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June « 2010 « ZolexPC Blog About Us - Remote Computer Support & Help | Zolex PC

Suspicious of an Online Job Offer?

Here is a fantastic website that lists Online Job scams.  www.phishbucket.org is a great resource especially in today's job market.   The website lists and has information on many Online Job Scam offers.  If you are suspicious of something that sounds to good to be true, you may want to look them up on Phishbucket.org.   In Addition the website also lists credible Online Job sites and companies.      With a tough job market out there, scammers are always looking for more ways to steal people's money and identity for a variety of different reasons.   Do your research before agreeing to give out your personal information over the Internet.    By not being careful it only takes a few minutes for someone to clean out your bank account or charge up your credit cards.    Use websites like Phishbucket.org to keep you safe while searching for your next job.




Is It Good To Have Multiple Antivirus Programs On My PC?

Last week, I had a new customer who had an infection on their PC.  In an effort to remove the infection on their own, they decided to install Multiple Antivirus programs on their PC.    The customer thought the more security meant better protection for their PC.    While this idea may sound good in theory, it is not advisable and not good for your PC.   Antivirus programs are designed to detect harmful programs and files on your system.  They do this by a number of different ways.   Because Antivirus programs can remove files and delete or modify files, much like Viruses themselves, other Antivirus Software can be detected as a potential threat by another Antivirus software.  In addition both will compete with each other, both could try to modify your firewall settings.  Having multiple Antivirus will use up lots of your system's resources making your PC slower to respond.     You should not have Norton, McAfee, AVG, MS Security Essentials all installed at once.   In fact having this many can actually weaken your security on the PC.  You only need one Antivirus Software on your PC.

As for Antispyware programs, having multiple is usually acceptable and can add to your security for your PC.    Some programs such as Norton 360 or Microsoft Security Essentials do both by providing you Antivirus protection and Antispyware protection.   Even using one of these you could still add an additional Antispyware program such as Spybot if you wanted too.    For my personal computer, I use Antivirus Software combined with two Antispyware programs.    At ZolexPC we use Microsoft Security Essentials which includes Antivirus and Antispyware.   This updates by itself and requires little interaction with the home user.

Do not install Multiple Antivirus on your computer as it will give you far more problems than it will solve.   When it comes to Antivirus, you want One and One only.   If you have multiple installed currently, choose the one that is best for you and install the rest.   For Antispyware, while you can have many 2 is usually sufficient.  Anything more and you will probably find it to be more intrusive and annoying than helping to protect your PC.   Be sure you are only running one Antivirus program on your PC.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.




What To Do When Your PC Freezes?

Having your PC freeze can be very frustrating and can be caused by a number of different issues.   Viruses, Games, Hardware Malfunction, Corrupted Windows Files, Bugged Software, Faulty Electric Failure can all cause your PC to freeze in some capacity.   There are different types of Computer Freezes with differing and similar solutions for each one.

To begin troubleshooting your freeze, you must first determine what you were doing when it happened.   Were you playing a game?   Were you watching a video online?  Were you just using your PC normally?  Sending an email?   Did you come back from a break to find your PC frozen?

If you were playing a game and the game has frozen, you may be able to Alt-Tab out of the game or try Ctrl-Alt-Delete, to exit the game.   Some games may crash your PC if they are buggy or if they use a lot of system resources.  Your video card may be working too hard or may need a new driver.   If your PC only freezes when playing a game or some games, then you should consider upgrading your Video Card's drivers or the Video Card itself.  Many of the new games require a powerful Video card and processors as well.  If you are trying to play a relatively new game on an older PC, you could run into problems.    If your computer freezes during a game and you cannot Alt-Tab or exit the game in any manner, then you should hold in the power  button on your machine until it shuts off.

Wait a good 15-30 seconds and turn it back on.    You should only turn off your PC in this manner if you cannot use Start, Shutdown, Turn Off Computer via Windows.     Never directly just unplug your PC from its Outlet or turn off the power strip.   These are not healthy things to do to your PC and can cause serious problems.

If your computer freezes from a virus or an infection, and you cannot use Ctrl-Alt-Delete or Task Manager, use the shut down power button method described above.    Wait 10-15 seconds and reboot the machine in safe mode to see if it freezes in there as well.   Many viruses may not run in Safe mode.    To get your machine to Safe Mode,  once you power it on, beginning hitting the F8 key on your keyboard.  This should bring you to Windows Advanced Start Menu.  For Vista and Windows 7 this will also work.  Choose Safe Mode, if prompted then choose your operating system.  This will be Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7, etc.  Then click on your user name and log into Windows.    You should be able to use windows normally to run your security software and attempt to remove the infection.   If this doesn't cure your problem you may need to consult a professional to fix the PC.

If your PC Freezes when using a specific piece of software, as in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop then you should make sure you have all the latest updates to the specific piece of software you are using.  Do you have all of the updates for Microsoft Office?   Did you upgrade to the latest patches for Adobe Acrobat?   Many times bugs are found that can cause problems for your software.  These bugs are fixed in patches put out by the software designers to fix these problems.  So it could be something as simple as updating to the latest version of your software.  Like your Security Software, you should keep programs up to date and patched as well.    Try applying the updates and patches.  Does the Freeze still occur?

If your PC Freezes, is not infected, and all of your current software is up to date including Windows,  it could indicate hardware failure or something corrupted in Windows itself.    The first solution you can try is to update and drivers for any hardware on the PC.  If this fails you can attempt to do Repair or Reinstall of Windows.  Be sure to back up your data if possible before doing a Repair or Reinstall of Windows.   If the problem still persists after this then you can be sure it is something hardware related.   Once you have ruled out Software it only leaves hardware.  With hardware it could be anything from a bad Motherboard, overheated Processor, large amounts of dust in the PC clogging Fans.    You can try to open your PC if it is a desktop and clean it out with a can of compressed Air.  Dust and Lint can clog your Fans and make your PC run much hotter than it should.  The PC will shut it self down in self defense to keep cool.   The Freezing could be a precursor to this problem and cleaning it out is always a good idea.    If your PC still freezes after this it is best to have it diagnosed by a professional to determine the cause of the hardware failure.  Depending on how old your PC, it may be best to just purchase a new PC at point.   Replacing a Motherboard on an older machine be expensive.

The best thing about a Computer Freeze is that it usually never results in lost data unless the Hard Drive is completely locked up.   Even if you have to replace your older PC with a new one, you can easily transfer the data over to the new PC so you will not lose your Pictures, Documents and other important data stored on your PC.    Computer Freezes while extremely frustrating and sometimes difficult to diagnose can be remedied in some cases by the average home user.  If not then you should consult a professional who diagnose the problem for you.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.




The Risks of Downloading Videos, Music, Files for Free

Downloading Videos, Music, Files etc for free comes with many risks.  Anyone can attach a virus to a video, music file, or software so that you get a little bonus with your download.  Unfortunately it is not a good bonus for you.   A great example of this has just hit the news.  Some of you have heard about a video involving Kendra Wilkinson.    A paid version of the video is available.  There is also a Kendra Wilkinson video that has been posted to Free File Sharing Sites and Torrent sites.  Included in this free version may be some harmful software for your PC.    Read the article here:


Sex sells, especially when it comes to viruses and infections on your PC.    Virus makers and hackers alike know the power of sex and use it to draw in countless victims via illegitimate ads on Adult sites.   They also will post videos to Torrent Sites, File Sharing Sites as well.  These videos can have extra code attached to them to infect your machine with nasty viruses.    The Kendra tape is just one of many that are out there trying to trick and deceive unsuspecting PC users.  A couple of blog posts back, I mentioned a Facebook Video Clip Virus that was going around supposedly showing some bikini beach babes but really was a nasty Trojan that would infect your PC.   These are great ways for viruses to spread and the virus makers know it.

If you use these types of sites, you are surely increasing your chances of contracting an infection.   Anyone who uploads files to these sites can easily attach anything they want to the file.   Even with your Security Software up to date, there are new infections released every day on these types of sites.  The virus makers know where the public is most vulnerable and exploit this advantage constantly.   Fake Ads on legitimate websites and file sharing sites are prime sources of infections.   This is especially prevalent on adult sites.   Never click on Ads even on paid Adult sites.

The temptation to get free music, videos, software etc will not stop nor will the viruses and other harmful software that is distributed on these sites.   What you can do to protect yourself and your PC is to not use these sites.   You get what you pay for.   Sometimes when you get something for free, you really get yourself a virus which you could end up paying for to have it removed.   Or the price may be your personal information, Bank information, or a key logger to track your movements.   Are these risks you are willing to take to get the latest single from Lady GaGa?

If you do use Free File Sharing Sites and Torrents etc. then just be prepared to accept the risks of using such software.   Keep your Security Software updated and run regular scans to ensure your PC as is clean as it can be.  The more times you download from these sites, the more times you increase your chances to infect your PC.   Many virus removal businesses will usually insist on removing this type of software if present.  At ZolexPC we recommend removing these programs as they are deemed to be harmful to your PC.  Use these sites at your own risk.

Thanks for reading and have  great rest of the week.




Facebook Privacy Settings Have Changed Again

Facebook has changed their Privacy settings again due to the confusion from the last time they tried to do it.  This time they have simplified it even more for it's users.     You should check your settings to make sure you have the level of privacy you want.    The process is very easy and should take you no more than 5 minutes.

First log into Facebook as usual and then click on Account (top right corner), then Click Privacy Settings.    Once inside this window, you will see one header called Basic Directory Information.  Do not be fooled by the long name.    Within the description of Basic Directory Information, you will see View Settings.  Click this and from here you can change how people can find you, who can send you friend requests, messages, friend lists, and a few others.  Simply click on the box to the left and choose between Everyone, Friends of Friends, or Friends Only.    Just be sure you choose what is best for you.

After you finish up with the Basic Directory Information, click Back to Privacy  (top left).    You should now be back at the Window that has Basic Directory Information followed by Sharing on Facebook.   Here you should see a chart, with check marks.   Near the bottom is a Customize your settings button.  Clicking this will allow you to edit who can see your:

Status, Biography, Family, Photos, Tagged Photos, Religious and Political Views, B-day's, email addressees and IM's.  Simply go down the list and again your choices are Everyone, Friends of Friends, and Friends Only.  Friends of Friends implies that Friends is also included.     These settings are very important especially as Facebook's popularity continues to grow.   There are stories of Employers looking up prospective Job Seekers Facebook pages for information.   With the current job market Employers are very selective and this is becoming more common nowadays.   You may not want to share those Bachelor Party Pictures to Everyone on Facebook.

Another good reason to check and update your Facebook Privacy settings is when sending out status messages to Everyone telling them your whereabouts.  For example, you decide to post a Status message on Facebook saying you are going to be a concert event on a specific date and time.   If this info is posted to everyone on Facebook as well as some of your other personal information, it would be very easy for someone to find out the address and possibly burglarize your home while you are at the concert.   This is becoming more and more common as people post via Twitter and Facebook about their current whereabouts or status updates.    This can be very dangerous in today's society especially for younger people or children.

Facebook has almost 500 million users now and out of those 500 million not everybody is a nice person.  You need to protect yourself while on Facebook by making sure your Privacy Settings are correctly set.    The 5 minutes it takes you do it could save you endless hours of aggravation and who knows what else.    Facebook is still growing and if you plan on staying with it, check your Privacy Settings.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.



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