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antivirus « ZolexPC Blog About Us - Remote Computer Support & Help | Zolex PC
23Aug/10Off

Viruses That Attack and Disable Antivirus Software

It is quite common to see infected PC's that have their antivirus software disabled by a virus.     The creators of viruses/malware are aware of many of the tools and software used to protect your PC against infections.  The creators of viruses/malware  can specifically write their virus to disable your Antivirus software and others.  Viruses can also disable programs or tools that you may use to remove the infections.     New variants and versions are released everyday on the internet thereby causing a delay as to when Antivirus software and other tools can be updated to combat the latest infections.    In some cases you may even have to do a manual removal of the infection in order to use some of your tools.

I had two customers this weekend, one was Windows 7 with Norton (updated subscription) and the other had AVG Free 9.0.    The Windows 7 machine only had a small infection but it did disable internet connectivity and kept Norton from updating.    The 2nd machine was Windows XP and had a very nasty rootkit on it.  AVG listed itself as running but no components were active or recognized.  The infection had completely disabled AVG.     Even after the infection was removed, AVG still needed to be reinstalled.   When your Antivirus software is disabled it is no longer doing it's job.   In this case once the shield is down, your computer is open and exposed to many other infections on the internet.

It is very easy for creators of viruses and malware to disable your Security Software.   The key is to try to protect yourself before the virus gets you.   What you can do is be wary of email attachments and keep your software updated (Windows, Java, Adobe Flash or other Adobe products, Antivirus & Antispyware, and other software).   These updates are released to fix bugs and exploits in the software and you need them up to date.    Be careful what sites you navigate to.  Watch out for suspicious videos or postings on Facebook and use complex passwords.  Remember if you are not sure don't Click it.

Once a virus is allowed in your system it can easily disable your protection and many other things.   This is why you should try to remove the infection as quickly as possible.  If you cannot do it on your own, then consult a professional.     The longer the infection(s) reside on your PC, the more damage they can do and the more doors they can open to other infections.    Some of these infections can be very nasty and result in data loss or data theft.

As the viruses get more and more advanced, the tools and security software will try to keep up with them but there will always be gaps.  You as the user must do your part in order to reduce your chances of becoming infected.     Viruses that can disable your Security Software can just as easily steal your passwords or other personal information.   It all depends on what the viruses goal is.    Watch for signs of infection and take care of it as quickly as possible.  If you do get an infection that you cannot remove, you can always count on ZolexPC to remove them for you.

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

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

3Aug/10Off

It Only Takes One Click to Infect Your PC.

Over the weekend, I had a customer who had contracted a nasty virus.  He attempted to fix it on his own by doing a clean install of Windows.  The Install failed and he contacted ZolexPC for help.   We were able to load a fresh copy of Windows for him.  In addition we installed Security Software on his PC and got all of his Windows updates.    Not more than 3 hours after the service was completed, the customer returned stating his machine was infected again.   How is this possible?

A quick investigation revealed that the customer upon starting up his machine,  connected to the internet and immediately went to a specific website.  The website happened to be an  illegitimate website that he thought contained adult content.  Unfortunately the website actually was a fake site that delivered a virus to his PC instead.  By navigating to this website, he contracted a virus that penetrated all of his Security Software.  Why does this happen you may ask?

Once you click on a malicious piece of software or navigate to a bogus website laced with malware/infections, you are installing/authorizing the infection to carry out it's mission.    This mission is to infect your PC.  Many infections are designed to disable your Antivirus software and other protections that Windows has.   Once the infection has been launched your computer's security has been compromised and your machine is infected.   It is also now vulnerable to other infections as well since most of your Security has been disabled due to the original infection.

One bogus website or one wrong click is all it takes to infect your PC, even a PC with all of it's software up to date.   In this particular customer's case we removed the new infection pretty quickly and informed him to stay away from that website in the future.    The website was malicious and designed to trick the user into purchasing Fake Antivirus software.  This is a common trick and scam that is used by the makers of viruses and malware.   Most will attempt to trick the user into purchasing Fake Infection Removal Software for a price.  It is especially common on Adult Sites for obvious reasons.   With all of the downloading of videos and pictures on Adult sites, they are a prime target for malware and other infections.

The creators of viruses and malware are getting more and more inventive in finding ways to infect people's computers.   You need to be very careful and aware of your surroundings when surfing the Internet.   Some websites may be obvious Fakes or bogus why others may be very sophisticated and be hard to distinguish from bad ones.   If the site looks suspicious then do not navigate to it or click on it.

Some of the newest methods being used to infect PC's are using Search Engine Results so that when you search for something popular in the news or a popular topic, websites that contain links or redirects to infections/viruses will show up in the results.   For example, you search Lindsay Lohan prison release and while most results will be legitimate there may be some that actually redirect you to an infected website that contains viruses or malware.  There you may get an error message telling you your PC is infected and to download some Fake Virus Scanner.    When searching the Internet using Google or Bing be sure to look at the results carefully before clicking on a link.  Does it look funny or odd or seem fake?    Is there any gibberish in the description?

One wrong click can spell the difference between safe surfing or contracting an infection on your PC.   Take the extra time to examine what websites you are clicking on and navigating to.  If you do get infected you can always count on the pros at ZolexPC to help you get rid of it.

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

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

13Apr/10Off

Rise of Fake Antivirus Programs Continues to Plague the Internet

Fake Antivirus software continues to infect more and more users everyday.   At ZolexPC we are seeing a large increase in a few specific ones that merit mentioning.    Antivirus 2010, Internet Security 2010,  Total PC Defender, and Fake Alert.   These viruses are all designed to mask themselves as legitimate software to clean your machine of infections.   The programs will run scans that are fake, and then prompt you for money to fix them.    There are variants of these programs and many more out there that are similar in scope.     Some of them even go so far as to put out new fake ones each year and name them accordingly.   For example, there is an Antivirus 2009, 2008, and of course Antivirus 2010.

Some people may accidentally click on links for these viruses while others just may see them all of sudden show up on their PC.   This is usually the result of going to an infected page on a website or an infected website in general.   You may also contract this virus from not keeping your existing Security Software and Windows updated.    Many programs will just surf the Internet searching for machines that are vulnerable to their infections.   Similar to a burglar who walks around a neighborhood checking for unlocked doors, sooner or later he will find an open door to break into.     These programs can wreak havoc on y0ur PC very quickly.

A common target of these programs is the ability to prevent executable programs from running.   This may prevent your Antivirus software from being able to run, or additional programs that will not work because the virus will block.     The infection does this to protect itself from being deleted.    You will usually get a message from the Fake Antivirus software telling you that the particular program you are trying to use is infected and cannot be run.   It will tell you that you should install and run their software, usually for a price.   If you do this, you will most likely further infect your PC with additional infections and the scam will continue.    These types of infections can almost make your PC inoperable.

If you are surfing the Internet and you get prompted or see a message from any program that is not your normal Security Software, you should immediately close your browser and run your Security Scans, with your Antivirus software or Antispyware scanners.     If you scanners will not run and the machine is infected you will need to call on the professionals to have them remove it for you.   The process can take some time to remove the infection and to make sure the PC is clean.     At ZolexPC we can remove these infections and get your PC back to a healthy state.      Keep your Security Software updated.  ZolexPC recommends updating your Security Software every two weeks.   Your Antivirus software will usually update by itself, but your other Security Software may not.   If you use Free Software, you usually are responsible for the updating of it.   The process is usually very quick,  but easy to forget to do.

Fake Antivirus programs and software will continue to plague us on the Internet but the more vigilant we are and the more we keep our Security Software up to date, the less it can harm us.  Be sure to keep your Security Software up to date and be suspicious of any program that you don't recognize.  If you do get infected with one of these, you can always count on ZolexPC to remove them for you.

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

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

29Mar/10Off

Interesting Article on US Cities With Highest Risks for PC Infections and Scams

Today more than every, many businesses, shops, cafes, libraries and others all have Free Wi-Fi available for their patrons to use.    While a great convenience to many, this makes these cities likely targets for malicious software or scams.   As this study suggests, the targets are cities with relatively moderate incomes.   Nobody wants to scam somebody who doesn't have any money to begin with so why bother.    Cities that are more affluent are more likely to have a higher chance of success for a Paying Fake Anti-virus Software scam.   They have a wider pool of targets to hope for a bite.    Spamming email is one trick that seems to work.   People in these cities are more likely to do Online Shopping, or Online Banking.   They are up to date on the latest technological trends and tools.     The Cyber Criminals know this and use it to their advantage.

Read the entire article here.

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/22/cybercrime-small-town-problem

Cities and Businesses are going to continue this trend so what we must do as users or consumers is protect ourselves the best we can.   This means keeping your Security Software up to date and being very careful where you are surfing while on the Internet.   Watch out for oddities that don't usually happen.   These can be signs something may be amiss.    If you are suspicious, run your Security Software scans to ensure that you can take advantage of the technology and all it has to offer instead being a victim of it.

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

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

15Mar/10Off

Why You Should Add RAM To Your Old PC

Adding RAM to an older PC is one easy way of extending the life and functionality of the machine.   Adding RAM will help out your machine with Starting up, Shutting down, surfing the net, watching videos, playing games, and just about everything else in between.   Every program on your PC needs RAM and the more of it to go around the more things your PC can do faster and more efficiently.    If your PC does not have enough RAM then programs will take longer to load, the machine may appear sluggish or slow to respond.     As computers get more advanced, there are more programs running behind the scenes of your machine then ever before.

Some of these programs you may see such as your Antivirus software.    These programs are designed to run on your PC at all times and are vital to the functioning of windows.   While some can be shut down with little or no harm, most should be left alone.   All of these process and programs need RAM to run and if there isn't enough RAM on your system to go around, then the programs have to wait their turn in line for the RAM to be allocated to them to perform their actions.    For example, if you have a total of 512 MB of RAM on your machine,     Normal required Windows process\programs  may account for 200-300 MB of this RAM.  You have approx 250 left for other programs on your PC.  If you open up Internet Explorer or Firefox, that may use up another 100 or so.  If you use a Chat program such as AIM or MSN Messenger that will use up additional RAM as well.   Before you know it your machine is slow to respond.   By adding additional RAM to your PC you safely run all of these with no slowdown in performance.  PC Games also require RAM, and have minimum requirements that must be met in order for the game to run properly.   If the game does not have enough RAM it may fail to install or load or just may play very choppy and crash a lot.

The decision to add RAM to your PC is a pretty easy one to make.  First off,  How old is your PC?   If your PC is 10 years old or more, it is probably not worth installing additional RAM.  The older machines can only handle so much RAM.  If this is you, it may be best to consider purchasing a new PC.    If your machine is only 5-8 years old, there is a good chance you can add some RAM to it.    RAM is not too expensive and upgrading your PC can cost you anywhere from $50-$100.    RAM is also something you may be able to do yourself.   This depends on whether or not you are comfortable with opening up your PC.    Even if you are not, the stores will not charge you too much to do this as the process is quick and easy.   You can bring your PC to the store, have the RAM installed and be ready to go in about 10 minutes.  This does not include waiting in line.

RAM comes in all different shapes and sizes so it is important to make sure you purchase the correct RAM.   A simple way is to go the website www.crucial.com and let the website scan your system.  It will give you the exact amount of RAM your machine can handle and type needed for the upgrade.  Using this information you can make the best choice for your needs and budget.     At ZolexPC we recommend Windows XP should have at least 1 GB or more.    If you are running Windows Vista, you should have at a minimum of 2 GB.   With Vista the more RAM the better off you will be.  Windows 7 for new PC's should come with enough RAM for your need but can also be upgraded.   If you can afford it maximizing the amount of RAM in your PC will certainly pay dividends.

If your PC is old and somewhat slow consider adding RAM to it today to improve performance, speed, and everything in between.  Your computer will be very happy and so will you once you see the difference adding RAM can make on your PC.

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

Steve

www.zolexpc.com


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