Frequently asked questions about computer virus fraud

Frequently asked questions about computer virus fraud

Q. What is a computer virus?

A. Computer viruses are the most popular of malicious software, which is developed with the aim of compromising a computer system. The following list includes the main types of malicious software:

  1. Virus: small program designed to self-replicate on other computers, like a biological virus that spreads from one person to another. It may hinder the proper operation of the infected computer.
  2. Worm: uses a computer’s resources to replicate and spread to other computers over the Internet.
  3. Trojan horse: a seemingly legitimate program that executes harmful actions without a user’s authorization. E.g.: a “back door” creates an entrance to a computer system from a distance.
  4. Spyware: gathers personal information about a user without authorization and sends it to a third party.

Malicious software first appeared at the same time as computers so it is not a new problem. However, the objectives of the perpetrators have changed.

Q. What is the Caisse populaire doing to counter this problem?

A. The Caisse populaire makes sure that its computer systems are highly secure at all times. However, it is your responsibility to be vigilant when using your computer to make transactions on AccèsD.

Q. What do hackers use computer viruses for?

A. A few years ago, hackers sought recognition and fame. Today, these criminals usually try to use malicious software to steal money from their victims. Viruses and worms are usually used to:

  • Take control of your computer with the aim of using it for fraud without your knowledge. This is particularly true with the development of high-speed Internet access tools like cable modems and ADSL.
  • Install spyware to gather your personal information without your knowledge when you surf the Internet. A hacker could obtain your password to access your savings accounts, or your credit card number when you make online purchases.

Q. What should I do if I believe my computer may be infected by a computer virus?

A. The spread of computer viruses on the Internet is a very real phenomenon. This is why it is critical that you install security software on your computer that includes automatic updates and antivirus, antispyware, and antispam software as well as a firewall, Note that these do not, however, protect your computer from new viruses. This is why you must beware if anything appears abnormal on your Internet browser.

For example, one sign that your computer may have been infected is if you are asked to provide unusual information such as your date of birth or social insurance number as you log on to AccèsD, and this despite the fact that:

  • the address in the address bar is correct (www.caissealliance.com);
  • the padlock at the bottom the page is closed;
  • and the address in the address bar starts with https://.

What to do if you suspect your computer is infected

  • Install or update your antivirus program and launch a full system scan.
  • Do not use your computer to do your online banking until the problem has been resolved.
  • If you have given out personal information or believe your password may be compromised, contact an AccèsD Services advisor to change your AccèsD password by calling 1-866-779-COOP (1-866-779-2667), Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8.am. to 8 p.m.
  • If the problem persists after a system scan by your antivirus program, contact your Internet service provider or the computer support department of the store where you purchased the computer.
  • You can also use free scans generally offered by most antivirus software suppliers.

Some antivirus programs detect viruses faster than others, or detect viruses that others do not. Each virus has its own signature, and some programs are more effective in removing them from your system.

For informational purposes, here is a list of online scanners* provided by Wikipedia.

Also for informational purposes, here is a list of antivirus software vendors* provided by Microsoft.

* The Caisse populaire strongly recommends you install a full Internet security program that includes antivirus, antispyware, antispam and, antiphishing protection as well as a firewall. The lists provided may not be complete or correct. The content on the linked pages is not the property of the Caisse populaire and their inclusion does not imply a preference, recommendation or business relationship with these third parties.

Q. How can I protect my computer from viruses?

A. Viruses

In order for your computer to be infected by a virus, you must have downloaded the file which contains it.

To avoid downloading an infected file:

  • Do not open attachments received from strangers.
  • Install an up-to-date antivirus program that is automatically updated. 

Worms

Worms travel without any help from users and lodge themselves in your computer’s random access memory (RAM). Worms replicate and spread from computer to computer in the same network or to computers via e-mail. Worms usually send out copies of itself to all the addresses in the infected computer’s e-mail address book.

To keep your computer from being infected by a worm:

  • Install an antivirus program and a firewall that are automatically updated.

Trojan horses

Trojan horses at first glance appear to be legitimate programs but do annoying or malicious damage to your computer. To be infected with a Trojan horse, the program must have been installed by the user. Beware of files that have two extensions, (e.g., photo-album.jpg.exe), which lead you to believe it includes photos but is actually an executable program (.exe).

To keep your computer from being infected by a Trojan horse:

  • Do not open (click on a hyperlink) or run (double click on a file) you receive from strangers either by e-mail or in chat rooms.
  • Beware of files with the following extensions: .exe, .bat, .com, .vbs, .pif. If a file looks suspicious, do not double click on it. If a suspicious file comes from someone you know, contact them to find out if it was truly sent by them.
  • Install an antivirus program and a firewall that are automatically updated.
  • Configure your operating system not to open or run files automatically.

Q. What do I do if I find a virus on my computer?

A.

  1. Make sure that all  Access Card numbers and AccèsD Affaires user codes used on the infected compute are immediately deactivated. To do this, contact your Caisse populaire or call 1-866-779-COOP (1-866-779-2667), Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  2. Do not, under any circumstances, use the computer to make online transactions or purchases or to access sites containing confidential information about you as long as the virus has not been removed by a qualified expert.
  • Important: It is possible that your antivirus software may not detect the virus on your computer. This is why a manual search for the virus and extraction may be necessary.

You may get help from an expert by contacting:

    • The store where you purchased the computer (e.g. major electronic store have qualified technicians and offer problem resolution services).
    • The technical support service of the antivirus software installed on the computer.
    • Your Internet service provider, if it offers a virus protection program.
    • Any computer expert near you.

The Caisse populaire cannot perform repairs on personal computers, phones and cell phones, or any other electronic or computer equipment belonging to the users of its services.

In the event your computer is infected by a computer virus, it is your responsibility, or the responsibility of the owner of the infected computer, to ensure that the equipment is repaired and secure once more.

Incidentally, the Caisse populaire takes all necessary action to ensure sources of infection are closed down as soon as they are detected.