How to protect your child’s computer from viruses

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Although school is back in session this year , a large number of students won’t be returning to the classroom. Instead they’ll be in front of their computers watching virtual lessons and working remotely.

While some students have their own personal computer, others may be using one issued from school.

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Companies like CriticalStart want parents and students to be aware of the viruses, scams, and hackers lurking in cyberspace-especially those posing as the child’s school.. 

“We saw with Covid-19 the increase in phishing attacks with schemes pretending to be with the health department or from the government. I wouldn’t put it past a lot of malicious people to pretend they are from the school to trick parents into giving personal information out or even installing malware on the machine,” says Quentin Rhoads-Herrera, Director of Professional Services. 

Officials say you should never click a link that looks different from your school email and that if you are unsure, always ask a school faculty member before clicking. 

Cyber Security experts recommend that all computers have an antivirus system installed. 

“Viruses can do pretty much anything they want. Having an antivirus on your system and keeping it up to date. Always make sure you are fully aware of what you are clicking , where you are gaining that item from; is it directly from the school or a shady website? All of these things are critical to make sure you don’t fall victim to viruses,” says Rhoads-Herrera.

Officials say finding a virus on your computer can be tricky but there are a few things you can look for.

“If your machine is running unusually slow, they may be an indicator that something is running on your machine that is not supposed to be running and stealing a lot of resources. Files end up on your machine that appear encrypted that you didn’t put there in the first place, that may be a good sign you have a virus,” says Rhoads-Herrera. 

Computer security experts strongly suggest that parents talk to their children about the dangers of mystery emails and enticing links before beginning online school this fall.