July 9 is being dubbed ‘Internet Doomsday': hundreds of thousands of computer users could lose internet access on that day.
This is a warning coming straight from the FBI.
We spoke with local computer expert and owner of Solutions By Design, Inc., Gary Robbins, who says even if you think you’re safe, your computer could have been infected years ago and you wouldn't even know it.
That is, until July 9.
Imagine your life without the internet: no Facebook updates or tweets, no funny YouTube videos, Google, or email.
“These days it seems like people can't live without it,” Robbins said.
Last year, the FBI shut down a crime ring that was running a global advertising scam that earned the criminals about $14 million.
“It would hijack people's computers, and utilize them to create fraudulent clicks on advertisements,” Robbins said.
By the time authorities got to the hackers, about half a million computers had the virus called "DNS Changer."
Investigators set up a safety net using government computers to prevent internet disruptions for infected users.
That system will be shut down July 9.
The FBI is urging people to check your computers and rid the machines of the virus.
Robbins said to log onto http://www.dns-ok.us/ to check your computer for the virus.
“If you see the green background you are clear,” Robbins said.
But if you get the dreaded red background, Robbins says your computer is likely infected.
At that point, Robbins told us you should find the link at the bottom of that page to the FBI site which provides a list of free anti-malware applications.
Robbins says you can download one application and run it to clear your computer of the DNS virus.
If you don't, July 9 really could be internet doomsday, or at least quite a hassle.
“Without the internet at that point to help you repair it, you'd likely have to take it to a computer repair center,” Robbins said.
For a link to the check website – CLICK HERE.
For a link to the FBI site to clean the virus from your computer – CLICK HERE.