Strange messages

What do you do when Windows gives you a strange message?

Well, you'd have to ask, "what's a strange message"? Strange is a message that you may or may not have ever seen before but appears odd in some way. These are difficult to understand and are often unavoidable. This can be a pop-up, an alert, a notification, an email, a text, a post, or any of the easy communication methods available.

I had one of these strange messages recently. The message told me that the trial software I was using was about to expire. The message never explained what software it was referring to, but it did give me the option to select yes or no or cancel buttons to go to their website.

This was suspicious for a couple of reasons. First, I could not remember installing any trial software. Second, the window did not identify itself. Third, it wanted to take me to a web page. Instead of selecting "yes" or "no", I simply "X"'d out of the window. (If a legitimate software company makes this kind of mistake, then I question the quality of their software.)

There are other messages you may get informing you that you have a virus or spyware or some other malware on your computer, wanting you to purchase their software to remove the culprit. You should not trust a software company that tries to blackmail you into buying their software. If they have infiltrated your computer then THEY are the virus, and paying them is giving into extortion threats and falling victim to a scam.

Many times these messages are allowed come up due to security holes in Windows or your web browser that allows simple messages to come up on your computer from the internet. The messages are generally harmless by themselves unless you click on something within the message window. "X"'ing out works best at keeping them from getting real access into your computer. If the "X" is missing, you can also try hitting the combination keys [Ctrl]+[F4] to also close the window.

If you have clicked into one of these messages, you may have given them access to your computer.

In any case, be sure to update and run your favorite Anti-malware and Anti-virus, make sure your firewall is turned on, and keep your Windows updates updated with the latest patches.