Calzolari: Props To ISD for Computer Repair

Letter from Monica Calzolari

Props To ISD for Computer Repair

I want to give a shout-out to Wilhelmina and Joe at ISD [Information Systems Division] for rescuing my laptop from a nasty virus and teaching me about “scareware.” I hope this letter to the editor is a warning to others to not fall prey to tricks that cybercriminals play.

I used free Wi-Fi at the airport in Memphis, Tennessee and my computer became incredibly slow. Then, I got several “scareware” pop ups warning me that my computer was infected and my McAfee virus protection had expired. The cybercriminals wanted me to click on a link to renew; however, I had switched from McAfee to a different virus protection product, so I was suspicious. When I ignored this “scareware,” I was then instructed to call “Microsoft” at the number listed. The Microsoft logo appeared on this pop-up screen and looked completely legitimate.

Because my friend in Florida had just told me about $3,000.00 she lost to a phishing scheme instructing her to call a number that pretended to be PayPal, my antenna was up. I resisted following the instructions of the scareware. Instead, I drove my laptop over to ISD and they took a look at my start-up bar and immediately confirmed that my computer was infected.

I am grateful for the $190.00 service they provided. They said the virus my computer had is one that cleverly reinstalls itself if it is not thoroughly cleaned. Cleaning my laptop took three days, which made me appreciate computer safety even more. I did get a few messages earlier in the month that some of my passwords were compromised, which I ignored. I simply changed the passwords to my online bank account and PayPal. In retrospect, I should have heeded the first warning.

Monica Calzolari
Oneonta


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