what happened with my other comment. I didn't use funny punctuation, and I swear there were double paragraph breaks. At least in the "your message is being moderated" view, something is broken there.

  17. EM
    August 9, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    You wanted much information, so have a TL;DR.

    It was a bit over two years ago, on Windows 8. I had needed an old version of a software, and the place I found it was I didn't download from there very often, but I considered the site trustworthy.

    When downloading, I did not pay full attention, and downloaded CNET's "installer" rather than the original, unwrapped one, as it was presented prominently. I noticed this when the install began, but figured if I just opted out of any nonsense, it wouldn't matter. I unchecked anything that appeared. I'm positive I did not give permission to anything because I knew that install wrappers exist for the sole purpose of scamming people into downloading things they neither want nor need.

    Let me just quote my post on the CNET forums that I made a short time after on what happened next:

    "Nonetheless, a short time later [after the program install], I suddenly started to get popups telling me my computer was not backed up - typical scareware tactics. It took digging to find out what it was - something called "mypcbackup". Then, it took brute force to get it to uninstall, as it did not come with its own uninstalling program. And finally, it took me quite a while to find out that I had caught it here [on CNET], judging from my installing timeline and other users' reviews of said "program", which I would never trust with [my] data considering the ways it uses to get on people's systems.

    While this whole thing was rather an annoyance for me as a knowledgeable user, I knew what to do about it, even though for a while I thought I had caught something horrible, which made me question my security software and my whole system's integrity. After several scans with different programs, I've now decided against a full system restore. However, users with less knowledge might well have been scammed into subscribing to this "mypcbackup" (by the way, a paid program), or they might have to live with the annoying popups due to not being able to remove it. It's no different from any other scam, and it's a practise that should get this site [CNet] and its installers blacklisted as distributers of adware/scareware/bloatware."

    Needless to say, that was the last time I downloaded anything from CNET, and since then I've been warning people from it whenever I could. As I said above: people like me, or the rest of MUO's readership, aren't the real victims of this sort of thing. The victims are the unpractised users who when in doubt believe whatever a website/program tells them and are willing to pay money if something that looks remotely like a genuine message tells them to do so.

    If you read through CNET's site feedback you see that this problem is still persisting. Any post about it gets a stock answer from an employee/moderator, stating falsely that the downloader allows people to opt out of "additional offers"; I'm not the only one in those comments who swears they had unchecked everything. And the software that people catch seems to be on the bad side itself; mine was definitely scareware; just look at the WOT page It's not as if they packaged a clean version of Google Chrome or something.

    I suppose the number of users who install their "offers" and can't even track them back to CNET will be sufficient for the site to make money, while the people who complain about the underhanded tactics and don't return are just written off. I realise that websites must make money in some way to support themselves. But what CNET does is unethical and underhanded.

  18. jshaw
    August 9, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    I was hit by malware back in 2009. My OS was Vista. Malwarebytes was relatively new at the time and, unfortunately, was no help. It was so destructive, I purchased a new PC. However, I was smart enough to have two other hard drives in the attacked PC where I stored all my files. So all I lost were the programs and setups that were on the main hard drive. I moved the two hard drives with my files still in tact to the new PC and use them for storing files to this day. However, I also backup my files to a couple of external hard drives and an NAS. I also purchased Malwarebyes for all three PCs in the house. It may be a bit of overkill, but I don't worry about losing any information.

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