10 Lessons Learned From My Recent Computer Virus

I was not very happy at work these last couple of weeks!  I had a computer virus.  It appeared that someone was in control of my computer.  Very scary!!!  Fortunately for me Dell was able to get it running but told me to reload Windows That meant I would need to also reload all my data.  My computer technician did this for me last weekend.  To say the least the experience has taught me lots of lessons.  Here are the top 10.

  1. Store names, numbers, and email address of support people and others outside of your computer.  My smartphone has an incomplete address book and did not have my computer technician’s name listed.
  2. Businesses with unique names are easier to remember when you are flustered and trying to reach someone but do not know their telephone number.  My computer support person’s business name is PC9lives.  I remembered that so I could locate her website on my smartphone.
  3. Don’t ignore error messages and think they will go away.  I kept getting a message that a site I was trying to reach was blocked because it wasn’t safe.  I could see the URL being blocked and it wasn’t one I had ever used.
  4. I used to back up on a Flash Drive but recently switched to Carbonite.  It backs up regularly and I don’t have to remember to do it.  My data came over cleanly and since my computer person had recommended it she was very familiar with how to download the data.
  5. Another thing my computer tech insisted on was that I make all the reboot disks when I first got the computer.  Years ago they sent these with the new computer.  Now you need to make them and it takes forever!  I resisted for a while but now I’m glad I did it.
  6. Because I was going to Florida I printed out my calendar.  It is not something I do routinely.  Once my computer is off I do not know my schedule for the month. Usually this is not a problem since I turn my computer on every day.  I am now going to print it out regularly just in case.  (Power outages do happen)
  7. Even with good virus software and spyware you can get a virus.  I think my problem may have been related to the problem with Java.  There are always new viruses out there and you can get something before your software vendor has updated the protection.
  8. I am reluctantly accepting that I need to make stronger passwords.  I use a simple password that makes sense to me and is easy to remember.  During all of this I have lived in fear that someone would use my bank account or credit card.  It could still happen.
  9. I use Dropbox when I travel but did not store much there.  Thanks to Dell who got my computer working I was able to retrieve files and documents I use daily and upload them there.  It was comforting to know that if the reloading of the data didn’t work, I at least could retrieve the most important documents.
  10. QuickBooks is what I use to manage the financial part of my business.  I was able to print out a 2012 full profit and loss with detail before the tech took my computer. Had I not kept my records up to date that would not have been very useful.  I’ll be using it shortly for taxes and am relieved I didn’t lose the data.  I am considering printing it out monthly in the future.




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