I can help. If you feel your computer has been infected or has slowed down considerably by a virus please call or e-mail me, and I will get you back in service fast.

Malware | Spyware | Viruses

If you’ve ever owned a Microsoft Windows based computer you undoubtedly have heard at least one of the above words. In the last ten years Viruses and Spyware have been attributed to millions of computer problems worldwide. In a nutshell virus writers and those looking to exploit people using Windows have come up with software that causes multiple problems. Whether it is just for the fun of it or if someone is looking to make a profit, Virus and Spyware take advantage of vulnerabilities in Windows based computers.

Malware is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner’s informed consent. Similar to Spyware or otherwise known as Spyware.

What is Spyware?

Definition: Spyware is computer software that is installed secretly or through means of stealth on a personal computer to intercept or take partial control over the user’s interaction with the computer, without the user’s permission.

Spyware can be disguised as many things such as a “must have” toolbar, file sharing program, or other software programs. When you are about to install a program it may bury in the End User License Agreement (EULA) that it also installs other necessary programs, when in fact they are not necessary and are considered unneeded. Spyware also can be installed by browser exploits usually in Internet Explorer.


What are signs your computer has spyware?

If your computer starts acting slow and you see strange toolbars, system tray icons, pop-ups, and desktop messages you probably have spyware on your computer. Also if you lose internet connection with your computer and you notice suspicious pop-ups or messages informing you of security alerts you most likely are infected.

You should not input any sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card information until your computer has been thoroughly cleaned out, and the all traces of the spyware have been removed.

What can help prevent spyware?

Do not agree to install any programs you are not familiar with. Spyware loves to hide in free screensavers, free file sharing programs, and other freeware software. Also make sure your computer is up to date using Windows Update. Using alternative web browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Opera can also help protect and prevent spyware. If you are looking for free software I recommend these two sites: Filehippo and Download.com. All of the software they host is tested to make sure it is safe.

What can help remove spyware?

Install, update, and run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program. This is a good way to clean up an infected computer.

Rogue Anti-Virus / Fake Anti-Spyware programs

Fake Antivirus

One of the most popular things for virus and spyware makers lately has been the creation of fake anti-virus and fake anti-spyware programs. They infect you in multiple ways and try to get you to pay for their program in order to clean your computer. It is basically blackmail.

To the left you will see a screenshot of Anti-Virus 2012 and what it looks like when you are infected. They show you a fake scan taking place with a big list of bad things your computer is supposedly infected with. Don’t fall for this! The program is a ripoff and your money will be taken and you will have nothing to show for it.

The makers of these programs have even hijacked a google home page when you browse there to make it look as if Google is recommending you register the product to protect yourself. Don’t fall for it! Google would never recommend registering a product on their homepage! Please don’t ever pay for these fake programs, you will get nothing in return.

Getting rid of these fake programs can be complicated. Updating and running your Anti-Virus / Anti-Spyware software is a good first step. Having Windows completely updated and running a web browser in a sandbox environment is also a good idea. All files and folders you download off the net need to be scanned immediately after downloading.

 What is a Computer Virus?

Computer Virus: A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user.

Computer Viruses have been a problem for many years. When people speak of computer viruses they often mistake Spyware for being a virus, when in fact most computer viruses are hidden and not out in the open like a Spyware infection.

A Virus can be introduced to a computer through many different ways. They can be attached to an email, hidden in a CD-ROM or USB drive, installed unknowingly when installing supposedly legitimate software, through a network from another infected computer, and through unsafe surfing with an unpatched computer.

Among the things that a Computer Virus can do damage to are a person files, system files, and boot files. Or a virus could do nothing at all other than replicate itself and spread to other computers.

 What can I do to combat Computer Viruses?

Using and running a good Anti-Virus is the best step a person can take to combat viruses. When people think of Anti-Virus programs for some reason they think of Norton Anti-Virus, unfortunately Norton is not the best Anti-Virus out there and should be used as a last resort.

If you are planning on paying for an Anti-Virus I suggest ESET NOD32 or Kaspersky Anti-Virus. These are better Anti-Virus software packages which will not slow your computer down like Norton Anti-Virus will. A good free Anti-Virus is AVG Anti-Virus. Something to remember is that a popular anti-virus is not always best when trying to clean your computer.


A fully patched computer is also important. On a regular basis Microsoft releases critical patches to their operating systems to help keep them secure. Open Internet Explorer and go to the Tools menu on top or on the right hand side, and then move down to Windows Update. Click this and you will be taken to the Windows Update web site where you can receive the necessary critical updates. Windows Update can also be found in the control panel when using Windows Vista and 7  operating system.

Running periodic virus scans and other  anti-malware utilities will help to keep your computer clean and running well. Practicing safe web surfing and not opening strange e-mails will also help.


I charge hourly and depends on the job that needs to be done.  Here are some examples of cost.

Virus /  Malware removal / Complete Tune-Up  / – $80-$100  (more info)

Operating system reinstall – $120

Laptop Power Jack Repair – $100  (more info)

Laptop screen replacement – $170 – $225

Service call – $100 minimum for the first hour $75 per hour after that.

Remote service call – $60 (must have working internet connection and not be infected heavily)

Data Recovery – This depends a lot of how difficult the data is to retrieve and how much data there is. Prices could be as low as $20 for a unsuccessful attempt and as high as $160 for successful retrieving a lot of data. Call for more details. (more info)

Call and ask for Derek @ 616.813.3685 or E-mail me at derek@derekscomputer.com

I service the entire Grand Rapids Michigan area including: Jenison | Hudsonville | Grandville | Wyoming | Byron Center | Cascade | Kentwood | East Grand Rapids | Rockford | Comstock Park | Walker | Marne