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July « 2010 « ZolexPC Blog About Us - Remote Computer Support & Help | Zolex PC
28Jul/10Off

Twitter and Facebook Being Used By Scammers to Spread Infections

A recent article from TechCrunch mentions how Twitter is now being used by Scammers to lure potential victims to their scams.   Read the full article here:

http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/28/twitter-crime/

Most people already are familiar with Facebook and the infections that can be spread through it.  Just yesterday I worked on a customer's PC with the Koobface Worm. In addition to it the machine was heavily infected.  Scammers and Virus makers realize how much Facebook and Twitter are being used everyday by people.  Twitter and Facebook are excellent places to trick people into clicking on a bogus links and infecting machines.    The value in using these tools as that so many people are using them that the Scammers are bound to catch some people.  Facebook recently announced they had over 500 million users.   That is quite a tasty morsel to a Scammer or Virus maker.   Even if the success rate is only 1% out of 500 million, that is 5 million more machines to spread the infection to others.

Twitter has almost 100 million users now.  1% of that is still 1 million.  You can easily see why Facebook and Twitter are going to be used in this fashion by Scammers and Virus makers.  Many businesses and companies are on Facebook and Twitter for legitimate reasons.   They want to reach more customers, engage with the community and spread the word about their products or services.  The Scammers and Virus Creators are doing the same thing, trying to spread their infections and scam more people out of their hard earned money by reaching out to as many people as possible.  You can bet if a new Social Media Idea comes along, and grows in popularity like Facebook or Twitter has, that it too will become a target for Scammers and Virus Makers as well.

If you are one of the 500 million users of Facebook or one of the 100 million users of Twitter, you need to be extra careful with clicking on links you are not sure of.  If it looks suspicious don't click it.   With Twitter and it's short links you need to be sure of the source when following a link.  Check the user to see if they have any followers?  Do they Follow anybody?  How many Tweets do they have?  Again if it doesn't appear legit, don't click.

Twitter and Facebook are immensely popular and probably will be around for at least the next few years.    Scammers and Virus makers know this and will use it to their advantage.  As a user of these Social Media tools you just need to use your wits and be suspicious.  If you do get an infection, remove it as quickly as possible with your Security Software or have a professional do it for you.

Thanks for reading and comments are always welcome.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

26Jul/10Off

Do Not Wait to Get Your PC Fixed If It Is Infected

Recently I had a customer who came to us stating that their PC was infected and they were no longer able to connect to the Internet.   The PC had been infected for a month or so but they had waited to get rid of the infection.   The longer you wait to fix your PC when it is infected the more damage the infection can do to your PC.    There are many variants of Worms and Trojans that can eat/delete files on your PC over time.  Some files may be specifically targeted such as your Antivirus Software, or vital Windows System Files.  Others may be non-important files that you may not notice missing.    Viruses and other associated Malware come in all sorts of shapes and varieties.  They have the ability to modify, delete, and create files on your PC.   The more time they have on your system, the more havoc they can cause.

Similar to a Doctor fighting an infectious disease, the sooner you catch it and begin treating it, the better chances you have for a full recovery.  The same principle applies to your PC and you.   While this does not apply to every PC infection out there, it does apply to some.   Waiting a few days or weeks can be disastrous.  Imagine you have a nasty password stealer or key-logger installed on your system without your knowledge.  This type of infection allows the hacker/virus creator access to all of your passwords etc and every single keystroke on your PC.   If you do banking online or shopping online, then you have given the Hacker/Virus creator all of your personal information.     They could steal your Identity and use your Credit Cards or SS# to commit crimes etc.    Even if it just a regular run of the mill infection such as pop-ups or fake scans, your PC could still be giving out your email address to any and every scam artist out there.

New infections are released on an unsuspecting public every day.  With the sheer number of infections out there you can not give them a chance to reside on your system wreaking havoc along the way while waiting to fix it.  The longer you wait, the worse the damage, and the bigger risk you are taking by not addressing the problem.  Not every infection is going to fall into this criteria, but the ones that do are extremely dangerous.    When your PC gets infected, remove the infection as quickly as possible.  Do not do any online shopping or banking or personal stuff until the PC has been cleaned of any infections.    Many infections will allow you to keep your using your PC and surf the internet so they can get more information from and about you.  If you keep using your PC, surfing the Internet etc, you will most likely end up contracting another infection.  Many infections and viruses have friends and can open up doors for them to join the party on your PC.

If your Antivirus software or other tools can not remove the virus for you, then have a professional do it for you.    Of course I recommend ZolexPC for this.  :)    Whatever you decide to do, remove the infection(s) as quickly as possible to avoid even more damage than has already been done.    Treat your PC like yourself when you are sick.  When you have a cold or an infection, you take medicine for it.  When your PC is sick with a virus, removing the virus is the best medicine.

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

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

22Jul/10Off

Common Virus Terms and What They Mean

Many people are not familiar with all the different kinds of infections/viruses that are out there.   I recently came across an article that defines these Invaders so you can know what you are up against.  The more information you have about what type of infection(s) your PC has makes it easier to diagnose and hopefully remove .   Similar to a doctor who wants all available knowledge of the disease or illness he is fighting, the more knowledge you have about what you are up against, the better chance you have to kill it.

http://www.protectionpower.ca/defining-the-computer-invaders.shtml

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

21Jul/10Off

7 Tips to Protect Your PC

Here is a short article highlighting how you can protect your PC while surfing the Internet.

http://www.hide-my-ip.com/privacyblog/?p=1686

While I have posted multiple entries on this topic, this article is a quick read and easy to follow.   If you have any tips you would like to add in drop us a comment.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

19Jul/10Off

Back Up Your Data!!

A recent article from FSecure (a leading Antivirus Software maker) quotes that over 47% of Americans do not back up their data and over 40% have lost data.   See the full article here:

http://www.f-secure.com/en_US/security/security-center/security-stories/backup.html

I have witnessed customers who have lost their data permanently due to not backing up their PC's.  It is a sobering lesson to learn yet people still do not do it.  Backing up your Valuable Data is easier than ever.  There are online options such as www.carbonite.com or www.mozy.com.   If you do not like using an online back up, there are other options for you to still back up your data.

Depending on just how much data you have to back up, you can purchase an external hard drive.  External Drives can be purchased for under $100.  Many of these will come with back up software to use.    You can also use a Flash Drive to back up extremely sensitive files such as Tax Documents, Financial Statements, School Work.  Flash Drives can hold 8 GB or more.  They are pretty cheap cost wise.  Even the family pictures could all be put onto a Flash Drive or two.    If you are doing it on your own, set a regular schedule when you will do it and stick to it.

The technology for backing up data has advanced leaps and bounds from where it used to be.  Take advantage of this new technology and back up your most sensitive data.   Do not let your small business lose all of it's records over something could have taken 5 minutes to save.  More on more of our lives are being tied into the computers we use and that makes backing up your data even more important.   Do not lose last years Tax Returns or your Contact list for your business.  Do not lose all of those recipes from Grandma.

For people that have a lot of music and movies on their PC's you should invest in an External Drive or use an online back up that can handle a large amount of storage.    Losing your collection of music and videos that take a lifetime to collect can be lost in an instant.   Back up anything you do not want to lose.

Viruses  can result in the loss of data, but usually it is Mechanical or Hardware Failure where the hard drive has crashed that causes the data to be lost.  This is the worst case scenario and results in the drive being unreadable.   Hard drives are very sensitive devices.  While there are Data Recovery places that may be able to salvage some of the data, they are usually pretty expensive for the average residential user.   There are times when a Virus causes a machine to be Wiped and Reloaded which can result in the loss of data.  However before this is done, data can usually be backed up from it before the machine is wiped clean.  Irretrievable data is usually the result of Mechanical or Hardware Failure.

The best thing you can do is to back up your important data by one means or another.  Do not be in the 47% that do not.  Losing all of your data on your PC can be devastating in many ways.  The way to prevent this is to prepare for it by doing regular back ups.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week

Steve

www.zolexpc.com


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