(Portable) Malware Removal Emergency Kit

Hardly a week goes by anymore that I don’t run into someone (or assist someone) that is experiencing a malware infection of some magnitude on their computers. I typically do not commit myself to removing these infections anymore due to the time element (many hours) involved in researching the issue, gathering (and updating) the necessary removal tools, and actually attempting to remove the infection. Removing a malware infection can be frustrating and in the end it is even questionable (after an infection) whether it is completely removed. In the end, probably the best tool to have around is your OS recovery disks.

If you are someone that does provide a service for removing malware, a tool to consider (that is portable), in your tech toolbox, is the Emsisoft Emergency Kit.

The Emsisoft Emergency Kit contains a collection of programs that can be used without software installation to scan for malware and clean infected computers: Emsisoft Emergency Kit Scanner and Emsisoft Command-line Scanner.

I downloaded the kit (approx. 233mb) and launched the “Start Emergency Kit Scanner.exe”; peformed and updated the malware signature database files; and, performed a scan. What I found is that it is pretty easy to use; however, I am not sure of the how powerful the scanner is in comparison to the competitors. If you are familiar with this kit, please feel free to let us know your experiences with it. I like the idea it is portable, can be used in safe mode (or from a recovery environment) and can be run from the command-line in order to remove a particularly stubborn infection. Many malware infections will overtake your computer to the point that you may not be able to run, update and/or install malware removal software; thus, the portability of this kit and other outside the box options are a plus.

 Emsisoft Emergency Kit

Emsisoft Emergency Kit

When You Can’t Get Malwarebytes Installed Due To An Infection

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware; I can’t say enough about this software. Did you know that the cyber criminals who live on the underbelly of the internet have engineered malware infections to block the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware so that you can’t eradicate the infection?

There is a solution to this issue and it is Malwarebytes Chameleon. What Chameleon does is get Malwarebytes Anti-Malware installed and running when blocked by malicious programs.

Malwarebytes Chameleon

  • Download Chameleon from the link above. Unzip the contents to a folder in a convenient location.
  • Follow the instructions in the included CHM Help File or, if the help file will not open, simply try to run the files by double-clicking on them one by one until one of them remains open, then follow the onscreen instructions

Need Help With Windows 10? — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-06)

Need Help With Windows 10? – If you are a newcomer to Windows 10 (or computers) and you need help with Windows 10, you will find on the Microsoft site itself (which is quite large) a section of the site totally devoted to getting help with Windows 10. Many of the answers you may be seeking can be found here — and, if that is of no help you can go so far as to actually talk or chat with someone from Microsoft to get assistance. I personally have never had to go this route; but, I do think it is helpful that the home-based computer user know that these options are available; especially, that you can talk to someone. Also, to my readers, if you know of any third party Windows 10 help sites available, please feel free to share this information in the comments section.

Windows 10 Help

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

Virus and Malware Removal Tools – TCAT Shelbyville’s Technical Blog recently pointed out to us that “Often we remember Malwarebytes, Adwcleaner, ComboFix, RKill , Junkware Removal Tool (JRT) or Adware Removal Tool/TSA and forget about tools offered by Anti-virus software manufacturers”…  I encourage you to visit their site to see what those other tools are — CLICK HERE

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Two Guys One Ticket – This is an off-topic video, but is a hack of sorts where two guys (more or less as a challenge) try to get into a movie theatre with one ticket. Appeared to take a lot of work, strength (and personal closeness), but they pulled it off.

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I Am About To Lose A 100 Gigs Of Online Storage – For the past several years I have managed to accumulate 100 GBs of FREE online storage space at Copy.com (by having other people sign up for their service). Well, effective May 1, 2016, Copy and CudaDrive services will be discontinued (after 4+ years of service)… Fortunately, in my case, this is no sweat off my back; due I do not keep all my eggs in one basket. Yes, I am going to miss that 100 gigs; but, this is a good example (or lesson) where we should never completely depend on cloud based services. Personally, when it comes to the important files, I keep a local backup and store another away from my residence.

Copy and CudaDrive services will be discontinued  

Copy ©

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All-In-One Design Tool For Everyone (for FREE) – If you do not have PicPick installed on your computer, then you are missing out on some very good screen capturing and editing software. PicPick is FREE for personal use (not FREE for commerical use). You can do a full install or use it as a portable app… PicPick is full-featured screen capture tool, Intuitive image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel-ruler, protractor, crosshair, whiteboard and more.

PicPick

PicPick

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Bluetooth Keyboard That Works With Your PC, Android, iOS Smartphones & Tablets – I found this keyboard quite interesting and currently have it on my wishlist for my tablet.  It is the Jelly Comb Bluetooth 3.0 Keyboard.  This keyboard is unique in that it works with your PC, Android, or Smartphones & Tablets.  It features a 96 Keys Keyboard with Multi Touch Track Pad; Silicone Rubber Docking Stand (or slot); Wireless Bluetooth 3.0 for fast pairing and wide range connectivity of up to 33 feet (10 meters) and a Built-in Battery (Charge 2 hours and you can use it for months. Simply plug the keyboard to a USB and start charging.). The only downfall that I am seeing with this is that it does not come with a micro USB charging cable (which are readily available a dime a dozen)… 

Jelly Comb Bluetooth 3.0 Keyboard

Jelly Comb Keyboard

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Keep An Installed Copy of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (FREE) On Your PC

I have featured the FREE version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in the past and thought this would be a good time to once again promote this “must have” security software. One thing to point out at the start is that the FREE version of Malwarebytes is only a scanning utility and does not provide real-time protection. You can get the real-time protection by purchasing the commercial version of their software. Don’t let this deter you from downloading the FREE version. I use the FREE version and make a habit to manually download the updates and perform routine scans of my computer.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is the best out there when it comes to detection and removal of Malware. According to OPSWAT, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is the most popular security product installed by users. I guess the important thing I am trying to get across is that it is important to have this software on your PC so that you can fire it up, at a moments noticed, when you suspect a problem.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware’s industry-leading scanner detects and removes malware like worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, spyware, and more. All you have to do is launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and run a scan. It’s that simple. Or if you want even better protection, consider Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium and its instant real-time scanner that automatically prevents malware and websites from infecting your PC. Either way you’re crushing malware and foiling hackers…

Anti-Malware/Anti-Spyware – Detects and eliminates malware your antivirus will miss.

Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit – Removes rootkits and repairs the files they damage.

Advanced Malware Removal – Employs industry-leading technology to completely remove malware code.

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A Troubleshooting Tool To Delete Potentially Unwanted Software (such as adware, spyware, trojans, viruses and worms)

Recently during a software install I found myself in a hurry and noticed about halfway through the install I was authorizing third party installs (of other software) that was piggy backing the software that I really wanted to install. Needless to say I do not like the idea of software developers doing this; especially when the third party software is very questionable in nature. I know the developers work very hard and need a source of income, but they are affecting their reputation when the third party software installs are sketchy in nature. So, please; when installing any software make sure you read the initial install instructions and if there is a selection to customize the install, make sure you do that so that you can see specifically what is being installed. Anyhow, I have been testing Windows software for many years and found myself, due to being in a rush, becoming the victim. I knew immediately that I pulled the trigger on something that I did not want…

FreeFixerTo remedy my issue, where a third party start page modifier (browser hijacker) was installed, I performed research on the name of the poison I was seeing and then I ran a utility called FreeFixer to analyze and help me fix the problem.

FreeFixer

FreeFixer scans a large number of locations where unwanted software has a known record of appearing or leaving traces. The scan locations include the programs that run on your computer, the programs that starts when you reboot your computer, your browser’s plug-ins, your home page setting, etc.

Now, the catcher to FreeFixer is that following the scan that it performs (which is very extensive and impressive) it does not know what is unwanted, so it presents the scan results and it is up to you to determine what needs removed and/or set back to their default settings. The good here, following a scan by FreeFixer is that you can get more info on a suspicious file by click on the “more info” selection; AND, if you delete a selection the file selection is quarantined where you can restore from in the event you mess up.

In cases where FreeFixer is unable to delete files in normal Windows mode they are registered for delayed removal with FreeFixer’s Native Deleter, which removes the files upon the next reboot. The actual delete operation is done before the logon screen appear. The majority of malware can be deleted at this point.

In the end, I am finding that you need to have a good understanding of the Windows architecture in order to use this powerful utility. FreeFixer is definitely a tech toolbox keeper. There is a 32bit and 64bit version of FreeFixer available as a full install or portable app.

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Today’s Geek Squeaks – August 10, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

  • I am always on the hunt for a method to secure the files and folders on my flash drive; and, today I may have found the solution with Wise Folder Hider;
  • Removing viruses and malware from a computer can be a daunting task. Something that you may want to keep available in your tech toolbox is the AVG Rescue CD (which is totally FREE);
  • You need to learn how to back up your computer or at least your personal files and folders. Check out the article below, from AllThatsNEW, that will lead you in the right direction of choosing a backup software option; AND,
  • If you are a Nexus 7 user, then check out the numerous accessories that are available.

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!


Hide Files and Folders On Your Flash Drive

Wise Folder Hider

image

Wise Folder Hider enables you to easily hide any folders, file or removable drive. The hidden files and folders will be invisible and inaccessible, even if the drive is accessed from a different operating system. The only way to unhide the items is by running Folder Hider and entering the correct password… GET IT HERE


AVG Rescue CD (USB Flash Drive Edition)

@ Download Crew

image

The AVG Rescue CD is a portable environment that comes with a range of tools to help you clean up a virus-infected PC, fix hard drive problems, and get an unbootable system working again… GET IT HERE


8 Things to Look for in Backup Software

@ AllsThatsNew

image

Choosing the right backup software requires striking a delicate balance between what your company needs now –  and what it will need in the future. In order to do this, you’ll need to find a solution that offers customizable management and reporting features… READ MORE


Accessorize Your Nexus 7

image

If you are looking for Nexus 7 accessories, then this may be up your alley… SEE MORE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

Take Me Back In Time To Visit An Archived Version of The Internet

I actually developed an interest in computers that pre-dates the internet, as we know it (with the graphical user interface, html web pages, etc…). I can remember way back when, being in attendance at a local school where a representative from a large telecommunications company was speaking about computers and that something innovative was on the horizon that would change our lives, as we know it.  What he was talking about at the time was the building of the internet. No one in attendance, including myself, could really grasp at what he was talking about and just how important it would become.

It was some years later, as a result of computers and the internet, my life changed for me personally. Suddenly being labeled as a computer geek, I was thrust into a new career field (as an IT Manager) where I became part of that innovation of what we call internet. Our entire lives has been changed by the internet and the connectivity it has brought; AND, without it we would be at a great loss.

I started thinking about all of this; and, knowing the digital world being as it is, was there was a way to go back in time to revisit the internet in days past? You know, sort of reminisce…  It was after this thought that I remembered hearing about the Wayback Machine.

The Wayback Machine is “a service that allows people to visit archived versions of Web sites. Visitors to the Wayback Machine can type in a URL, select a date range, and then begin surfing on an archived version of the Web. Imagine surfing circa 1999 and looking at all the Y2K hype, or revisiting an older version of your favorite Web site. The Internet Archive Wayback Machine can make all of this possible”.

You are not going to find every site ever created out there, but the Wayback Machine is a great learning and research tool and is just plain interesting to see what the internet landscape looked like in years gone by. For example here is part of a page I pulled from Microsoft’s web site in December 1997:

image

You can also upload your own digital artifacts to the Wayback Machine, as well…

GEEK BONUS AREA

Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

And I Thought Black Widows Had It Bad!

Turning Your Regular TV into a Smart TV

Remove hotstartsearch.com, removal instructions


SanDisk Ultra 64 GB MicroSDXC Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Card with Adapter

SanDisk Ultra 64 GB MicroSDXC Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Card with Adapter

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Wallpaper of the Week (#116) – A Galaxy On Your Desktop

I have always found that wallpapers that have a blue tint or color are good at showing off the icons better than other colors. Just my opinion…  To demo my opinion, here is a blue starry (galaxy) background that will enhance the appearance of the your desktop and at the same time make those icons really stand out.

To Get This Wallpaper – [ CLICK HERE ]

A Galaxy On Your Desktop

Windows 7 (and 8) Users: If you are using Windows 7 (or 8), did you know you can create a desktop background slideshow to show off your pictures and wallpaper images?  To learn how to use this feature [CLICK HERE].

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Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

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Remove Mixi Dj Claro Search – mixidj.claro-search.com
Removal Instructions

Get Office 365 Free for Three Months and
20 GB of SkyDrive Storage

Free Sotware to convert PDF to word:
Free PDF to Word Doc Converter

Position Your Notebook Screen
At An Ergonomically Correct Height

3M Vertical Notebook Riser

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Wallpaper of the Week (#115) – B2 Spirit Stealth Bomber

This week’s wallpaper is a detailed image of the B2 Spirit Stealth Bomber that was recently flown over South Korea to participate in annual military exercises amid spiking tensions with North Korea.

The B-2’s low-observable, or “stealth”, characteristics enable the undetected penetration of sophisticated anti-aircraft defenses and to attack even heavily defended targets. – [source: wikipedia]

To Get This Wallpaper – [ CLICK HERE ]

B2 Spirit Stealth Bomber

Windows 7 (and 8) Users: If you are using Windows 7 (or 8), did you know you can create a desktop background slideshow to show off your pictures and wallpaper images?  To learn how to use this feature [CLICK HERE].

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How to Build a Gaming Computer

AVASoft Antivirus Professional
(Malware removal)

Logitech’s G Series PC Gaming Peripherals

IOGEAR USB 2.0 Hub and 45-in-1 Card Reader

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A Friday Freebie: Internet Tool For Finding EVERYTHING Related To Digital Photography

As a result of yesterday’s post, where I made an announcement about the NEW Bookmarks4Techs, a reader of the blog introduced me to a similar site that exclusively deals with digital photography, called PhotoStartSheet. As a matter of fact, due to digital photography being tech related, I added this site to the Bookmarks4Techs collection.

PhotoStartSheet

PhotoStartSheet

A big THANK YOU, to the reader identified as Delenn for sharing this GREAT find with us. PhotoStartSheet is a compilation of links to anything and everything having to do with digital photography.

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Bookmarks4Techs.com

Win 7 Smart Defender Pro (Malware Removal)

Samsung Unveils Much Awaited Flagship Model Galaxy S4

Gmail Power User.pdf

13X Or Greater Optical Zoom Cameras

13X Or Greater Optical Zoom Cameras

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Wallpaper of the Week (#111) – Water Footprints

I found this to be a very cool wallpaper called Water Footprints where the footprints have been made with droplets of water…

To Get This Wallpaper – [ CLICK HERE ]

Water Footprints

Windows 7 (and 8) Users: If you are using Windows 7 (or 8), did you know you can create a desktop background slideshow to show off your pictures and wallpaper images?  To learn how to use this feature [CLICK HERE].

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Bookmarks4Techs

How to See Invisible Movements in Video

Malware Removal Guide for Windows

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 2, 2013

Today’s FREE Android App of the Day

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Most Descriptive Listing of Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

What most people do not know about Windows; and, especially Windows 8, is that nearly every type of function in Windows can be controlled directly from their keyboard via keyboard shortcuts.

For example, in Windows 8 the classic Start Menu is missing. As a result of no Start Menu, people are at a loss when it comes to shutting down their computer at the Windows 8 desktop level. This is where having knowledge of keyboard shortcuts can come in handy. In this scenario, simply hitting the Alt + F4 keys in combination will ultimately lead you to the Windows Shutdown dialog box where you can select the shutdown option.

image

The reason I inserted the statement “ultimately lead you to” in the previous sentence is that each time you hit Alt + F4, and you have any programs open, that keyboard combination will individually shut down each open program until you reach the desktop level.

Another favorite of mine for shutting down my computer in Windows 8 is simply hit the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys in combination. That will take you to the screen where you can lock the computer, sign out, change your password, launch the task manager and where a small power button (bottom right of the screen) is located to power off the computer.  This keyboard combination will work from the Windows 8 Start Screen level and the desktop level.

Today I went on the hunt for a listing of Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts and found many; however, the most visual descriptive listing I found was at a site called, ShortcutWorld.

ShortcutWorld

At  ShortcutWorld you can find every Windows 8 keyboard shortcut you can think of in the following categories:

  1. Getting around Windows 8 Start Screen and Desktop
  2. Windows 8 Charme Shortcuts
  3. Switch between Apps and Windows
  4. Power User Commands Shortcuts
  5. Managing Windows 8 Desktop Windows
  6. Windows 8 Taskbar
  7. Navigating Desktop
  8. Windows Explorer
  9. The Rest

Also, ShortcutWorld has put together a very nice PDF download of all of the Windows 8 shortcuts [HERE]

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And Speaking Of Relative…

The Motion Tracking iPhone Cameraman

How to Remove iLivid

Lenovo N5902 Enhanced Multimedia Remote with Backlit Keyboard

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Use Chameleon To Get Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Installed and Running To Remove Malicious Software

Experiencing a malware infection (malicious software infection) is likened to being locked in a cage with someone poking a stick at you. You try to grab the stick and it is just out of reach or you are not quick enough to stop the constant barrage of poking.

Most folks who get these infections are often at a loss and actually experience anxiety, fear, and anger… Your computer is working fine one minute, then suddenly you experience slowness and then the fake security software (scareware) starts popping up (that you don’t recognize) telling you that you have hundreds of infections and that you need to click a button to fix the problem.  Also, you most likely will be prompted to enter a credit card number to fix the problem.

Once a malware infection has started it will worsen to the point that it will disable access to the tools and security software that you need to detect, identify and possibly remove the infection. These infections will often impede or shutdown the normal operation of your web browser, preventing you from downloading the software that you need to remove the infection.

I highly recommend keeping, at all times, a FREE version Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your computer and make it a habit to keep it up-to-date.  The FREE version does not provide real-time protection; however, by performing routine updates and routine scans is better than nothing.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free utilizes Malwarebytes powerful technology to detect and remove all traces of malware including worms, trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware and more.

As I stated, when the malware infection unleashes it will most likely cripple or shutdown the security software on your computer, including Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. The developers of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, knowing this to be a problem, have come up with a solution called Chameleon.

Screenshot

Malwarebytes Chameleon Technologies will try to get Malwarebytes Anti-Malware installed (if not installed) and running when blocked by malicious programs. You may have to go to another computer to download Chameleon or if you get lucky, you may download it onto the infected computer from the website [HERE] .

Unzip the contents to a folder in a convenient location.

Follow the instructions in the included Chameleon CHM Help File or, if the help file will not open, simply try to run the files by double-clicking on them one by one until one of them remains open, then follow the onscreen instructions.  When you open the Chameleon CHM Help File, you will see twelve buttons.

Click on the first button and see if it runs. You’ll know it’s working if a black DOS window appears, slays the malicious programs and processes, and then starts Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

Screenshot

If all goes well, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will get your computer back to a workable state.

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Freedom of Information or Criminals?

Remove Google search bar from Firefox

Can Tablets Take the Place of Teachers?

Logitech Wireless Mouse M325 with Designed-For-Web Scrolling

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Bookmarks4Techs – Over 500 Listed Tech Sites

Bookmarks4Techs

Links To All Articles Ever Posted At What’s On My PC

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MediaFire App Now Available For Android

MediaFire is an online file storage and sharing service that most computer users at home are not familiar with. With MediaFire you are given 50GB’s of space (for FREE) with a 200 MB file upload size limit. Compared to the other online storage services (which typically offer much less FREE storage space), MediaFire is very generous in their offering. I have maintained an account with MediaFire for nearly 2 years and have never experienced an issue.

MediaFire

The complaint you will hear coming from people about MediaFire is that they will remove your account is your account is inactive. There is some truth to this; however, the rule is that if you must access the MediaFire API (your account) from either the Web, your Mobile platform or your desktop platform at least once per year and if you do that, your account will never be removed.  This is a pretty easy rule to follow; especially, that you are getting 50 GBs of online storage space.  If your account is in jeopardy you will receive sufficient notice via the email account you signed up with.

The one downfall to MediaFire, that I was experiencing, was no Android App available to access and manage my MediaFire files from my tablet. This has all changed within the past couple days (prior to the writing of this article).  MediaFire now has an Android mobile app available in the Google Play Store that can be downloaded to your Android phone or tablet.  You can get the MediaFire App [HERE] .

The MediaFire mobile app lets you access all your documents, photos, and videos from anywhere. Securely store, organize, and share all your data on the web and through your Android device.

MediaFire Mobile App

Features:

• Keep all your important files at your fingertips.
• View docs, spreadsheets, presentations, video, and listen to audio.
• Take and upload pictures and videos directly in the MediaFire app.
• Upload Android gallery images.
• Create and manage folders of files.
• Share files on the go via email, SMS, through other Android apps, and with copy and paste links.
• Quickly search all your MediaFire files and folders.

MediaFire Android App:  Requires Android OS 2.2 or higher

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Malware Removal Guide

Best Antivirus | Goggle’s Free Wi Fi | Windows 8| More

Traffic Racer (iPhone/iPad)

Asus Nexus 7 1B32 7-Inch 32 GB Tablet

Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day.

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Bookmarks4Techs – Over 500 Listed Tech Sites

Bookmarks4Techs

List Of All Articles Ever Posted At What’s On My PC

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The Main Source For Microsoft Office Templates

Many users of Microsoft Office are unaware that an online gold mine exists that contains hundreds (and maybe even thousands) of templates for the following Microsoft Products:

Microsoft Office Templates

What is really cool about this treasure trove of templates is that they are neatly organized (in the following categories) so that you can easily find a template to get the targeted job done. I personally have used templates from the Microsoft Gallery of Templates to help me get started on my own design; OR, as a learning tool on how to complete a specific Microsoft Office function…

You can click on any of the links below to be taken to that category of templates!  Enjoy…

Access databases
Agendas
Award certificates
Books
Brochures
Budgets
Business cards
Calendars
Cards
Charts

Labels
Letterhead
Letters
Lists
Memos
Minutes
Newsletters
Planners
Proposals
Presentations

Contracts
Design slides
Envelopes
Faxes
Flyers
Forms
Inventories
Invitations
Invoices
Job descriptions

Projects
Receipts
Records
Reports
Resumes
Schedules
Statements
Stationery
Time sheets

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Remove CouponDropDown Pop-ups (Uninstall Guide)

Transfer Photos / Videos to iPad, iPhone & iPod using Wi-Fi

How Hack-Friendly is Your Password? [Infographic]

Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day.

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Bookmarks4Techs – Over 500 Listed Tech Sites

Bookmarks4Techs

List Of All Articles Ever Posted At What’s On My PC

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Tech Product of the Week: GeForce GTX 660 Graphic Card

If you have an appetite for gaming hardware and are value conscious, then the GeForce GTX 660 Graphic Card may fit the bill… The EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SUPERCLOCKED 2048MB GDDR5 DVI HDMI DP Graphics Card is built specifically for 1080p gaming that use DirectX 11 and NVidia PhysX-enabled games.

Get the specs from the manufacturer – [ HERE ]

GeForce GTX 660 Graphic Card

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the GeForce GTX 660 Graphic Card [ CLICK HERE ] 

Readers: To keep the blog interesting, I plan to feature a tech product of the week that will feature a direct link to the manufacturer for specifications and a link to Amazon to see the customer reviews (and how the product is being rated).

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Top 3 Backup Programs for Intermediate to Advanced Users

Vista Home Security 2013

HP CEO Whitman Earned $15 Million in 2012, Filing Shows

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Bookmarks4Techs – Over 500 Listed Tech Sites

Bookmarks4Techs

Links To All Articles Ever Posted At What’s On My PC

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Wallpaper of the Week (#100)

To celebrate 100 weeks of wallpapers and Christmas, this week’s background image is one of Love, Peace and Joy…

To Get This Wallpaper [ CLICK HERE ]

Christmas Wallpaper

Windows 7 (and 8) Users: If you are using Windows 7 (or 8), did you know you can create a desktop background slideshow to show off your pictures and wallpaper images?  To learn how to use this feature [CLICK HERE] .

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Landmark Events of Google SEO Updates in 2012

Quick Tip: Finding Large Files in Windows 7

Win 7 Antivirus Plus 2013

Be Sure To Visit The NEW Bookmarks4Techs.com

CHRISTMAS TECH DEALS

Laptops, Tablets & Netbooks

Desktops & Servers

Computer Accessories & Peripherals

Computer Parts & Components

Software

Bookmarks4Techs

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A Huge List of FREE Computer Security Products and Services

One of my favorite tech sites is Gizmo’s – The Best Freeware…  Today, during a visit I came across a huge list of FREE computer security products and services that is maintained on their site. The list is not a list of specific recommendations, but is a “comprehensive documentation of the security products available”…

I can tell you a lot of work went into compiling this list.  So, if you are looking at a solution for virus or malware protection, encryption, backup, to name a few; hit this list first. It will definitely save you a considerable amount of time and I can tell you, being familiar with software, the selections they have made have been tried, true and tested.  Great job Gizmos’s…

Gizmo's - Huge List of Security Products

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Technology News, Software, Apps, Wallpapers, Tech Products and MORE…
FEATURING TigerDirect – Best Computer Deals

Best Wireless Access Point for classrooms and events

Can My Phone Get a Virus?

Up to $50 Off Select HP Ultrabooks and Sleekbooks

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Terminate Known Malware Processes with RKill

Typically, when a malware infection occurs, it will become quite obvious to the end-user; especially, when the infection has propagated to the point that your security software has shutdown (will not run or update), internet access is crippled, Windows System Restore no longer functions and bogus security software has installed itself on your PC (just begging for your credit card number).

In the background, unbeknownst to the end-user many malware processes are in force making this all happen that work in concert with a registry that has been compromised. These processes are very difficult to diagnose and shut down, without the aid of special software to shutdown those processes and restore the registry to a manageable (or stable) state.  Once the processes are shutdown and the registry is stable, then the end user has a window of opportunity to use security software to remove the malware infection completely.

An application that I keep in my flash drive toolbox, for these unwanted occasions and to target those malware processes, is the utility called RKill.

RKill

RKill is a program that was developed at BleepingComputer.com that attempts to terminate known malware processes so that your normal security software can then run and clean your computer of infections. When RKill runs it will kill malware processes and then import a Registry file that removes incorrect file associations and fixes policies that stop us from using certain tools. When finished it will display a log file that shows the processes that were terminated while the program was running.

RKill will attempt to terminate the malware processes and make the registry stable enough so that you can clean your computer using security software, such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware . After you run RKill do not restart your computer until the infection has been cleaned. Restarting the PC, after running RKill, will only result in the malware processes restarting.

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Today’s Technology News, Software, Apps, Wallpapers, Tech Products and MORE… 6/12/12

The Internet and Homeland Security

15 Free Best Antivirus Apps For Android

Cisco-Linksys WRT54GL Wireless-G Broadband Router

Bookmarks4Techs

Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day.

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Geek Squeaks’ (#71) – Useful System Tool, NEW Touch Mouse, Malware Removal, Rappapalooza 2, and Live365 Internet Radio

System Explorer

System Explorer

System Explorer includes many useful tools which help you Keep Your System Under Control. With System Explorer You get also fast access to File Database which help you to determine unwanted processes or threats. System Explorer is translated into 29 languages and is available for download in installer and portable version.

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Logitech’s NEW M600 Touch Mouse

Logitech Touch Mouse

Scrolling, swiping, and surfing that’s like second nature—thanks to the responsive touch surface and smooth-as-smartphone scrolling…  Read more at Logitech and available at Amazon .

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AV Security Essentials (Uninstall Guide)
@ Malware Removal Instructions

AV Security Essentials (Uninstall Guide)

Here’s another anti-spyware program that we’ve added to the list of scareware, called AV Security Essentials. As you see in the image below, it impersonates legit anti-virus software from Microsoft… READ MORE

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Let’s Get Ready To Rumble… Rappapalooza 2!
@ I Want Ice Water

Rappapalooza 2

Ready or not (mostly not, I suspect), I’ve decided it’s high time to to follow up my Let’s Get Ready To Rumble… Rappapalooza! post with some more of those “Epic Rap Battles Of History” videos… READ MORE

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Listen to Free Online Radio: Live365
@ I Love Free Software

Live365

Live365 is your free online radio that offers thousands of stations with no commercial interruption. It lets you save your own favourite station and save tracks in your own list… READ MORE

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MORE Geek Squeaks

Bookmarks4Techs
(500+ Tech Sites)

The Bookmark This Collection

Bookmarks4Techs
aStore

Deal
of the Day

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A BIG Welcome to Select Real Security Featuring a Malware Removal Guide

The most enjoyable parts of being a tech blogger is the people that you meet and what you will learn from them. I often tell young people that if you want to learn about tech and keep up with tech, go to the bloggers.

Recently the webmaster at a site, called Select Real Security, contacted me and asked if I would possibly do a review on the portion of the site called, Malware Removal Guide. Typically, being who I am and what I am about, I always oblige; especially if the content is of good quality and serves a purpose.

What I found, after reviewing the Malware Removal Guide, is that I wanted Select Real Security on my blogroll. This site is awesome in that it contains over 100 links to useful security related resources that include articles and guides on virus and malware prevention.

Navigation and layout of the site makes it easy, even for those who are unfamiliar with security terms, software, etc… You can tell that the webmaster of the site has put a great deal of time in putting this all together. It is a “go to” site for security related resources.

Select Real Security

In the end, both What’s On My PC and Bookmarks4Techs shook hands with Select Real Security to make it a permanent connection. Select Real Security’s Malware Removal Guide has also made the Bookmark This Collection (which is growing daily) at Bookmarks4Techs.

So, take a moment to welcome Select Real Security to the What’s On My PC blogroll…

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Great Customer Review on the
Belkin N600 Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router

FREE Today Only – Draw(er) Pro (Android App)

Bookmark This (#17) – Awesome Wallpapers

A Desktop Replacement – Toshiba Qosmio X775-Q7272 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop

Bookmark This (#16) – Microsoft Security Essentials

Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day.

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Geek Squeaks’ (#70) – A Rogue Killer, Streaming Media Player, Online Safety Advice, Virtual Drive Software and an Android Wallpaper Pack

RogueKiller

image

RogueKiller is a tool written in C + +, which scans the running processes and kill those who are malicious . The tool was developed after it was seen that some rogues (eg Security Tools) blocks the execution of disinfection programs, and some programs (eg rkill) appeared ineffective in killing the rogue process

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Enjoy Internet Entertainment On Your TV – Western Digital WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

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Do You Surf The Net Naked?
@ Paul’s Home Computing Blog

Security Virus image

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Virtual Drive For Netbooks: Virtual CloneDrive
@ Netbook Freeware

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Best Android Digital Art Wallpaper Pack for Mobile/Tablet @ Mrintech

android logo

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Computers & Accessories Index

LARGEST COLLECTION –  Bookmarked Tech Sites

MORE Geek Squeaks

SHOP @ Bookmarks4Techs Amazon Store

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GEEK SQUEAKS’ (#60) – Mini Computer, Full Featured Screen Capture Utility, Remove Malware, Occupy Wallstreet and Digitally Sign PDF Docs

A High-Powered Mini PC

Lenovl

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PicPick Tools

PicPick Tools

An all-in-one program that provides full-featured screen capture tool, intuitive image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel ruler, protractor, crosshair and even whiteboard. It has not only everything what you need, but it loads fast, sits quietly in the system tray until needed.

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Malware Removal Instructions
Remove Rattlingsearchsystem.com (Uninstall Guide)

Remove Rattlingsearchsystem.com

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I Want Ice Water
Friday Madness

Friday Madness

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I Love Free Software
Digitally Sign PDF Documents with JSignPDF

Digitally Sign PDF Documents

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Computers & Accessories Index

Over 600 Bookmarked Tech Sites

MORE Geek Squeaks

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[GEEK SQUEAKS’] – Protect Your PC with an UPS, Animated Menu Dock, Download Windows 8 Developers Preview, New Acer Aspire, and How to Remove Data Recovery

An Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) for Your Desktop
APC Back-UPS ES 750 – UPS – AC 120 V – 450 Watt – 750 VA – USB – 10 output connector(s)

APC Back-UPS ES 750

ObjectDock
Organize your shortcuts, programs and running tasks into an attractive and fun animated dock.

image

I Love Free Software
Download Windows 8 Free

Windows 8

GadgetsHolic
ACER Aspire AS5552-7260 AMD Phenom Powered Laptop

ACER Aspire AS5552

Faster PC! Clean! Clean!
How to Remove Data Recovery

How to Remove Data Recovery

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[CLICK HERE]
Deal of the Day @ Amazon.com

Computers & Accessories Index

Over 600 Bookmarked Tech Sites

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Get Rid of Boot Malware with Microsoft’s System Sweeper

Guest Article By:

Tibor Schiemann,
President and Managing Partner,
TuneUp

TuneUp

Have you ever booted up your PC only to get a black screen? When this happens, something’s clearly wrong, so you’ve probably tried a number of steps to get your PC running again. But what should you do if those solutions don’t help? Try using Microsoft’s System Sweeper to get rid of the malware that’s messed with your system’s boot files.

Microsoft's System Sweeper

System Sweeper is a boot-up recovery tool that performs an offline scan on an infected PC to identify and remove rootkits and other advanced malware—without booting into Windows. You can also use System Sweeper if you cannot install or start your antivirus solution, or if the installed solution can’t detect or remove malware on your machine. Based on Microsoft Security Essentials, System Sweeper should get PCs back on track; however, it’s important to remember that System Sweeper is not a replacement for an antivirus solution that provides ongoing protection.

Let’s take a look at how to run System Sweeper when you cannot start your PC and quickly get rid of malware.

Step 1: Download System Sweeper. Go to Microsoft Connect to obtain the beta version of the program. Make sure to choose the right version (32-bit or 64-bit) depending on what your infected system is running. The supported web browsers are Internet Explorer 6 or higher, or Mozilla Firefox 2 or higher.

Step 2: Create a bootable recovery CD or USB thumb drive. System Sweeper can be installed on both a CD and on USB flash memory. You should first get a blank CD or a reformatted USB thumb drive with at least 250 MB of space. Then, go to your Downloads folders, and run the “mssstool32” or “mssstool64” files depending on which architecture you have. System Sweeper will download the latest antivirus signature files onto the disk, and then burn them onto either the bootable CD or USB thumb drive.

You should then insert the CD or plug the USB key into the computer you’re trying to clean up, and make sure to boot from the CD/DVD drive or the USB port. To do that, go to the BIOS of the machine by pressing DELETE, F2, F12 or another special key repeatedly right when the PC is turned on. Then, go to its boot section, make sure that the “Boot Priority” is set to either CDROM (DVD) or USB, and restart the PC.

Step 3: Use System Sweeper. Your PC should ask you to “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD”—follow this advice and wait until the recovery environment is loaded. Once System Sweeper appears on the screen, hit “Start full scan” to scan all of the hard disks for viruses and malware.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you can let System Sweeper run its course, but keep in mind that it might take a while depending on the amount of data. It will be worth the wait to enjoy a clean and bootable PC again.

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Deal of the Day @ Amazon.com

Computers & Accessories Index

Over 600 Bookmarked Tech Sites

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[GEEK SQUEAKS’] – Angry Birds Online, Wi-Fi Beer Can Booster, Remove Chit Chat, Good Return Policies, and Books for Dummies

Angry Birds
Very popular game where you use a slingshot to launch birds
at pigs stationed on or within various structures.

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Mrintech
Boost Wi-Fi Router’s Signal Strength using Beer/Beverage Can

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Malware Removal Instructions
Remove Chit Chat (Uninstall Guide)

image

Lifehacker
The Best and Worst Places to Buy Anything
When You Need a Good Return Policy

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Dummies Books
Popular Book Series That Will Teach You On Just About Anything

image

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Deal of the Day @ Amazon.com

Computers & Accessories Index

Over 600 Bookmarked Tech Sites

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[GEEK SQUEAKS’] – Video Converter, MP3 Editor, Samsung 1TB Notebook HDD, and How To Remove XP Home Security 2012

geeksqueaks9

NEW VERSION OF Freemake Video Converter
Freemake Video Converter is designed without any limitations, hidden costs, sneakware or adware! This is freeware of new level, which offers a quality alternative to paid products.

I Love Free Software
Free MP3 Cutter and Free MP3 Editor

GadgetsHolic
Samsung Develops 1TB HDD For Notebooks

Faster PC! Clean! Clean!
How to Remove XP Home Security 2012

MORE…

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Search and Destroy (Spyware and Malware)

There are numerous security software offerings out there these days to the point, as an end-user, you do not know what direction to go.

Typically it is a good idea to layer the protection on your PC.  For example on my PC I have installed Microsoft Security Essentials, Immunet and the commercial version of Malwarebytes Anti-malware.  All three play very well together and all three are monitoring my system in real-time.  Another strategy that I will use, in addition to what is already installed, is through the use of portable security apps. On a periodic basis I run the portable security app to scan my computer. It is sort of my way of getting second opinion.

One of the “portable versions” of a security app that I use is Spybot Search & Destroy [ CLICK HERE ] .

Spybot Search and Destroy Portable

If you are someone that is an old dog in the world of computers, I am sure you know about the full install of Spybot Search and Destroy; it has been around for a long time. I think I may have swayed from the full install of Spybot at one point due to all of the other offerings that came about, so I am happy seeing this as a portable app option.

So if you are looking for a “portable” security app that you can slap on your flash drive as an addition to your tech toolbox OR you are looking for that “second opinion” security app to periodically scan your PC, then Spybot Search & Destroy Portable is a nice addition.

Spybot Search and Destory

Spybot – Search & Destroy detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications. Spyware silently tracks your surfing behaviour to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you haven’t intentionally installed, if your browser crashes inexplicably, or if your home page has been “hijacked” (or changed without your knowledge), your computer is most probably infected with spyware. Even if you don’t see the symptoms, your computer may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging. Spybot-S&D is free, so there’s no harm giving it a try to see if something has invaded your computer.

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Geek Squeak (#106): Your Computer May Be Infected and You May Not Even Know It

imageI noticed today on the TTC Shelbyville site an article titled, “There’s Nothing Wrong With My Computer” that was an attention grabber and is worthy of a Geek Squeak. The article is a good description of how “most people” think there is nothing wrong with their computer, until a computer tech performs a security scan of the computer (using up-to-date security software) only to find that the computer is poisoned with malware. In this case, based on the picture illustrations in the article, the PC was infected and appeared that it had not been defragged (or maintained); probably never.

The meat of the article are the steps that are taken AND recommended (portable) software to use to clean the computer of the infection. I encourage you to take a look at these steps to get an idea what is involved with “trying” to clean a PC that has been poisoned by malware. I have assisted people with cleaning up malware infections and it is a very time consuming process. I can tell you this, if you take your PC to a shop for have a malware infection removed, do not be shocked when you get a bill of $150 or more. Personally, if it was my own PC, I would probably do a reformat and reinstall of the OS.

My point with this article is to “heighten your awareness” and to encourage you to keep your computer running smoothly by keeping your security software up to date and to perform periodic FULL scans. I find many people buy PC’s with the baited short term subscriptions to Norton and McAfee and then let the subscription expire leaving there computer at high risk for infection.

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New Site Added to Blogroll – Malware Removal Instructions

Just a quick note…  I recently completed a link exchange with a site that I would like to introduce called “Malware Removal Instructions” .

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Your computer is infected with malicious software? Do you have popups on your PC? If so, search this blog for removal instructions or find computer threats by category.

Malware Removal Instructions has been added to the What’s On My PC blogroll (at the sidebar of the blog) for your future reference. If you have never experienced a malware infection, I strongly encourage you to visit this blog to get a “look see” of what the talk is all about.  You will be amazed how malware evolves, changes on a daily basis, damages your PC, and can literally convince you into handing over your money.

Sample Article:

Remove fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (Uninstall Instructions)

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Removing Norton Security Scan and Lessons Learned

Hey Rick there’s this Norton Security Scan thing that’s dug in like a tick and can’t get rid of it… My computer is running dog slow!

Norton Security Scan

This was a recent subject to an email I received. Of course, my first thought and instinct as a techie, was malware…

The Good… I started researching Norton Security Scan and from what I found is that Norton Security Scan is a free legitimate app (by Symantec) that provides on-demand scanning and removal or repair of viruses, spyware and other malware. The virus definitions are updated when your computer is connected to the internet.  Ok, that did not sound too bad.

The bad… Further research indicates that Norton Security Scan has a tendency to piggyback onto your PC via other software installs (such as Adobe Shockwave Player). From what I am reading you can opt out installing Norton Security Scan, via these other software installs, but through (in my opinion) trickery the check box to opt out is already checked. Most computer users will not know the difference; therefore, they continue the install of the app and Norton Security Scan comes along for the ride.  As a result, Norton Security Scan runs alongside your other installed security software and the end result is slow PC (and the potential for problems).

The bad… Once on your PC, this app really does dig in like a tick, is very difficult to remove through normal uninstall channels, will keep coming back; AND from what I am reading will use scare tactics to encourage you to buy other Symantec security products. Hmmmm… Sounds like the tactics used in a malware scareware attack…

A Possible Solution… Getting back to the problem at hand with removing Norton Security Scan… I emailed the person back and had them run the latest version of the Norton Removal Tool and the report I received back was that “I believe we got it…”. This tool is engineered to remove various Norton products and hooks from your PC. During my research, I did find instances where registry edits and manual deletion of files/folders associated with Norton Security Scan may also be required.

Lessons Learned…

First Lesson: During any software install make sure you read everything closely during the installation steps to ensure you are installing only what you want to install. Being a seasoned software installer and tester, I have been finding more and more instances, during installation routines, where other second party apps are being installed and coming along for the ride. Sometimes the “opt out” for these apps are cleverly camouflaged.

Second Lesson: Any security apps that you have installed and you decide to uninstall them, make sure you visit the software products site to determine the removal process. Security apps, when installed (such as antivirus, antispyware, antimalware), are very complex and often require special tools to take them off of your PC. The normal uninstall process, built into Windows, typically will not do a thorough job.

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How difficult is it to remove Malware?

Folks, one of the reasons I am not in the information technology and computer business, for myself, is due to the time consuming process of removing malware infections (viruses, spyware, scareware, etc). Basically, I end up telling people you would never be able to afford me. Most people, when their PC’s become infected, think the cleaning process is a 5 minute job and do not realize the work (and time) involved. When a tech is presented with an infected PC, one of two things is going to happen.

One, the tech is going to get lucky and successfully remove the infection.  Again, a very time consuming process that can leave doubt that the computer is actually clean.  It also should be noted that sometimes the cure can be worse than the problem.

Two, the tech is not so lucky and the infection has caused what I call, “the point of no return”. In this case, we are talking a “very, very time consuming” process of formatting the hard drive, reinstalling your Operating System, reinstalling your software, reinstalling your devices, etc… If you do not have your “personal important data” backed up, then there is a good chance data loss will occur.

Too point out just how time consuming the malware removal process can be, I want you to read this article at TTC Shelbyville:

“Remove Malware and ‘kill’ processed”

TTC Shelbyville

Steve at TTC Shelbyville has outlined the steps to take and the software to use to remove a typical malware infection. To some, this may look to be an overkill, but I assure you this, follow these steps and there is a good chance you will be successful in cleaning your PC.  When you are done, let me know how much time you expended!

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Anti-Malware Software To Have Confidence In

 Here of late I have been helping the innocent with cleaning malware from their PC’s. When I say innocent, I am talking the everyday computer user, the Moms and Pops, the people who do not venture far on the internet, the people who try to follow the rules, the people who have their PC’s protected… What has been puzzling is that I have not been able to specifically pinpoint a specific cause for the infections. The only thing I can figure is that the malware payload is being introduced to the computer as the result of the user clicking on a malicious web link that initiates the infection process. Is it me or is malware becoming harder to detect?

When it comes to the removal (or cleaning) process of malware, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is the application I have confidence in. I have always depended on the FREE version; however, I am now considering, for my own PC, buying the FULL version (a one time fee) of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Why?  The FULL version offers real-time active protection (that can detect a malware payload before it causes damage), scheduled scanning and scheduled updates. In essence, with the FREE version basically I have been using it as a standby malware cleaner in the event my PC becomes infected; whereas, the FULL version will help prevent the infection from occurring in the first place.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Don’t get me wrong, either way you go, FREE version or FULL version, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a must have app on your PC.  It is just a matter of decision of whether you want full time protection or part-time protection.

Key Features


  • Support for Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7 (32-bit and 64-bit).
  • Light speed quick scanning.
  • Ability to perform full scans for all drives.
  • Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware protection module. (requires registration)
  • Database updates released daily.
  • Quarantine to hold threats and restore them at your convenience.
  • Ignore list for both the scanner and Protection Module.
  • Settings to enhance your Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware performance.
  • A small list of extra utilities to help remove malware manually.
  • Multi-lingual support.
  • Works together with other anti-malware utilities.
  • Command line support for quick scanning.
  • Context menu integration to scan files on demand.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#62)

As always, another great round of Geek Squeaks’. Reflected below you will find links to very recent articles that have been posted by the authors that are members of the What’s On My PC blogroll. If you have that passion for computers and information technology, then you need to bookmark and follow these sites.

Geek Squeaks'

Snakebytez
DiskPulse : Disk or Folder Activity Monitor

TTC Shelbyville
Computer Hardware and Memory Charts

404 Tech Support
Quit Facebook Day!

I Love Free Software
Rainbow Folders – Freeware to Change Color of Folder Icons

Netbook Freeware
Comodo Time Machine: Best Netbook System Restore Utility

Worthy Tips
PenyuLocker – A free folder locking software

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
Good Security Habits

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
There’s an API for that!

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Be Involved. Share Your Favorite Windows-Related Videos

Laptop Reviews Central
Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G, a large notebook

Canadian Tech Blogger
Smokescreen A Flash Alternative

Free PC Security
Spycheck AntiSpyware Removal

Tech-for Everyone
Holiday Software License Giveaway: Handy Backup

Sugarloaf Tech
Windows Installer Service cannot be accessed and may not be installed correctly – solution

Rarst.net
Animoto.com – generate videos from photos and music

Lifehacker
Lifehacker Pack 2010: Our List of Essential Windows Downloads

thePC Security
TabNabbing – New Phishing Trick Exploits Tabbed Browsers

AKS-Feel The Change
Track Down Your Stolen Laptop With PREY

Carol’s Vault
Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Security Master AV

Evilfantasy’s Blog
gSeek.com – google Seek search engine

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Save Your Dead PC with These Outstanding Recovery Tools

Right On Technology
Apple Working on Next Apple TV Built With iPhone OS?

Mister Reiner
The Hacker’s People Don’t Write About

What’s On My PC
Creating a personalized font from your own handwriting…

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#55)

How do they do it?  Each week I select links to articles from the sites (blogs) that are composed by the authors who are associated with the What’s On My PC blogroll. The quality and content is amazing and serves as an excellent learning source for those who have the computer and information technology bug. Please, I encourage you to visit these sites.

image

TTC Shelbyville
So You Thought You Knew the Internet and Networking

Plato Press
Facebook Photos: the New Porn

404 Tech Support
Making a High Quality Slideshow with Animoto

Netbook Freeware
Two Best Free Antivirus Programs for your Windows Netbook

Worthy Tips
Sync files between two computers or laptop securely with Fast

I Love Free Software
Windows SteadyState – Manage Your Shared Computers Easily

Canadian Tech Blogger
Battle Of The Search Engines

WP Xpert
How To Report a Spam related Blog On WordPress.com

Mrintech
Access upto 5 Email Accounts with a Single Click!

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Using the LifeCam Cinema with Windows Live

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Performance Check:
How 200 New Programs Slow Down Your PC (Part 3)

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites April 13

AskBillFirst
Adobe Issues Workaround for Security Issue

Tech-for Everyone
“Free”, “Cash Back”, “Rebate”, and Alarm Bells

Rarst.net
Kaspersky GetSystemInfo utility and site

Lifehacker
Google Docs Updates with a Drawing Editor, Real-Time Collaboration, and Speed

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Digital Protection

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Download Digital Defender – Pound Malware Before it Pounds You!

Right On Technology
Twitter acquires Tweetie, now official Twitter app

What’s On My PC
Trusting the IT Guy…

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#48)

The hits keep on coming…  Geek Squeaks’ are weekly marvels of articles crafted by the members of the What’s On My PC blogroll. If  you have an interest in computers and information technology, I suggest that you bookmark these sites and make them part of your daily reading.

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TTC Shelbyville
Test Drive Windows 7 Online

Snakebytez
Easily import Twitter contacts into Google Buzz with Tw2buzz

I Love Free Software
360Desktop: Desktop Manager Adds 360° View to Desktop

Worthy Tips
How to unsubscribe from a Google Buzz conversation?

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Blogging with windows live writer. 7

TuneUp Blog
Building the Perfect Media Center (Part One)

Canadian Tech Blogger
Top 5: Best Laptops

Internet Security Blog
Change DNS Server IP Address Settings With Few Clicks [How To]

thePC Security
Auto Lock / Unlock Computer With USB – Free Download

Lifehacker
Google Says Buzz Needed Wider Testing, Issuing Fixes This Week

Rarst.net
View Microsoft Excel files with native free app

Tech-for Everyone
Briefest Scam Email Ever?

Free PC Security
Valentine’s Day ‘I Love You’ Around The World

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove My Security Wall

WP Expert
Image Organization Workaround For WP.com

Plato On-Line
Company to Care for Pets after Christian Rapture

Evilfantasy’s Blog
BITS from MooSoft

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Two Free Apps to Encrypt Your USB Drive

Big Geek Daddy
Identity Theft Advice

Scoroncocolo
Windows 7 and Vista God Mode

What’s On My PC
Beware! Telephone Bill Rip-Off…

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SUPERAntiSpyware Now Available in a FREE Portable Version

Malware infections on today’s PC is probably one of the most frustrating experiences out there. Your PC, when attacked, is rendered useless and attempts to remove the infection is futile. The infection is usually in the form of FAKE security software that has one goal of extracting (stealing) money from you by using the FAKE security software as the bait (and as an illusion). Your attempts to install  legitimate security software to resolve the problem fail; your attempts to download malware fixes (from reputable security sites) fail; popup windows accumulate; your security software on your PC is crippled; control panel is crippled; safe mode is crippled; file data on your PC is compromised; and the list goes on and on. In essence, you have lost all control of your PC.

Many users end up resorting to a complete recovery of their PC that takes the PC back to factory specs; AND, as a result end up losing valuable file data (such a pictures, emails, important documents, etc…).  This experience is not only frustrating to the everyday computer user; but, is also frustrating experience for a computer tech, as well.  The attack vector and complexity of these infections changes daily and you have to be prepared.

This is where the SUPERAntiSpyware Portable Scanner can help.  The SUPERAntiSpyware Portable Scanner is a new product made by the makers of the FREE SUPERAntiSpyware software you install on your PC.

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I am a real advocate of this software and highly recommend it.  Simply download it and keep a copy of it on your flashdrive. When a malware infection attack occurs that renders your system useless, run this scanner from your flashdrive.  The SUPERAntiSpyware Portable Scanner is another valuable tool to keep in your Tech Toolbox (on your flashdrive).

The new portable scanner harnesses the same powerful anti-spyware engine as the Professional Edition of SUPERAntiSpyware and references a spyware definition database that is updated at least once per day. It is free for personal use, and technician and corporate licenses are available. SUPERAntiSpyware Portable can be downloaded from

http://www.superantispyware.com/portable

In addition to keeping the SUPERAntiSpyware Portable Scanner on your flash drive; I also suggest you take a look and install the FREE version of SuperAntiSpyware on your PC.

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SuperAntiSpyware comes to us in (2)-two flavors. The FREE version and the PAID Professional version. The only difference between the two is that the FREE version requires manual intervention (e.g. scans, updates); whereas the PAID version provides real-time protection, scheduled scanning and other additional protective features. Folks, this is good software and having it installed on your PC adds another layer of protection that plays well with your other anti-virus and anti-malware software products. I have featured this product on the blog several times [ Link ] and highly recommend it.

Some of the Features of SUPERAntiSpyware:

  • Detect and Remove Spyware, Adware and Remove Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, HiJackers, Parasites, Rootkits, Rogue Security Products and many other types of threats.
  • Light on System Resources and won’t slow down your computer like many other anti-spyware products. Won’t conflict with your existing anti-spyware or anti-virus solution!
  • Repair broken Internet Connections, Desktops, Registry Editing and more with our unique Repair System!

I applaud the makers of SUPERAntiSpyware for making the internet a safer place!

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#43)

A week has past and Geek Squeaks’ are here at last…  Be sure to check out these articles posted by bloggers (everyday people like you and me) who are members of the What’s On My PC blogroll community. Geek Squeaks’ are recent articles (posted within the past 7 days).  There is no order (or method to my madness) in the selection process of articles; all are randomly selected AND all are squeaks from a very elite group of geeks.

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TTC Shelbyville – Technical Blog
Make a Shortcut on the Send To Menu

The Abbey Rose
Unmask Parasites accelerator for Internet Explorer 8

I Love Free Software
Comodo Time Machine Better than Windows Restore Point

Technize
Collection of Themes for Windows 7

Computer Maintenance
Computer Repair Tools

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
What is Windows Live?

TuneUp Blog
How To: Control Annoying Messages in Windows 7

Mrintech
Shorten/Change your Facebook Page/Profile URL

Canadian Tech Blogger
Microsoft Stops Selling Office

thePC Security
Free File Search Software For Text String Search

Lifehacker
WebMii Shows You How the Web Sees You

Rarst.net
How to integrate Google search into WordPress site

Tech-for Everyone
What The Inside Looks Like

AskBillFirst
Acer Recalls Notebook Computers Due to Burn Hazard

The PC Security
Malicious Sites January 13

AKS-Feel The Change
Speccy-Portable System Information Tool

Carol’s Vault
Free Screen To Video Freeware – screen capture tool

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove SysDefenders

Plato On-Line
Software Patents and Intellectual Piracy

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Comodo System Cleaner –
The Free “Swiss Army Knife” of System Cleaners

Scoroncocolo
Dropbox Is a File Storage, Syncing and Collaboration Tool

Big Geek Daddy
Free Disk Defrag

Internet Security Blog
Password Protect USB Data With Portable Free Encryption Tool

Worthy Tips
Download Official Gmail Tips E-Book

What’s On My PC
When Windows 7 Will Not Boot

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The New Cloud Version of SuperAntiSpyware

Bill Mullin’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts does it again by bringing to us important information about the NEW (and FREE) online version of SuperAntiSpyware. I found this to be important enough that I was compelled to shout about it here on the blog.

First, you need to visit Bill’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts to get the fine details on this NEW cloud driven app.

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Second, you really need to try SuperAntiSpyware Online Safe Scan. It is very easy to download and run a scan on your PC.  The definition updates are automatically updated daily so you do not need to do anything other than download and run.

The scanner does NOT install anything on your Start Menu or Program Files and does NOT need to be uninstalled.

This is another excellent layer of protection to compliment the security software that you should have already installed on your PC.  Make SuperAntiSpyware Online Safe Scan part of your normal maintenance routine. Thanks to Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts for bringing this important security application to our attention!

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Memorial Day fighting cybercrime…

I had a great Memorial Day, but I ended up at the end of the day fighting cybercrime… The cybercriminal in this case was “AntiMalware Pro”…

AntimalwarePro1

If you look at the above screenshot of AntiMalware Pro, the application appears very legitimate and professional in appearance. You may even think it is associated with the legitimate version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It is everything but that… What you are actually seeing isuninvited, unexpected, illegitimate, non-professional, dishonest, misleading, deceiving, intimidating  masquerading, malicious, fraudulentthe work of the cybercriminal.

The sad part about this particular situation was that the user (on a Vista box) was doing everything right, in terms of maintaining layers of protection (i.e. firewall, antivirus, antispyware, WOT, etc…) and by practicing safe habits on the internet. It was an innocent click of the mouse on a link in an email or website, or a downloaded file, that initiated this whole malware event. The user described it as a “Tennessee tick that would not let go!”.

In this case, I found on the users’ PC that AntiMalware Pro (and a mixed bag of other trojan goodies) generated pop-ups, hijacked the browser, hijacked the desktop, changed the screen resolution, created a browser redirect to the AntiMalware Pro site, disabled the anti-virus software, and prevented access to legitimate security sites. Another issue I never experienced before was that I could not enter “Safe Mode via the F8 key”.  I ended up using the MSConfig GUI to force the PC into Safe Mode…

Manual removal of AntiMalware Pro would have been very time consuming; however, in this case SmitFraudFix and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, in combo, took this cybercriminal down and out.

The purpose of these rogue applications is to trick computer users’ into paying for the full version of the software by displaying false positives of malware infections and by totally causing havoc. First thing to remember; if an application such as this shows up uninvited, pull the plug on your internet connection and get help. Secondly, never purchase anything that you never asked to buy in the first place. Putting that credit card number out there under these circumstances will cause you more problems than you bargained for; besides purchasing malicious applications such as AntiMalware Pro will fix nothing. This whole malware process is about “taking” (your money and identity), not “giving”.

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BEWARE of “ScanVirus” – A “FAKE” Cloud Anti-Virus Service

With the wave of cloud apps appearing on the internet, I knew it would be a matter of time before malware would find its’ way into the cloud. Panda Labs, an international network of research and technical support centers devoted to protecting users against viruses, discovered  an interesting “cloud” tactic that is being used to trick computer users into infecting themselves with malware.

The cybercriminals in this particular case have created a pretend web site (called ScanVirus – Cumulative Online Antivirus Service) that lures the visitor into thinking their computer is infected (see graphic below). The confidence of the visitor is gained from the displayed logos that are “copies” of logos from actual legitimate anti-virus and anti-malware companies. Upon visiting the site, the visitor is prompted to download a file called “AntiVir.exe”, which Panda Labs has identified as being malware (called “Adware/Antivirus 2009).

Beware of ScanVirus

To learn more about “malware” and to download software to “protect” your PC, I encourage you to read the following:

“FREE” Internet Browsing Protection…

Taking A Byte Out of Malware

Protect yourself against FAKE Anti-Virus
and FAKE Anti-Spyware Software…

Basic Computer Security Precautions You Need To Know
(at Bill Mullin’s “Tech Thoughts)

Internet Plague – Rogue Antivirus
(at TechPaul’s “Tech-for Everyone”)

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Taking A Byte Out of Malware

Malware SpiderWhen I mention the term “malware” around my friends and family, I get some really strange looks. Most people are not absorbed into the tech side of protecting their PC’s and really do not care what the name of the current disease is. It is an attitude and approach similar to the government; “wait til it happens, then fix it”. Fixing a PC after a malware infection can be like the government trying to fix the economy. You try to fix it  and the problem does not go away, resurfaces, and in turn progressively worsens.

When you own a computer, the user must develop the attitude of prevention and protection. If you do not heed this advice, trust me, you will be in a position where you will be trying to fix your own economy… It is important to educate yourself about the threats, before the threats educate you. Malware today has developed into a threat with such magnitude that it is predominantly the preferred avenue of attack against everyday computer users.

What is malware?

In short it is “malicious software” that installs on your PC without your consent. It is designed to compromise your privacy, steal your money & identity, AND contaminate your PC. Basically, it just shows up in one form or another. (Obvious signs can be: as a popup, a browser redirect, suspicious security software, fake security warnings, your PC consistently runs slow, etc…).

How is it delivered?

Usually through misrepresentation or trickery… You click on a link in an email or a link on a web page that misrepresents what it really is and you’ve been had.  Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing, software pirating sites, porn sites are also favorite launching points for malware.

How to take the byte out of malware?

Layers of protection…What this is referring to is multi-layers of protection such as your firewall and various types of security software (e. g. anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware, browser protection, windows updates, software updates, etc…). It is important to maintain and keep these layers of protection in place.

One layer of protection that I currently use and highly recommend to all of my friends and family, to combat the threat of malware, is a program called “Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware”. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware is an anti-malware application that can thoroughly remove even the most advanced malware.

malwarebytes

I use this program to manually scan my PC on a regular basis.  There is a “FREE” and “PAID” version. The difference  is that  the realtime protection, scheduled scanning, and scheduled updating features are not activated in the “FREE” version. Performing manual routine updates and scanning is sufficient in most cases. Just the fact that you have it installed and ready to go on your PC, in the event of a malware threat, is a big plus. Most tech people, without software such as this, will look you in the eye and tell you, formatting the hard drive and doing a complete operating system rebuild is the only way they will touch your PC. Due to the complexity of malware and today’s operating systems, no one can guarantee that your PC will be completely cleaned after a malware infection. I highly recommend that you download and install this software today.

 

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GET IT HERE - Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

 

Note to my readers:  This article has also been featured on the site “Tech Thoughts”, which as a blogger, is an honor and privledge. “Tech Thoughts” is a high-octane site devoted to Security and System Tools and Tips, Software Reviews, News, Views, Downloads and Links.
 
[ CLICK HERE ] to visit Bill Mullin’s “awesome” site, “Tech Thoughts”.

Protect yourself against FAKE Anti-Virus and FAKE Anti-Spyware Software…

A day does not go by that I do not read about, and/or have someone contact me about, the FAKE anti-virus software or FAKE anti-spyware software programs that are rampantly infecting people’s PC’s.

It seems that the designers of these rogue and malicious software programs have found their niche on the underbelly of the internet and are apparently too criminal in nature to use those talents to benefit the good of the internet. What they are doing, in essence, is breaking into your PC, with criminal intent to extract something from you (through extortion and ID Theft). It is really no different than someone breaking into your home.

The rogue anti-virus software and anti-spyware software I am referring to is the type where you are on the internet and all of the sudden an alert pops up informing you that your PC has been infected by a virus or spyware; OR you turn on your PC and find that your desktop background is gone and a message is displayed indicating your PC is infected. The alerts look very official and real, and will even replicate a Microsoft Security alert or a brand name security product. The objective is to scare you into buying something that you think is real. Most people attempt to close the rogue application and the problem only worsens and becomes a nuisance that will not go away. If you are seeing it on your screen, you have already been infected. I’ve seen the infection of these things actually snowball and increasingly get worse. As a matter of fact, even after cleaning a PC of the infection, I personally would be real hesitant in putting out any personal information (i.e. credit card, banking, passwords) until I was absolutely sure that all remnants have been eradicated. Removal of these rogue programs are very difficult.

How is this happening to people?

It is happening by the “click” of the mouse through a variety of channels. It all happens pretty much the same way, no matter the channel. The user interacts, the system becomes infected with a Trojan downloader (that connects to the internet and downloads other Trojans) and/or becomes infected with a Trojan dropper (a program designed to install malware such as FAKE software). The common channels for malware are:

  • Spam, Chain and Scam Email
  • Search Engine Results (that leads to an infected “hacked” web page)
  • Porn Sites
  • Gaming Sites
  • Software Pirating Sites
  • Screensaver and Wallpaper Sites
  • Community Social Sites
  • File Sharing
  • Torrents
  • Shady Forums
  • Instant Messaging

What can be done to prevent or stop this?

  • Using the list above, avoid any site or service that is not credible or morally wrong OR any site or service where you are randomly and directly interacting with other people (that you do not know). I know this may sound rather drastic, but believe me, it works!
  • Monitor the internet activity of your children and set firm rules and limits. The majority of infections occur in households where children and teenagers have very liberal access to the internet; AND please do not be lured by the myth that our children are computer savvy. Don’t let the children teach you; educate yourself and teach your children.
  • Ensure your PC is equipped with at least the basics of layered protection (i.e. firewall is “on”; windows updates are maintained; anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-malware are installed, etc.).

What resources are there available to remove these infections?

If it is obvious that your PC has been hooked by one of these FAKE anti-virus or anti-spyware alerts, the first thing I tell people is to write down what they are seeing on the screen (i.e. name of the software, is there an icon showing up in the taskbar tray, etc…). It is imperative to identify and describe the issue in order to research and find credible removal instructions. The second thing is, do not attempt to use your mouse to interact with the alert. Shut down your PC and if connected to a network, unhook the network cable. Contact your tech support person; or if you are technically savvy, research the issue for removal instructions using another PC.

The resources that I use to educate myself and assist other people with the removal of these FAKE anti-virus and anti-spyware are:

S!Ri.URZ – Use this blog site to search for and identify what you may be seeing on your screen. If you are successful, you will be instructed to use a program called SmitFraudFix to remove the infection.

 

SmitFraudFix – Tool utilized for the removal of a variety of the FAKE malware that we are now being bombarded with.

 

Spyware Techie – Another blog site that will assist you with searching for and identifying malware

 

Microsoft Malware Protection Center – A Microsoft blog dedicated to researching malware and providing detailed statistics and graphs of what is going on out there.

 

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – Can detect and remove malware that even the most well known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to detect. Can download and use for FREE. The realtime protection, scheduled scanning, and scheduled updating is not activated in the FREE version. I have this installed on my PC and I periodically run the scanner as part of my normal maintenance routine.

 

SUPERAntiSpywareDetect and Remove Spyware, Adware, Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, HiJackers, Parasites, Rootkits and many other types of threats. A FREE and Professional version are available. I also have this installed on my PC and I periodically run the scanner as part of my normal maintenance routine.

 

Tech Thoughts – Awesome source for Security and System Tools and Tips. Software Reviews, News, Views, Downloads and Links. If something out there is a threat to us all, Bill will be writing about it.

 

Tech-for Everyone – Another awesome source for how-to’s and tricks & tips and general computing advice.

 

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