Do pop-up scares really mean your computer is doomed?
When surfing the Internet visiting different websites, you might run into a pop-up. Some pop-ups are just advertisements, getting you to spend money on products. Other pop-ups proclaim, “YOUR COMPUTER IS DOOMED!” These pop-up scares can seem very convincing, saying they’re from Microsoft and that your computer is infected and needs immediate attention. This sort of pop-up is usually referred to as a browser hijacking. If you click in this window, you may cause your system to actually become infected as opposed to just having a pop-up window on screen.
There are two methods to get out of this situation.
The first is the easiest, but not necessarily the best method. Hold down the power button on your computer until it turns off. This will force your computer to shut down and stop whatever might have been happening. Turning your computer back on, you’ll have to select Start Up Windows Normally. When your computer starts back up, everything should seem about normal. The important part is when you open up your Internet browser afterward. The browser will most likely have a message asking if you want to return to your previous session. When your browser asks this, say no. Do not return to the previously opened web pages. Now, you will have lost any tabs or browser windows that you had open – which, in this case, is a good thing – and your home page should load up like normal.
The second method to do when a scary pop-up appears is to select ctrl+alt+delete. Hold down Ctrl+Alt+delete in that order until you’re holding down all three at once. This will bring up a Windows screen with a couple of options. Click on Task Manager. When Task Manager appears, you might have to press a drop-down arrow saying More Details before you can go to Processes.
From here, click the Processes tab and look for the internet program you are using currently, like Internet Explorer or Chrome. Right-click on that process and click End Task. The computer will try to end the browser session. You might have to do these 2 or 3 times before it ends or shows a message asking if the task should be ended. If you are asking to end task, click end task each time it appears. The Internet browser should disappear. Again, when you start back up your Internet browser, choose NOT to restore your pages or tabs.
This should solve a large majority of browser hijacking situations or pop-up scares, but to be extra safe, run a virus scan after you’ve cleared away the immediate threat. If there are additional issues like your home page being changed or other oddities, we recommend contacting your Tech Experts to make sure your computer is not compromised after scares like these.
(Image Source: iCLIPART)