A few years ago, I was working with a client, a mid-sized company; we were in the process of switching to one anti-virus product to another, so things were in a state of transition. One person in the company clicked on a suspicious link in her email, and got some pop-up messages and some other strange behavior on her PC. She was annoyed with the pop-ups and slowdown, but decided it wasn’t important enough to let anyone know. So, she kept working and kept dismissing the pop-ups. A few hours later, I noticed that that one machine was infected and was consuming a large amount of Internet bandwidth. I quickly shut down the machine’s network connection, and began the cleanup process, but by then, some damage had already been done to network files and folders.
This particular staff member’s reaction to the infection was the wrong way to handle the infection. She ignored it, and didn’t tell anyone until hours later.
The right way to handle an infection is to tell the IT person as soon as possible. Even if you are wrong and there isn’t an infection, or the problem turns out to be something else entirely, better safe than sorry.
While we in IT rely on our tech tools, monitoring services and alert systems to let us know when something is amiss, nothing beats a vigilant person who lets us know that something isn’t right.