Three tips to prevent your computer from hackers

Homeowners across the Valley are complaining their computers are being invaded by scammers.

In some cases, they are holding computers hostage and demanding money to release a freeze they have on it.

Other times, scammers pose as techs calling to repair something they say is wrong with your computer.

Ken Colburn with Data Doctors says most of the time, we allow scammers in by clicking on unknown links.

Here's what Colburn wants everyone to know about how the problem usually begins:

"These guys are setting traps for people."
"You get an email, text message, something that leads you to a video."
"From Facebook, in order for you to view this, you have to update you tube and the flash player."
"And it looks official... Adobe flash player... and you think nothing of it. You click on the link."
"You're allowing them in and they can do anything they want."
"It can happen on greeting card sites, gambling sites, when you get free software."

Colburn says to protect yourself, think differently:

"Don't ever use the link that pops up."
"The behavior has to change from "I trust this because it's on Facebook" to "I don't trust anything."
"I am going to Adobe's site. I'm going to manually find if i need an update or not."

While Colburn says free anti-virus can work, he says you need more:

"If you have kids and high speed internet, you're a sitting duck."
"Basically you want something that talks about web threats."
"You need something that blocks access to the site altogether. So when you get to site that is loaded with junk, it literally can't get to that site."

Colburn says there are several anti-virus programs that offer that protection.

He also says you can download " Web of Trust. "  It's free and while it won't block you from sites, it will let you know the potential danger if you go there.

E-mail me with any consumer problem you have or "like" my Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.

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