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Is warning about malicious virus for real?


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Q: I received an email the purported to be a malware infection advisory from AT&T Internet Services Security Center that indicated that one or more devices using my internet connection may be infected with malicious software. The email contained links to various software packages to clean up any potential infections. I have forwarded you a copy of the message for your analysis. Is this legitimate?


A: In reviewing the message you received, it does appear to be a legitimate message from AT&T. All of the links in the message check out and will take you to sites like Symantec, McAfee and even Malwarebytes.


Malware and viruses can and will cause your computer to send and receive data over your internet connection. And this type of internet traffic has unique and identifiable traits that can alert your internet provider to its presence on its network.


It is always good to treat messages like this as suspect, because it has all the earmarks of being a scam designed to trick you into installing something nefarious on your PC. But in this case, there are a few telltale things in the message that point to its validity. Things like the last 4 digits of your AT&T billing number and your IP address.


That being said, if there is any doubt, I would recommend contacting AT&T customer service to verify. That is what I do whenever I can’t be sure, especially with my bank and other financial services.


Q: When I am searching various websites, I often get a message that says Internet Explorer has stopped working. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available. Windows never closes the program, so I click Close Program and I'm returned to the site I was using. Do I have hardware/program problems or is this something I have to live with?


A: Chances are, this is not a hardware issue. It is likely a problem with Internet Explorer.


To address this, you have a few options.


The first is to try resetting Internet Explorer. To do this, close Internet Explorer and go into the Control Panel and search for Internet Options. Click on the Advanced tab, and then click the Reset button under Reset Internet Explorer settings and follow the prompts till finished and then reboot your PC.


The will often clear up issues with Internet Explorer.


You might also want to try using a different browser like Chrome of Firefox as Internet Explorer tends to be problematic in most cases.



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