Yep we’ve all been there. We have either had, or had to deal with the dreaded man flu. It slows you down, means you can think properly and renders you incapable of actually doing anything. As a happily married woman working in what is still very much a male industry I deal with “man flu” on a daily basis and it’s not always the “man” I can blame.
Computers are very much like men. (some days they are very much like women, but we will gloss over that for now) Computers like to be operated in a particular way. If you are dealing with one which is a little older you may need to make it think that it was his idea to do whatever it was you wanted to do. Patting it gently and stroking its ego is all well and good but now again it needs a bit of a shouting at!
When man flu strikes it’s imperative to act quickly. You must assert your dominance swiftly to prevent utter surrender.
What has all this got to do with computers?
Think of a computer virus like man flu. At best it will slow your computer down. Worst case it will hold you to ransom until soothing drinks and sympathy are delivered in copious quantities.
I have Anti-Man-Flu protection, how did I still get infected?
Well very much like antibiotics no anti-virus is a 100% guarantee that you are safe and won’t become infected. There are many different types (strains if you like) of virus’s.
It is some people’s mission to infect you and they will find a way around your defences. They will adapt, adopt and improve themselves to batter their way passed your defences. All you can do is take sensible precautions and know what to do should you succumb to the inevitable.
Man Flu has landed! What do I do?
Depending on the strain of Man-Flu your computer has become infected with depends on the actions you need to take. Here are our tips for coping and when you need to get professional help.
RANSOM WARE – “I can’t open any of my files, I have messages on my computer asking me to phone someone to unlock my computer”.
ACT NOW! Turn your computer off, pull the plug!
This type of thing is doing the rounds at the moment you may have heard of the Wannacry Virus on the news. This is not Man-Flu this is the Zombie apocalypse. If you get to the point where you are being asked for money there is very little you can do to retrieve your files, it’s probably already too late. This is where you need professional help to get your computer back up and running. Keep in mind that file retrieval is unlikely – I refer to my previous post here on the importance of taking backups!
TROJAN HORSE – “Computers doing odd things, not working properly, some programs just won’t run and I have strange error messages”
This is proper Flu, a level down from the zombie apocalypse, but non the less annoying! Your normal placid well behaved partner in crime has turned into a moody, fairly useless lump in the corner. These are sneaky little things that infect the computer by pretending to be something useful. You inadvertently download them or open that email attachment and then they’ve got you. The good news here is that most of them are removable. You can recover, but if your own anti-man flu protection didn’t catch it then you may need to seek professional help to completely clear the infection.
MALWARE/SPYWARE – “Computer is running really slowly, strange icons have appeared on my desktop”
Malware is a term used to cover all types of Malicious software. Programs which are designed to upset or damage your computer. They appear innocuous, but don’t be fooled it is covert man-Flu. You think somethings wrong? You ask “Are you alright?” and get the obligatory “Fine”, but ten minutes later it’s sitting in the corner crying (Told you I’d get to the woman bit!) Your Anti virus protection should be able to help you here. Run a full scan (provide wine and flowers), remove any unnecessary software from your computer (Add/Remove Programs) seek help if you are unsure of the results.