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.
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.
There is a new Facebook virus that is going around tempting those of us who enjoy looking at beach babes to to watch a video that shows us a glimpse.¬† Do not be tricked as this is a virus that will launch harmful software and install other infections on your machine while sending out the infection to all of your friends as well.¬†¬†¬†¬† These infections are becoming more and more common with Facebook as it's popularity continues to make it a prime target for virus makers and hackers.¬†¬† If you have already been the victim of this particular infection, be sure to get your PC cleaned either by running your Security Software scans or have a professional check the PC for you.¬†¬† If you have done any purchasing over the internet since you noticed you were infected it may be a good idea to check with your Credit Card company to make sure there are no Unauthorized purchases with your card.¬† The same idea applies if you do online banking.¬† Many infections will try to steal this valuable information.¬† Once they get it, they can quickly use the card or information to charge up the card or withdraw money within hours if not minutes.
A recent ZolexPC customer was the lucky recipient of one of the popular email scams that floats around the internet.¬† This one in particular sends an email to all of your Facebook friends telling them you have been stranded in England and need money.¬†¬† Do not respond to the email. When you receive one of these emails, the first thing you should do is to delete the email.¬† Some of these Phishing email scams may include Trojans or viruses so it is a good idea to run your Security Software to make sure your PC is clean.¬†¬†¬† It is also a good idea to change your Facebook password as well.¬†¬† After you should keep an eye on things with your PC and look for anything strange or unusual.¬† This could be a sign that something is still lurking on the PC.
Facebook continues to grow in popularity with users and virus makers, so expect more and more attacks on Facebook.¬†¬† What you can do as a user is just be vigilant, keep your guard up, run regular scans, keep your software updated, and if you do get infected, get rid of the infection(s).¬†¬† If your Security Software can not remove the infection, you can always call on us at ZolexPC to remove it for you.
Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.
Recently it was announced that a popular Banking Trojan known as Zeus or Zbot is specifically targeting Firefox users.¬†¬† See the article from PC World here.
Many of us use Online Banking for it's convenience, accuracy, up to date transactions, and of course the money it saves on stamps.¬†¬† It does have risks associated with it of course and if you do Online Banking then you need to protect yourself as best you can.¬†¬†¬† Here are a few tips you can use to protect yourself.
Strong Passwords are essential.¬†¬† Having a strong password is one of the few things you can do to protect yourself.¬†¬† See a previous blog entry on how to create a strong password that is easy to remember and difficult to guess.¬†¬†¬†¬† http://www.zolexpc.com/zolex/blog/?p=87 An easy to guess password only makes the hackers job easier and faster.¬† It may not be a hacker but could be a jealous partner, or vindictive ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, so make those passwords strong and tough to guess.¬† The Banks have high security and encryption but you need to do your part as well.¬†¬† Having a strong password is one way to contribute to that cause.
Another thing to do with Online Banking is check your transactions at the end of each week for anything that you don't recognize or appears suspicious.¬† The sooner you catch something malicious the less damage will be done.¬†¬†¬†¬† Also be wary of emails from your bank asking you to provide or verify User name and Password information, unless you have recently required a Password change.¬†¬†¬† You can always call your bank to verify it before replying.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† When it comes to Identity Theft or your Money better to be safe than sorry.
One issue that raises debate is going paperless with your banking statements.¬† The pros of this are if your house was broken into there would not be any statements listing your information with account numbers or names.¬†¬† It could reduce your chances for Identity Theft.¬†¬†¬† It also reduces on paper for the bank, you and is good for the environment.¬†¬† The only downside I see of this if not having additional physical records or extra back-up.¬†¬†¬† Having the paper back up could help you in dealing with any variety of banking issues.
Another critical component that relates to Online Banking is making sure your PC is infection free.¬†¬† If your machine has an infection you should not be doing any Online Banking until the infection(s) have been removed.¬†¬† There are infections that specifically target Bank User name and Passwords.¬†¬†¬† Doing Online Banking on an infected machine is asking for trouble for sure.¬†¬† Make sure your Security Software is up to date and you have the latest Windows updates as well.¬† If your machine has a virus and you cannot get rid of it, you can always count on ZolexPC to remove it for you.
When it comes to Online Banking be sure to have a strong password, check your transaction history on a regular basis, and be wary of any emails asking for User Name and Password (unless requesting one).¬† This combined with a clean and healthy machine is your safest bet for Online Banking. ¬† By doing these steps you can be assured that you are doing your part in protecting your interests while enjoying the benefits of Online Banking.
Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.
Facebook is used by over 400 million people worldwide. ¬† The population of the United States is 309,145,570 people.¬†¬† Facebook now has more users than the entire population of the United States of America.¬†¬†¬† With Facebook's escalating popularity it has become an increasingly popular target for infections, scams and all that nasty stuff that can harm your PC.
Here is a recent article from PC World about stolen Facebook ID's.¬†¬† Does this mean Facebook is no longer safe?¬† No it is still fine to use but you should be aware that it is being targeted by the Virus makers, hackers, scammers alike.¬†¬† Should you be more alert when using it?¬† Yes, you should be on your guard when using Facebook and all of it's features.
If you Facebook account is compromised or hacked, you may be sending viruses to all of your friends without even realizing it.¬†¬† A popular one is a video sent to you by a friend so it appears safe.¬† When you click on the Video to watch it, you have just infected your PC with the same infection.¬† The infection will now send out the same bad video (virus) to all of your friends continuing to spread it.
As usual to protect yourself against any infection, you need to have Security Software installed and updated.¬†¬†¬†¬† When using Facebook, be very careful about videos posted from friends, if it looks suspicious or the message accompanying it looks very generic, there is a good chance it may be an infection.¬†¬†¬† Most people may post a video on their page as opposed to sending you a video through the Facebook mail, so that can be another sign that you probably don't want to open it.
Facebook has instituted some new Privacy measures meant to help out with Security.¬† Many users may not be aware of this or on how to use them so I am going to briefly cover them.¬†¬† When you log into Facebook, click on Account, Privacy Settings.¬†¬† Once in here you will see a few selections to choose from.¬†¬†¬†¬† These are all used so you can limit who sees your posts, contacts, friends, applications etc.¬†¬† Clicking on Profile Information opens a new window and from here you can decide whether you want everyone to see this information or just your Friends, or Friends of Friends.¬†¬† Choose which option you feel safest with.
For example in the Religious and Political Views column, you may want to only share that with your Friends and not Everyone in the world.¬† When you have something set to Everyone, that simply means that anybody who is on Facebook and clicks on your name can read the information.¬†¬† So if you were to set all of your settings to everyone then anybody can view your complete profile, pictures, posts, friends, applications.¬†¬† Perhaps you don't want the whole public world knowing your religious beliefs or political views.¬†¬† Perhaps you don't want the public to know that you are a member of a group that others may not approve of.¬†¬† This is also where you can hide Applications or messages from your friends that many people find very annoying.
For parents and children these settings can go a long way to avoiding any awkwardness on Facebook.¬†¬† Many parents are on Facebook and so are there children.¬†¬† With the privacy settings you can specifically restrict individuals from seeing your posts, likes, dislikes, views etc.¬†¬†¬† This way you can still be friends with your parents but not have to worry about them invading or snooping around your private lives.
While these settings are important as is keeping your Security Software up to date, the safest thing you can do with this stuff is to use common sense and be alert.¬† Be suspicious of videos from people who usually don't send you anything.¬†¬† Ask the person if they posted it before opening it.¬†¬†¬† If you do get infected or suspect you may be, then you should run your Security Software scans on your PC.¬†¬†¬† If your Security Software cannot remove the infection(s), then you can always contact your friends at www.ZolexPC.com
Facebook is not going away for a while and as more and more people use it, more and more infections will appear on it, so make sure Security Settings are set how you want them to be.¬†¬† Make sure your Security Software is up to date, and be careful while on Facebook for suspicious items, messages, or videos.¬†¬†¬†¬† Facebook is great and a fantastic tool and has become very popular.¬† Unfortunately with success comes an opportunity for the Virus Makers, Hackers, Scam Artists alike to profit from Facebook's success.
If you have any questions on Facebook Settings or would like more information, feel free to post your questions or comments.
Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.