A number of companies are now sending you to other companies who are selling you services to maintain your computer that you don’t want or need. Here is how the scam works and both Yahoo and Norton are guilty of this.
Examples of the scam
In Yahoo’s case you call their 800 number about a problem, like not being able to log into your Yahoo account. You are told that you need to have a technician look at your computer and the technician logs into your computer and tells you that your computer is a mess and has many viruses, trojans and other bad stuff and that he can transfer you to someone who can fix the problem.
The next step is they try to sell you a service that is “guaranteed” to regularly maintain your computer as well as sell you their own antimalware software. They will tell you that Microsoft recommends that you have a Microsoft certified engineer check out your computer every 3, 6 or 12 months depending on which scammer you are speaking with. Microsoft does not recommend anything of the sort. Go to their web site and check it out.
Norton does a similar thing when your free trial of their software on your new computer is about to run out. You will receive popups telling you to contact them. When you do, you will be directed to a company that will fix you problems after logging into your computer.
What do you need to keep your computer safe?
If you have a PC we suggest the free Microsoft Security Essentials package which can be downloaded from Microsoft’s web site. This will provide you with antivirus software, antimalware software and a firewall. You need to regularly update this software which Microsoft also does for free. If you have a Windows 8 computer we recommend Windows Defender from Microsoft which replaces Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 8.
In terms of regular maintenance on your computer it is not like sending an astronaut to the moon. You should regularly update your antivirus software whenever a new update comes out. In addition you should make the operating system updates, especially the security ones, when they are released. How do you know when updates are released? You should automatically be notified but if you want to make sure in the lower right corner of your computer to the left of the date and time you will see a little flag. Do a left mouse click on the flag and you will see an option to open the Action Center. Under Security you can see how you are setup to receive updates from Microsoft and if you want change them just hit the Change Settings button. If you are experience performance problems the link below contains Microsoft’s suggestions as what you need to do.
Most important don’t allow unknown scam artists to get on your computer. You are wasting your money and are running the risk that they will put some nasty stuff on your computer.