Posts Tagged ‘antivirus’

Fake Security 2012 VIRUS ALERT

Some news from the front line.  We’ve received a very high number of calls from clients that have been infected by the latest malicious software villain.  It’s called some form of Windows Security Alert.  It’s a fake.  And it’s trying to extort computer users to pay money.

The big deal about this one is that it’s a bit tough to remove and it appears to be mutating frequently.  It’s gotten past every single antivirus program out there.  As example:  It will flash a screen telling you anything like your hard drive is about to go belly up, you’re unprotected, you’re in danger of getting cancer from eating Cheetos.  And it wants money.  Don’t bite.  It’s a fishing expedition from essentially an organized crime syndicate.

Also, don’t freak out.

What can you do?  Often we’ll give tips to remove things like this by yourself.  Not this time.  It seems to have Microsoft and all the Antivirus companies on their heels.  Just turn your computer off.  This rogue appears to infect more deeply the more you try to get rid of it. Get someone experienced, like Computer Wrangler, to take care of it for you.

Hopefully the AntiVirus companies and Microsoft will patch this soon but until then, it’s a war zone.  We’re on your side.

Happy and SAFE Computing!

http://www.mcafee.com/us/mcafee-labs/threat-intelligence.aspx

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Avoiding Viruses & Malware!

First – a simple definition of what malware and viruses are.

  • Definition:  Malware and viruses can be defined as malicious software directed at your computer. Malware is actually a portmanteau of those two words.
  • Difference between virus and malware is that viruses can spread to other computers via networking, flashdrives, etc.  Sage advice – don’t go putting your flashdrives into computers you don’t know!

Viruses:

  • Viruses can now basically be considered Modern Day Warfare.
  • Take, for example, the Iran Nuclear Facility a few weeks back – ‘Someone’ injected a virus into the system that spread through all the computers and not only shut down progress, but also set it back months.

Malware, a couple examples:

  • Spyware:  Software out there gathering all your personal information covertly. Passwords, Internet usage,
  • Scareware:  Scam Software sold to consumers via certain unethical marketing practices.

What can you do?

  1. PAID antivirus/antispyware. We highly recommend NOD32 from www.eset.com. The more popular AV programs that you hear about, or that come with your computer when you buy it, are the ones that hackers attack first.
  2. Keep your Windows or Mac updated with the latest patches. Microsoft puts out patches for its programs on the 2nd Tuesday of each month and many PCs are automatically updated – it is worth double-checking that yours is too!  Go to control panels, automatic updates and make sure yours is turned on.  Then leave your PC on overnight – you’ll see a message in the morning to tell you it’s been it has been updated.
  3. Make sure you are behind a good Firewall – and not just your internet provider’s modem.  The majority of those Firewalls have a list of sites that are ‘bad’ and protect only against those.  You need a Firewall that has SPI – Stateful Packet Inspection.  This looks at individual ‘packets’ of info on a site and inspects them daily, with current information.
  4. Practice safe searching. Don’t search on current events, news or trends.  A search term of ‘Beatrice’s Pretzel Hat’ or ‘Brooklyn Decker’ is prime target for attack. Go to reputable pages such as www.cnn.com or www.minnesota.publicradio.org to view articles.
  5. Read the URL backwards! How many of you do searches and at the results page only look at the title and the description – but not the URL?  www.cnn.com – good. www.cnn.com.cn -  .cn means China – everything to the left of .cn is anybody’s guess & not what it appears to be. DO NOT PROCEED to click on it. You can’t always trust the link at the bottom either – scroll over the link to verify. Where it is bringing you will pop up in the lower left hand corner of your window.

This is just the basics, folks, in it’s simplest form so everyone can understand.  However, just like the flu shot you get, it doesn’t mean you will not get any viruses, but it is a step in the right direction!  Just wash your hands often and hope for the best.   Now go out there and practice safe computing!

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What Antivirus Program is the best?

People always ask us what antivirus program is the best.

 Here’s our take, and it’s from the technician viewpoint:  Eset’s NOD32 Antivirus/Antispyware, hands down.  You’ve probably never heard of it.

 NOD32 hasn’t missed an “in the wild” virus since pre-turn of the century.  It’s fast, it’s effective, it’s competitive in price.  We just wish we received a kickback from recommending their software.  An “in the wild” virus is one that the major antivirus vendors aren’t already studying in their labs.

 Why is this important?  If a virus is “in the wild”, it means that the antivirus companies don’t yet know about it.  It’s spreading from computer to computer relatively unseen and unchallenged.  Experts say that in-the-wild viruses pose the most significant threat to computers worldwide.

 Okay, so Norton and McAfee are the big dogs, they’ve got a fairly large advertising budget.  Our experience is that they cripple a PC so much in order to achieve “security” that they sacrifice either processing power or the movement of technology toward ease of use.  What is ease of use?  Most of us just want the computer to do what we want it to do, we don’t care about what’s under the hood.  Step on the gas, you go.  Punch in a number on your iPhone, it dials.

 NOD32 does that best.  But.  With every single antivirus sold in the world, there is a caveat.  Malware (technically not a virus) can get behind them and still mess up your machine.  No system is perfect.  But having dealt with thousands of infected machines, we’ve found NOD32 far and above to be the most secure solution.

 http://www.eset.com/us/

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