Spybot – Search and Destroy Portable 2.6 Has Been Released By PortableApps.com

Get the new release of Spybot – Search & Destroy, portable version, at PortableApps.com. Great addition to your tech toolbox…

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.

SOURCE: PortableApps.com – Spybot – Seach & Destroy

NEW Web Of Trust (WOT) Safe Browsing Tool For Your Android Devices

If you are an Android smartphone or tablet user; and, you use the Google Chrome browser (or the native Android Browser), you may want to take a look at (and install) the mobile version of Web of Trust. I currently use the PC version of Web of Trust on all of my computers to help me determine which sites are reputable and which sites are not.

   WOT Mobile Security- screenshot

Against what types of online threats can WOT protect you?

Malware & Viruses – Avoid visiting websites that host malicious software, such as viruses, spyware, and adware that can steal your information and spread to other devices.

Phishing – Turn back from malicious links in fake emails, websites and text messages that are designed to fool you into giving away personal information.

Scams – Users ratings warn you when you visit a site that may host any type of fraud designed to steal money or personal information.

Spyware – WOT can warn you when a site has been reported to host spyware, which collects your personal information without your knowledge.

TODAY ONLY – Save Over 60% on Norton Security (For 5 Devices)

Amazon’s Deal of the Day, for Thursday, June 25, 2015 has Norton Security (for 5 Devices) at 63% off the regular price. The deal remains in effect until 11:59 pm (PT) on Thursday. You can install this on up to 5 devices (PC’s, Macs’, Smartphones and Tablets). After you make the purchase you are provided a key code that will allow you to redeem the product online.

Norton Security

The new Norton Security simply gives you the best of Norton for the many ways you connect with your PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets. Get comprehensive protection that’s specialized to secure your favorite devices. Stay safe wherever you go with proactive web protection, mobile device location, advanced privacy technology and more. It’s one solution for the different ways you connect.

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NEW Version of Microsoft Security Essentials

I am often asked; “What security software do I use for my main layer of protection? My answer is, “Microsoft Security Essentials”…

Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home or small business PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.

Microsoft Security Essentials

I currently have Microsoft Security Essentials installed on all of my PCs and it has yet to let me down; HOWEVER, as with any security software (no matter which one you install), you have to install “common sense” alongside it.

What prompted me to write about Microsoft Security Essentials is that Version 4.0, which has been in beta since late 2011, has been officially released.  According to one of my information sources (CNet), the released version “is part of the standard product update release cycle. This service update contains product enhancements to improve performance and user experience. We have improved on Microsoft Security Essentials’ Automatic Remediation, which will automatically quarantine highly harmful threats without prompting the user to take action as well as minor bug fixes in set up, malware remediation and other areas.”

If you are looking for a security software option, that is FREE; that is easy to understand and use; that uses minimal system resources; and is engineered by a company that we are all familiar with, then Microsoft Security Essentials is a good choice.

Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up-to-date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology.

Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so you’re free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times.

Before installing Microsoft Security Essentials, we recommend that you uninstall other antivirus software already running on your PC. Running more than one antivirus program at the same time can potentially cause conflicts that affect PC performance.

** IMPORTANT **  —  When changing security software on your PC from one brand to another, it is very important that you completely uninstall the security software you intend to remove. The uninstaller built into windows will not cut it. I highly recommend you either visit the software maker’s site to get information to uninstall the product or use a third party uninstaller such as AppRemover.

The free AppRemover utility enables the thorough uninstallation of security applications like antivirus and antispyware from your computer. Remove computer stress. Simply, cleanly and effectively.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#77)

If you have a yearning to learn about information technology and computers, then be sure to check out the weekly roundup of Geek Squeaks’. The article links you see below are articles and information provided by the sites (and blogs) that are associated with the What’s On My PC blogroll.

Geek Squeaks'

Tech-for Everyone
Software License Giveaway Drawing: SPAMFighter Pro

Laptops Review Central
The many features of Toshiba Folio 100

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
Wanted: Cyber Warriors

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Finally, Smooth HD Playback on Slower PCs and Netbooks

Lifehacker
Remains of the Day: How Good Software Makes Us “Stupid

Rarst.net
How to find high quality images of stuff

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites September 13

Mister Reiner
Firefox vulnerabilities give me the creeps!

Gadgetsholic
WebOS 2.0 Screenshot Pictures Leaked

Bookmarks4Techs
Kindle Wireless Reading Device

Canadian Tech Blogger
How To: Adding Liquid Cooling To A PC

thePC Security
Free Software Update Software – Secunia PSI 2 BETA

Right On Technology
Google Instant Search
Introduced, Real-Time Results While You Type

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
WOT (Web of Trust) – Is It The Most Important Browser Security Add-on You Need To Install?

EvilFantasy’s Blog
Flash Cookie Cleaners

Plato On-Line
73% of Americans Hit By CyberCrime

Faster PC! Clean! Clean!
How to Remover RegistryClever

RGdot
Simple Freeware: Screenshoter And Easy Image Modifier

AKSGEEK Live
Samsung Galaxy Apollo Coming Soon to Telus

Malware Removal Instructions
Remove dating.clicksearch.in (Uninstall Guide)

Chicago Mac/PC Support
Google’s New Scary Security Warning (via Meredith L. Eaton)

I Love Free Software
Create DVD Cover Create CD Cover with UnderCoverXP

Netbook Freeware
The Big Bad Launcher: Simple and Easy to Use
Launcher For Your Netbook

Worthy Tips
Canon PowerShot SD4500IS
available Shooting Modes and Photo Effects

404 Tech Support
Google Maps Instant, YouTube Instant, and YouTube Time Machine

I Want Ice Water
Tokyo in Time Lapse (via Metousiosis)

TTC Shelbyville
Free Sessions for Girl Scout Leaders and Girl Scouts

Snakebytez
Burn Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs with CDBurnerXP

Awesome Wallpapers
Windows Se7en Wallpaper Set 31 (Nature)

Laptop Computer Reviews
What Needs to Stop

What’s On My PC
Is magicJack’s VoIP For You

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New Version of Spyware Blaster

If you are a user of Firefox or Internet Explorer (or another browser that uses the Internet Explorer engine) then Spyware Blaster is a must have layer of protection to add to your arsenal. Javacool Software recently announced a new updated version to Spyware Blaster.

Spyware Blaster is one of those apps that you install and you will not even know it is there. It will work alongside your current security software. The only downside to Spyware Blaster is that you will have to perform manual updates; therefore, it is important to include it in your routine maintenance of your PC.

Once you install Spyware blaster and perform an update, you will need to enable the spyware protection (see below). It is a also a good idea to perform a “system snapshot” which will create an image of various settings on your computer.

If your computer is ever infected by spyware or altered by an unwanted program, System Snapshot can help you restore important browser and system settings to their previous state.

SpywareBlaster

Features (as described by publisher)

Spyware, adware, browser hijackers, and dialers are some of the most annoying and pervasive threats on the Internet today. By simply browsing a web page, you could find your computer to be the brand-new host of one of these unwanted fiends!

Multi-Angle Protection

Prevent the installation of ActiveX-based spyware and other potentially unwanted programs.

Block spying / tracking via cookies.

Restrict the actions of potentially unwanted or dangerous web sites.

No-Nonsense Security… SpywareBlaster can help keep your system secure, without interfering with the “good side” of the web. And unlike other programs, SpywareBlaster does not have to remain running in the background. It works alongside the programs you have to help secure your system.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

SpywareBlaster works on Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7.

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Know How to Spot Badware (Malware)

I recently had a conversation with a friend, who was new to computers, and he commenced explaining to me how he was suddenly interrupted during a computer session by Microsoft Security Essentials 2010 and was requested to provide his credit card number to unlock the full version. He further explained that his computer was not functioning properly, so he proceeded to make the purchase for the unlocked version. Upon hearing this, I had to regrettably tell him that his computer was infected with malware (a virus) and that he had been robbed and to contact his credit card company immediately. His jaw dropped and said, “you are kidding me, right?”. First off, my friend was wrong in telling me that it was “Microsoft” Security Essentials 2010″, when in fact it was the rogue (fake) malware package called “Security Essentials 2010”.

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Folks, know your (legitimate) software on your computer and how to spot the badware (malware). Yes, Microsoft does make a package called Microsoft Security Essentials (without the 2010 attached to the name) which is a very good security product designed to protect you from malware, viruses, spyware, etc… HOWEVER, it is totally free and they will never ask for your credit card number. As a matter of fact, any appearance of persistent unknown security alerts (or software) that suddenly appear on your computer (that looks real) and prompts you to make payment to fix a problem is the first clue that your PC is infected. These fake security programs will intentionally render your PC useless, cause data loss and oftentimes is very difficult to remove.

Today, what I would like you to do is learn how to spot the badware and one of the best places to do that is at 411-Spyware.com.

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The author of 411-Spyware.com (Kristopher Dukes) has compiled quite a collection, with pictures and all, of FAKE security products that are engineered to instill fear, cause havoc and steal from you. Not only does she provide you with the visual experience, she also provides removal instructions and suggested software to assist with the removal process. The one thing I want you to look at with some of these, is the complexity of the removal process, which literally can take a computer tech hours to resolve; with the worse case scenario being a complete system restore.

Most likely, in the scenario that I provided that involved a friend, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say he was porn surfing… If you porn surf, pirate software, do peer2peer sharing and go click happy on any link that comes your way; then be forewarned, you will become a cybercrime victim, just like my friend.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#44)

Welcome to the 44th round of Geek Squeaks’.  If you have a passion for information technology and computers, then you are at the right place.  Geek Squeaks’ is a weekly roundup of links to articles produced by bloggers (and site owners) associated with the What’s On My PC blogroll community.  I encourage you to pay a special visit to each of these sites to support their incredible work…

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Tech-for Everyone
What is Mobsync?

thePC Security
HDD Password Removal –
Crack, Clear, Unlock, Reset a Locked Hard Disk

Lifehacker
Seems Like Everyone’s Getting Faster Internet but the U.S.

Rarst.net
Colorjive.com – online image editor to paint walls

AskBillFirst
Microsoft urges Windows XP users to ditch old Flash version

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites January 19

Snakebytez
Create a System Restore Point in 1-click with Quick Restore Maker

TTC Shelbyville
Online Network Tools

I Love Free Software
RegKey Backup – Free Software to Registry Backup

Worthy Tips
Download ‘Your Guide to Windows 7′ EBook

Mrintech
Help Haiti People: Donate Online or via Text

Canadian Tech Blogger
Firefox 3.6 RC2 Out

AKS-Feel The Change
What’s My Computer Doing?

Carol’s Vault
PDF Password Remover – remove your PDF’s restrictions

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Win Security 360

Plato On-Line
World Netizen’s Day

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Safe, Secure Browsing, with Free WOT Browser Add-on

Big Geek Daddy
How to Control Startup Programs

Computer Maintenance
How To Set Windows Automatic Update

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Windows Live Mail Wave4, it’s all looking good!

TuneUp Blog
Get More Privacy! How to Remove Personal Information from Files

Internet Security Blog
Auto Lock Computer Screen With USB – Free Download

Geeked Up
6 Important Steps on How to Maximize Firefox Screen Space

Technize
Find Your Files Faster with Windows 7

Whats On My PC
The Ultimate Clock for your Windows Desktop

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#39)

Geek Squeaks’ is a weekly roundup of articles from the What’s On My PC blogroll community. This community is a compilation of over 40 blogs that share a common interest in bringing the latest in information technology to your desktop. If you have an interest in information technology, these blogs are the places to visit.

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thePC Security
Using Portable Web Browsers for Internet Security

Computer Too Slow
Windows Device Manager Explained

Crazy World of G
Burn It

Lifehacker
Do You Really Need More Than 4GB of RAM?

Rarst.net
UltraVNC – free solution for encrypted remote access

Tech-for Everyone
5 Tools to Prevent Laptop-Related Injuries and Eye Strain

AskBillFirst
Never forget to back up your files ever again.
Now it’s easy and automatic

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites – December Additions

AKS-Feel The Change
Manage USB Devices with USB Manager

Carol’s Vault
Can’t install WordPress plugins and themes via dashboard

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove RESpyWare

Plato On-Line
The Most Important Technological Artifact (200 B.C.)

GEEKed Up
Ensure Privacy When Using Google Chrome

Evilfantasy’s Blog
Explore as Administrator PowerToy

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition – Knocks Malware DEAD!

TTC Shelbyville
Stop and Encrypt Your Flashdrives

The Abbey Rose
How’s Your Password?

I Love Free Software
OnlineFamily: Manage and Monitor Online Activities of Kids

Technize
Make Windows 7 Super Fast

Mrintech
How to Convert Any Photo into a Sketch?

Freeware Elite
Get to know updated websites real quick with Changedetection.com

Canadian Tech Blogger
CNET Top 5 Most Popular Products for December

Computer Maintenance
Windows Malware Remover tools and techniques

TuneUp Blog
Speed Up Games on Your Windows XP, Vista or 7 System (Part Three)

Freeware Pharmacy
WinMerge

What’s On My PC
Past Versions of Geek Squeaks’ of the Week

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#37)

If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of information technology and computers, I encourage you to take a moment and visit each of the blogs listed below. The articles and information that these sites provide are phenomenal. It is an absolute honor to have them on the What’s On My PC… blogroll.

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The PC Security
9 Tips for Safe and Secure Online Shopping on Internet Sites

Computer Too Slow
Windows 7 complaints from Netbook Users

Crazy World of G
Scan To PDF

Lifehacker
MyPorts Gives You Detailed Information on Open Ports

Rarst.net
Google Wave Preview – first look

Tech-for Everyone
Open .ppt Slideshows With Free Viewer*

AskBillFirst
The “Noteable” Mousepad

Free PC Security
Revo Uninstaller – Free

Right On Technology
Pirate Bay Tracker Shuts Down

Blogging Fool
WordPress Posts Yet Another Security Update in Advance of 2.9

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Internet Security Tips for Seniors

Evilfantasy’s Blog
What things to do when bored on the Internet?

Plato On-Line
Black Friday Deals Leaked to CNN

The Spyware Biz Blog
A great way to remember secure passwords

Teck~Line Lounge
Amazing Knife Throw- Modern Warfare 2

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Personal Protector

Carol’s Vault
Design your room online with Armstrong

AKS-Feel The Change
Flash Drive Reminder-Unplug USB Flash Drive From PC

Tune Up Blog
32-bit vs. 64-bit: More Bit, More Performance?

Canadian Tech News Blog
5 Ways In Which Firefox Is Better Than Internet Explorer

Freeware Elite
Backup your Facebook account with ArchiveFB

Mrintech
View Previously Featured Bing Wallpapers & Download Them!

Worthy Tips
Switch Off Your Monitor Using Single Mouse Click in Windows 7

Technize
Handy Backup – Automatic Data Backup, Recovery and Synchronization

I Love Free Software
Kompozer: Free Alternative to Adobe Dreamweaver and FrontPage

TTC Shelbyville
Visio – Nope, It is Gliffy!

Carputers News and Computer Tips
Free WiFi for the Holidays

Snakebytez
View lyrics for songs in your iTunes Library with LyricToy

Computer Maintenance
Basic Computer Maintenance Tips/Checklist

Freeware Pharmacy
Songr

What’s On My PC
Break the Email Chain – Stop the Lies!

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#36)

image Welcome to the weekly roundup of articles from the developers of the blogs that are members of the What’s On My PC blogroll community.  I encourage you to visit these blogs to learn more about information technology and computers.  To these authors, I say Thank You!

AKS – Feel The Change
Windows SteadyState- Powerful tool to Protect Shared Computers

Carol’s Vault
Introducing Mind & Brain: A Graphic Guide sample

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove SystemVeteran

Teck~Line Lounge
Free CodySafe Portable Start Menu By Codyssey

The Spyware Biz Blog
Were you tricked ot treated?

Plato On-Line
Deceptive Credit Card Practices

Geeked Up
Mini Notebook Computers

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Fix Your Computer with Free PC Fixer a 4.5 Star Utility

Right On Technology
Apple $30 a Month TV Service for iTunes

The PC Security
How to Crack, Open or Access
Outlook PST File without Password

Computer Too Slow
How to disable CD/DVD autoplay in Windows

Crazy World of G
Are You In Sync?

LifeHacker
Replace Library Icons
Customizes Windows 7 Library Icons [Downloads]

Rarst.net
Colorbrewer – excellent color schemes resource

Sugarloaf Tech
Just say no to toolbars

Tech-for Everyone
Is It Worth Upgrading? (Two quick reco’s)

AskBillFirst
Nokia Recalls 14 Million AC Adapters – Gearlog

Free PC Security
Facebook Virus – UPS Virus – Using SUPERantispyware

Tune Up Blog
TuneUp Utilities – Enjoy your PC

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Live Photo Gallery v Google Picasa round 3

Computer Maintenance
Delete Temporary Files/Cache and Speed Up Your Computer

Canadian Tech News Blog
8 Must Have Applications

Freeware Elite
Launchy: Great flashy launcher

Mrintech
Winners of Google Wave Invitations Giveaway!

Worthy Tips
How to detect what .Net version installed on your machine?

Technize
Microsoft Security Essentials A Free Anti-Virus From Microsoft

I Love Free Software
Fastest Free Disk Imaging Software: Macrium Reflect

Techolar
Domain names extensions in International scripts

TTC Shelbyville
Resize Photos Online

Tux in the Midwest
Flirting with Androids

Snakebytez
Client for Google Translate

Freeware Pharmacy
Hulu Desktop

What’s On My PC…
I Want That Video…

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Facebook Users – Beware of Email Malware

Don’t let your guard down… Many of my acquaintances are subscribers to the popular social magnet site of Facebook.  Also, many of my acquaintances are honest people who want to believe that the internet is a safe place and often forget the “rules of the road”.

If you are a Facebook user and you receive an email that the password  on your Facebook account has been reset and your new password is attached, do not fall for the old trick of opening the attachment. This email is a form of spam email with a zip file attachment that contains an executable; that, when launched (clicked on), will infect your PC with malware (trojan) . [Source: Avira Techblog]

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Remember the “rules of the road”:

Do not open email, let alone attachments, that you even have the slightest doubt. Trust me, if the doubt is there, it is most likely fake and contains malware.

Avoid unsolicited email messages; especially those with attachments or those with unsolicited links.

Always have up-to-date anti-virus, malware, and spyware software installed on your PC.

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All Time Top Ten Tech Articles at What’s On My PC…

When you write articles in a blog, nearly everyday, they have a tendency to accumulate and eventually get lost in the pile (especially to the frequent visitor). Today I was reviewing some past posts and decided to make a listing of the “All Time Top Ten” at What’s On My PC.  Enjoy!

In summary you will find that: Windows Vista still is causing gray hair; AOL is not dead; WD TV Media Player is a hit; people do not like change, including bing;  we need browser protection; there is a cheap way to use a Blackberry; we love FREE software; people are still trying to figure out MS-Word; and Conficker continues to evolve and is still alive!

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If you experience
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 installation issues…

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Creating an AOL Install CD… (if you must:)

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When Vista will not boot…

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Review of the Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player

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“WOT” is NEW…

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bing – Microsoft’s New Search Engine

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How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap
“Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…

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Software AppsFreebiesPortable Apps

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Adding a “Watermark” in Microsoft Word 2003 or 2007

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Conficker and Spyware Protect 2009

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WOT now available for Google Chrome Web Browser

image (Web Of Trust) WOT –  a free Internet security add-on for your browser announced today that there is now a WOT add-on for Google Chrome (see Web Clip below). WOT, a very important level of protection, will keep you safe from online scams, identity theft, spyware, spam, viruses and unreliable shopping sites. WOT warns you before you interact with a risky website. It’s easy and it’s free. If you would like to test the WOT add-on for Google Chrome, you can download and learn more about it [ here ] . The add-on requires a current development version of Chrome (≥ 4.0.220.1). It’s been tested on the Windows version of Chrome, but should also work on Linux and Mac versions once their add-on support reaches the same level. To install the add-on, download the add-on using the Chrome browser.  The Chrome browser will automatically detect the download as an add-on and will prompt you for the installation.

webclip

A “What’s On My PC…” Web Clip!

Thu 08 Oct 2009 11:39:59 AM UTC — Deborah S.

Google Chrome Good news for all you early adopters: You can jump ahead of everyone else and try the first release of the WOT add-on for Google Chrome. This one is for the geeky among us, so if you’re game, all you need is a current development version of Chrome and the WOT add-on.

WOT icon in Chrome One small difference is where the icon is located. You’ll find it in the lower left corner. The rating window opens a bit differently too, but you’ll see it. Notice also that the add-on is released under the GNU GPL, so patches are most welcome.

[ Source: Web Of Trust ]

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#31)

If you are someone that is into computers, technology, and software; then, you need to follow the blogs I have listed below. Listed is a compilation of articles (from the past 7 days) from the blogs that are on the What’s On My PC… blogroll. The authors of these articles (and blogs) go to to great lengths to draft and publish these articles, without compensation, on a frequent basis.

Geeksqueaks2
Geek Squeaks’

Plato On-Line
WHY Do We Have Sex?

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Secure Cam Motion Detection Surveillance Software – Free

Snakebytez
Google Video Increases upload limit to 16GB

Tux in the Midwest
Drupal Notes Series

TTC Shelbyville
Scan Your Computer With Avira Antivir Rescue System

Piyada’s World
A simple tool to disable write access on your USB thumb drive

Technize-Be Techdated
Google Redirect Virus Removal

Mrintech
Pingtest: Check the Quality of your Broadband Internet

thePC Security
An Ultimate Guide to Software Update Notifiers

Computer Too Slow
Types of Internet Connections

Lifehacker DefaultBrowser
Sets a Portable Browser to System Default

Tech-for Everyone
Gmail Quick Tip — Keyboard Shortcuts

Free PC Security
Layered Security Part 2

AKS-Feel The Change
Check Whether your Email Account Phished or Not

Carol’s Vault
Choose Between a PS3 or Xbox 360 as a present

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove TrustCop

Teck~Line Lounge
Warning Fake Twitter Email Going Around

SpywareBiz Blog
Are online threats bugging you?

Evilfantasy’s Blog
Microsoft Security Essentials Final

Right On Technology
Fitbit Wireless Pedometer

Rarst.net
CrossLoop – remote access and support software

Freeware Pharmacy
GSmartControl

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
The ribbon and why others are applying it.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#27)

Wow…  Over a half-year of Geek Squeaks’. Combine all the articles together in a book and you have a technology book like no other.  Geek Squeaks’ are a compilation of articles from the authors of blogs (web sites) that are on the What’s On My PC… blogroll. I do have to admit I have associated with the best bloggers out there; no doubt about it.  If you want to read more “Geek Squeaks” be sure to visit the category link at the side of the blog.

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StatCounter
Scoroncocolo

Multicore Computers and Old Programs*
Tech-for Everyone

Boost Firefox in a single click with SpeedyFox
Snakebytez

USB Image Tool
Evil Fantasy’s Blog

Best Websites of 2009
Carputer’s News and Computer Tips

Are You an Internet Addict?
Plato-online

Zune HD – And Drool All Over my Keyboard
Tux in the Midwest

Going after the hackers! Wanna help?
The Spyware Biz Blog

Give your file advance security with Cryptor encrypting utility Piyada’s World

How to Remove Antivirus Pro 2010
411-Spyware.com

Test Your Computer’s Stability
TTC Shelbyville

List of Portable Web Browsers
AKS-Feel The Change

JavaRa
The Abbey Rose

Computer Security
Crazy World of G

Nokia set to release a Net book mini computer
Computer Too Slow

Design Your Own Exercise Program Using Seven Key Moves [DIY] Lifehacker

Use Google Talk to get Latest & Top NEWS!
Mrintech

1by1 – tiny and portable mp3 audio player
Rarst.net

I Don’t Care If You’re Naked – Stop Spamming Me!
Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

Microsoft Office 2007 – Deal for college students
Sugarloaf Tech

Rootkits, Malware and Registry Protection
Free PC Security

How to List and View Installed Windows Fonts
thePC Security

Glass Notepad
Technize

ZeroRemote
Freeware Pharmacy

Learn how to keyboard…
What’s On My PC…

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20 FREE Lifetime License for SUPERAntiSpyware Professional Giveaway on August 24th

Be sure to visit Bill Mullin’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts for a chance at receiving a FREE LIFETIME registration code for a leading antispyware product called SUPERAntiSpyware. To enter the contest to win one of the lifetime licenses, simply add a comment at the end of the article that Bill has posted [ HERE ] . Bill currently has available (20)-twenty registration codes that can be used to activate the Professional version of SUPERAntiSpyware. On August 24, 2009, all comments will be added to an online List Randomizer, and the first 20 names that come up, in random order, will win a free lifetime registration code. Even if you do not win, you will have had the opportunity to visit one of the top blogging sites on the internet – Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#10)

Geek Squeaks'

Another great round of superbly written and presented articles, by the friends of “What’s On My PC…”, from the past week. I encourage my readers to visit these tech blogs to learn more about information technology, software, tips and tricks, how to’s, and information about the latest security threats.

If you are a tech blogger and are interested in a link exchange with “What’s On My PC…”, please leave a comment below and I will contact you.  Thank you!

OnlineFamily.Norton – AKSHAT

Ultimate iPod Touch/iPhone Games Toolbox: 75+ Free Must-Have Games Of All Time – AllThatsNew

Download Windows Virtual PC Beta and Virtual Windows XP Mode Beta – TTC Shelbyville

Microsoft Office 2010 (Word,Excel,Access,Outlook) Screenshots – Techolar

Firewall Causes Connection Problem – Tech-for Everyone

Download AppRemover – Delete Stubborn Security Applications – Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

How to Remove “Warning! Your’re In Danger” Wallpaper – 411-Spyware.com

Evernote – Every Time to Organize Everything – AskBillFirst

The Home Computer Freeware List: Updated 05/08/09 – Confessions of a Freeware Junkie

Recolored: Colorize Black and White Photos – Snakebytez

MyEventViewer – alternative utility for Windows logs – Rarst.net

Jing – Free screen capture solution for blogger by TechSmith – Piyadas World

Google Calendar Integrates Tasks – Lifehacker

Organize and Manage Windows With Screen Utility “MaxTo” – Is You GEEKed Up

Panda Cloud Antivirus Beta – Free – PC Security

Microsoft changes ‘Windows Genuine Advantage’ – Evilfantasy’s Blog

Cool Websites and Tools [May 13’th] – makeuseof.com

Prism – Bringing Cloud Apps To Your Desktop – What’s On My PC…

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#9)

Geek Squeaks'Here is this weeks picks from blogs that have exchanged links with “What’s On My PC…” . This is only a small sampling of the hard work that is accomplished at these tech blogs. If you are into information technology and have a real desire to learn, these blogs are excellent resources to get started.

LockHunter-Delete/Unlock Locked File – AKS-Feel The Change

Network Diagram – Try The Dude – TTC Shelbyville

How to Insert Images in Gmail – A Gmail Labs feature –Techolar

Swine Flu Toolbox: 45+ Awesome Apps, Mash-Ups, Plugins And Services To Track And Be Safe From Swine Flu – AllThatsNew

How to Remove Spyware Protect 2009 – 411-Spyware.com

Awesome software, relevant reviews – AppNews.net

Close and Restore Running Applications With SmartClose – Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

How Can I Shorten Long Website Addresses? – AskBillFirst

Download free special editions of Paragon software – Carol’s Vault

BetterPrivacy Firefox Add-on – Evilfantasy’s Blog

Basic Computer Security – Free PC Security

Microsoft Windows 7 RC Official Download Links – Snakebytez

Real “E ink” book reader review – Rarst.net

How To Make The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Your Exams – Is You Geeked Up

How to check most popular articles on Wikipedia – Piyadas World

Five Best Free Data Recovery Tools – Lifehacker

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Klondike Forever…

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#7)

As always, this weeks’ roundup of articles by those on my blogroll (aka: Launch Pad) are absolutely remarkable.  Please note that I created a category on the blog, titled “Geek Squeaks”. You can easily preview past articles written by these authors by clicking on that category. The category listings are located on the sidebar of the blog.

If you are interested in a link exchange and to have an article from your blog featured on “Geek Squeaks of the Week, please leave a comment below and I will contact you… Thank you for another great round of articles…

Geek SqueaksGet $29.95 worth Paragon Drive Copy 9 Special Edition for FREE – AKSHAT

Oracle and Sun end of VirtualBox, OpenOffice and MySQL? – TTC Shelbyville

Social Bookmarking Buttons: 25+ Sets Of Free Stunning Web 2.0 Icons [Over 500+ Icons] – AllThatsNew

How to Remove Virus Melts – 411-Spyware.com

How To Watch TV On Your Computer – Tech-for Everyone

Learn a Foreign Language 10 Words at a Time – AskBillFirst

The Bare Minimum Processes Needed to Run Windows XP – Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

Medical identity theft is usually not given much thought – The Spyware Biz Blog

Documents search engines – Carol’s Vault

Jellybean: Free Wallpaper Shuffler – Snakebytez

Spyware Terminator v2.5 – Crazy World of G

Samurize – flexible system monitor with DIY interface – Rarst.net

9 Earth Day Free Stuff On Internet – Piyadas World

The Pirate Bay owners found guilty – Evilfantasy’s

LinkScanner Flags Dangerous Search Results – Lifehacker

Rename EXE files to Unblock Security Programs – Free PC Security

What’s On My PC… Free Layers of Protection – What’s On My PC…

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What’s On My PC… FREE Layers of Protection!

I have had many people approach me and ask,

“What is a good Security Suite to install on my PC?”

Layers

For the sake of this article, a “Security Suite” is a proprietary combo package that offers multi-dimensional levels of protection (against spyware, viruses, malware, rootkits, etc.).

I don’t know why (well I do), I start to cringe when I hear people tell me their stories of using the “high powered” security suites (that cost money); that they either installed or simply are using because it was on their new PC. I have found it ends up being a convoluted mess that causes the user to become frustrated; often is a burden to the PC; and often ends up where they let their subscription expire (thus having no protection at all). I also get the feeling that people, who use these security suites, have a false sense of security and think they are “ultimately” protected from anything and everything.

I have experienced just about every type of security software package out there. Am I an expert? No… But, the strategy I have been adhering to, has worked; especially when it comes to “layers” of protection that I set up on my computer; without causing my computer to come to a crawl. I use no Security Suites, never have, never will…

If you plan to go the route I am about to suggest (of no Security Suite), you will need to uninstall your current security suite software. The uninstall of security software can be very tricky and I encourage you to visit the vendor’s site to explore this subject or get a tech to assist you. I also posted (2)-two recent articles on this topic:

AppRemover… Antivirus and Antispyware Uninstaller!

Uninstalling and Installing AntiVirus Software…

The listing below are the layers of protection (all FREE) I have installed on my PC…  I encourage you to check for comments following this article, due some of the techs out there may add further information or make suggestions.  All of the software reflected is FREE…

You can click on the links below to explore each specific title:

Common Sense – You can not install this… I have found that if your gut says “beware”; then follow your gut.  Also, I am not an advocate of social sites, porn sites, pirating sites, etc…. If it is something that violates morality; believe me, you will be victimized.  “Where the people gather, the cybercriminals prey”. Please use common sense!

Microsoft Windows Updates – You should set your computer to automatically update or at least alert you that updates are available. Either way, this is very, very important. Keep your operating system up to date. Microsoft usually unleashes updates the 2nd Tuesday of each month.  You can learn more about Windows Updates and “patch Tuesday” [ HERE ] .

Software Updates – Keep any software on your PC up-to-date. Popular title software that is used by the masses are often targeted by hackers looking for methods to exploit any vulnerabilities or code flaws. I currently use Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) to assist me with maintaining software updates.

Windows Vista Firewall – I currently use the Vista Firewall and have no other firewall software installed.

Properly configured, it can stop many kinds of malware before they can infect your computer or other computers on your network. Windows Firewall, which comes with Windows Vista, is turned on by default and begins protecting your computer as soon as Windows starts.[ source: Microsoft ]

WinPatrol – a robust SECURITY MONITOR , WinPatrol will alert you to hijackings, malware attacks and critical changes made to your computer without your permission. The software puts a small “Scotty Dog” in the tray area that will bark when a change occurs. It is strictly for monitoring and does not fix anything. You can also get full details about WinPatrol [ HERE ].

Avast! Antivirus Home Edition – a full-featured antivirus package, with anti-spyware and anti-rootkit built-in, that is designed exclusively for non-commercial & home use. You can also get full details about Avast! [ HERE ].

MalwareBytes Anti-Malware – an easy-to-use, simple, and effective anti-malware application. Use the “Free” version of this app to manually scan your system for malware. You can also get full details about MalwareBytes Anti-Malware [ HERE ].

SuperAntiSpyware – a next generation scanning system that goes beyond the typical rules based scanning methods. The Multi-Dimensional Scanning system detects existing threats as well as threats of the future by analyzing threat characteristics in addition to code patterns. Use the “Free” version of this app to manually scan your system for spyware. You can also get full details about SuperAntiSpyware [ HERE ] .

Spyware Blaster – can help keep your system secure, without interfering with the “good side” of the web. And unlike other programs, SpywareBlaster does not have to remain running in the background. It works alongside the programs you have to help secure your system. With the “Free” version, you will have to manually run the updates to keep your system sufficiently protected.

Firefox Browser – I currently test all of the main player browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, and Firefox).  I currently use Firefox as my main browser. You will find that most Techs are an advocate of Firefox.

Web of Trust (WOT) – WOT is a free Internet security add-on for your browser (Internet Explorer or Firefox) that will keep you safe from online scams, identity theft, spyware, spam, viruses and unreliable shopping sites. WOT warns you before you interact with a risky website. It’s easy and it’s free. If you do not install this, then I recommend you read the first item on my list (common sense). You can also get full details about WOT [ HERE ].

OpenDNS – I currently use OpenDNS as a layer of protection from web site phlishing; plus, by setting up an account with OpenDNS, I can use the built in Parental Controls to filter out and block what content reaches my computer. Installing or setting up OpenDNS can be intimidating to those with non-technical experience; however, I encourage you to read more about OpenDNS [ HERE ] .

Optional: I opted to list some additional protection, that I currently use, due to my ongoing testing of software and “test” visits to the underbelly of the internet.

Sandboxie – runs your programs in an isolated space which prevents them from making permanent changes to other programs and data in your computer. You can get full details about Sandboxie [ HERE ] .

Shadow Defender – This is the only software on the list that you would have to buy; however, if are someone who messes around with your system more than you should, then this may be for you. With Shadow Defender you can run your system in a virtual environment, called Shadow Mode. Any software changes or malware attacks that occur, will occur in the virtual environment, not in the real environment. If attacks happen, all you need to do is to reboot your system. I currently use Shadow Defender to test software products. I place the PC in shadow mode, install the software and perform my testing. Following my testing, I reboot and voila’, my computer is back to the original state it was prior to going into Shadow mode.

Reflected below are tips and other “security software” recommendations made by the  “Techs” who routinely contribute to the blog:

AVZ Antiviral Toolkit (recommend by AKSHAT) – is a Portable AntiMalware and Portable AntiSpyware Solution that was created by a Russian named Oleg Zaytsev to remove adware and spyware, network worms, trojan horses (Trojan, TrojanDownloader, TrojanSpy) and Dialers.  This app would be used when you are dealing with a system that you suspect is infected.

Spyware Terminator (recommended by the Crazy World of G) – will scan your computer for known threats and report findings in a manner that is easy to read and interpret.  Free comprehensive protection that is comparable to competitors’ paid versions!

Threatfire (recommended by the Crazy World of G) – continually protects your PC against attacks by detecting malicious behavior, such as capturing your keystrokes or stealing your data, instead of only looking for known threats like normal antivirus software. By implementing sophisticated real-time behavioral analysis ThreatFire is able to stop never- before-seen “zero-day” threats solely by detecting their malicious activity.

Hazard Shield (recommended by the Crazy World of G) – is an antimalware program that scans for any and every threat we can get our hands on. These include malicious items such as malware, viruses, spyware, trojans, backdoors, dialers and much more.Hazard Shield also comes with realtime protection that removes threats the instant they appear and before they can cause damage.  An excellent review on this application, “Hammer Malware With Hazard Shield” [source: Bill Mullins Weblog – Tech Thoughts]

Comodo Firewall (recommended by Tech-for Everyone) – is a multi-layered security application that keeps hackers out and personal information in. Built from the ground upwards with your security in mind, this award winning firewall constantly monitors and defends your system from inbound and outbound attacks. TechPaul has indicated this software firewall is for the more advanced.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall (recommended by Tech-for Everyone) – blocks hackers from infiltrating your home PC by hiding your computer from unsolicited network traffic.

Router / Modem Tip (by Tech-for Everyone) – a most frequently overlooked aspect of protecting your PC’s is placing a router directly behind the modem, even if you aren’t ’splitting’ your Internet to multiple computers.

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Conficker and Spyware Protect 2009

Trend Micro (Malware Blog) is reporting that the Conficker worm has awakened and received instruction to download malware to the host PC that masquerades as antivirus software, called “Spyware Protect 2009”.

spywareprotect

UPDATE: 10:50 PDT, 9 April 2009 (Trend Micro)

Having followed the activities of Eastern European online cyber crime for several years, there is one thing we are certain about — these criminals are motivated by one thing: money.

How was Downad/Conficker helping them meet their goals? It wasn’t. A very large botnet of compromised computers doesn’t make money if it justs “sits there” doing nothing.

So now we saw — as described above — that the Downad/Conficker botnet has awakened, and perhaps their desire to monetizing their efforts is becoming more clear.

In the latest activity, we see infected Downad.KK/Conficker.C nodes pulling down new Waledac binaries (perhaps for spamming, as Waledac has been known to do)from a fast-flux domain infrastructure, but also now it is also installing Fake/Rogue AntiVirus  (AV) malware, too.

Conficker is a worm that was crafted to take advantage of a vulnerability in Windows that Microsoft patched back in October 2008.  It has been a hot topic, not only in the tech world, but with everyday users.  If you maintained your updates, then you are sufficiently protected.  The PC’s  that are still infected (which were in the millions), have become part of the Conficker botnet, that work together as a group (network) to periodically communicate with its’ source to acquire instructions and wreak havoc, such as downloading and installing “Spyware Protect 2009”.  In this case the malicious software displays a warning messages saying that the computer is infected and offering to clean it up for $49.95.  If you are infected, shut down your PC and consult with your IT guru for removal.

In essence what is being seen is that Conficker is finally showing its’ true colors by activating itself to aid the creators of this worm (cybercriminals) in duping people out of money. There is also evidence that Conficker has downloaded another, separate worm called Waledac onto the infected systems. Waledac is a known botnet linked to data theft and email spam campaigns.  If you start seeing popups advocating “Spyware Protect 2009” and you find that you are being blocked from legitimate security sites, then you are infected.  Another sign is that your automatic updates or other security services on your PC will become disabled.

Some standalone removal tools for Conficker:

Eset Win32/Conficker Worm Removal Tool – [ Download ]

McAfee AVERT W32/Conficker Stinger – [ Download ]

Sophos Conficker Cleanup Tool (Stand-Alone Computer) -[ Download ]

Symantec W32.Downadup Removal Tool – [ Download ]

Norman Malware Cleaner – [ Download ]

After the PC is clean, I suggest you download and run:

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – [ Download ]

SuperAntiSpyware – [ Download ]

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#4)

Geek Squeaks'

How to Install a Program that is an ISO – TTC Shelbyville

PSI to the Rescue – Tech-for Everyone

Disable Avira Notifier – Tech Thoughts

Bursting Security Bubble – Rarst.net

Malwarebytes – Anti Malware Software – Piyada’s World

Harmless Geek Pranks for a Little April Fooling – LifeHacker

Paragon Drive Backup – Free Program – Free PC Security

McAfee Stinger Conficker Edition – Evilfantasy’s Blog

Spyware Terminator v2.5 – Crazy World of G

My Dream Blackberry: Storm With Trackball – Confessions of a Freeware Junkie

Face.com – Facebook face recognition app – Carol’s Vault

Conficker Tips from Windowssecrets.com – AskBillFirst

“1 of Friends Awaiting Your Response” Email – 411 Spyware.com

Microsoft Buys Yahoo! – TechJaws

How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan… – What’s On My PC…

Geek Squeaks are random “hot” topic links (called “squeaks”) from various credible sources (called “geeks”) and may appear on the blog at any time.  Many of the topics are creations from fellow bloggers or software authors who have actively participated (e.g. link exchanges, comments, etc…) with “What’s On My PC…”.  If you are interested in a link exchange please leave a comment below.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#3)

Geek Squeak

New Gmail Feature – 5 Seconds Undo Send Button – All Thats New

Who Knows What About You Online – AskBillFirst

Spyware Terminator 2.5 – Crazy World of G

Test your flash drive with Check Flash – Evilfantasy’s Blog

GreatNews – the lightning fast RSS reader and organizer – Great Free Software Utilities

How to remove SmartEnhancer – 411-Spyware

How Do I Setup a One-Way File Sync Backup? – LifeHacker

WinPatrol 2009 – Free, PLUS and Portable Versions – Free PC Security

WiMax Bandwidth Speed Tests vs. 3G – Is You Geeked Up

How Do I Setup a One-Way File Sync Backup? – LifeHacker

Rocket On: Make Every Site Your Virtual Chat Room – Piyadas World

Turn your handwriting into font at Yourfonts.com – Rarst.net

Thanks a Million – Tech Thoughts Hits One Million Page Views – Tech Thoughts

An update is causing BSOD, what do I do? – Tech-for Everyone

Geek Squeaks are random “hot” topic links (called “squeaks”) from various credible sources (called “geeks”) and may appear on the blog at any time.  Many of the topics are creations from fellow bloggers or software authors who have actively participated (e.g. link exchanges, comments, etc…) with “What’s On My PC…”.  If you are interested in a link exchange please leave a comment below.

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Avast! – Free Antivirus Software for Home Users

I have used numerous antivirus products over the years and have found that many of the “FREE” antivirus product options that are available are sufficient for home-based computer users.  What I look for in an antivirus product, is a product that will provide the needed protection without robbing my computer of its’ memory resources.  For the past 12 months I have been running the “FREE” edition of Avast! (called Avast! Home Edition) on my PC and have been quite pleased.  So far it has met the criteria that I desire (sufficient protection without slowing down the computer). I have actually seen computers overloaded with security suites to the point that the software designed to protect the computer actually becomes counterproductive.

Avast!

The “Avast! Home Free Edition” is produced by Alwil (a Czech-based company).  Alwil also provides a professional version with additional features.   [ CLICK HERE ] to compare the two.  You will find that the “free version” offers features such as:

Anti-spyware built-in
Web Shield
Anti-rootkit built-in
Automatic updates
Strong self-protection
Virus Chest
Antivirus kernel
System integration
Simple User Interface
Integrated Virus Cleaner
Resident protection
Support for 64-bit Windows
P2P and IM Shields
Internationalization
Network Shield

I applaud Alwil for producing such a fine product and making it globally available to everyone in an effort to prevent the global spreading of viruses.  If you are interested in downloading and learning more about Avast! Home Free Edition [ CLICK HERE ]. If you download and install the free edition you will be required to register the product (for free).  The registration process is explained on the download page.  Once you complete the registration process, a license key will be emailed to you.  The registration is good for one year and can be renewed annually.

Avast!

As an added note, if you opt to remove any antivirus software from your computer, to install another, always check with the software maker to determine the uninstall process.  To assist you with this process I encourage you to follow the links below:

AppRemover… Antivirus and Antispyware Uninstaller!

Uninstalling and Installing Antivirus Software

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411 for Spyware and Malware Assistance

4-1-1 is one of those telephone numbers we learn to use (and remember) to call the operator for directory assistance (to help us locate a directory listing). It is one of those services that is there to help us when we are in a bind.

As a computer user, what an advantage it would be to have a service available that you could consult with to find information about malware and spyware infections.  Look no further…

If you suspect you are a victim of a malware or spyware infection where malicious software or content has installed on your PC, without your permission, then you need to visit:

http://www.411-spyware.com/

411-Spyware

411-Spyware is your online directory (click links below) for identifying specific infections and removal assistance for:

If you are tech, 411-Spyware is a great research starting point. The site provides visual cues of what the infections look like, descriptions and removal instructions. If you are new to computers and do not fully understand what malware is, I encourage you to visit this site for the educational experience (with pictures and all). Everything that you see on that site are examples of infections that have been engineered to exploit your computer and ultimately compromise your privacy.  Remember, 411-Spyware for spyware and malware assistance!

Tips to remember if you think your computer is infected:

If there are noticeable changes to your computer such as slowness, sudden pop-up ads, browser redirects, homepage changes, fake security software, then you are most likely infected.  Do not panic!

Write down exactly what you are seeing.  This is very helpful for researching and accurately identifying the problem.

Disconnect from the internet…  Do not continue using the internet to do your shopping, banking or other online activities that involve user names, passwords or other sensitive information until you are sure the problem has been resolved.

Use layers of protections (firewall, anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware).

Maintain your Windows and Software updates.

Use common sense when surfing the internet.  If it looks too good to be true, avoid it!

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#2)

Geek Squeak

15 free downloads to pep up your old PC – Curious? Read

Electoluminescent Wire Goes to Local Area Networks – TTC Shelbyville

What do the dolby numbers mean? – Tech for-Everyone

How does your teenager use the internet?  Should you care? – Bill Mullins Weblog Tech Thoughts

Google Chrome Beta Updates, Boasts Improved Speeds and New Features – LifeHacker

Free Image Recovery From Digital Camera – Piyadas World

Planning and Choosing Parts for Your Carputer Build – Is You Geeked Up

WOT – Against Intuition – Free PC Security

Avira has launched its new Version 9 – EvilsFantasy Blog

Google Voice – Crazy World of G

Image Editing With No Install: Sumo Paint – Confessions of a Freeware Junkie

Google Chrome Video – Carputers News and Computer Tips

Beautiful Oriental Chillout from Jamendo.com – Carol’s Vault

Verizon Network Extender Boosts Cell Phone Signals at Home – AskBillFirst

How to Detect and Remove U.Z.A Operating System Wallpaper – 411-Spyware

WeFollow: Latest User Powered Twitter Directory – All Thats New

Beware When The Dog Barks – What’s On My PC…

Geek Squeaks are random “hot” topic links (called “squeaks”) from various credible sources (called “geeks”) and may appear on the blog at any time.  Many of the topics are creations from fellow bloggers or software authors who have actively participated (e.g. link exchanges, comments, etc…) with “What’s On My PC…”.  If you are interested in a link exchange please leave a comment below.

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Super protection from those internet threats…

SuperAntiSpyware

One of the first tools I go to in the event of a suspected internet induced infection is SuperAntiSpyware. Over the years I have time-tested a variety of products to protect my system, which were good at their specific functions, but I have come to the conclusion that using SuperAntiSpyware, in conjunction with my anti-virus protection, provides a multi-dimensional layer of protection that is really hard to beat. SuperAntiSpyware will detect and remove spyware, adware, malware, trojan dialers, worms, keyloggers, hijackers, parasites, rootkits, rogue security products and other threats. Another primo feature that  is most impressive is that it will not rob your system of its’ needed operating system resources and slow your computer down.

SuperAntiSpyware

There is a “FREE” version, as well as a paid professional version.  The “FREE” option does not include the scheduling, automatic updates, daily definition updates, or real-time protection that the professional version offers. Do not let this deter you from using the “FREE” version. I had been using the “FREE” version for over a year, where I performed manual updates and scans; and, just recently started using the professional version to give my system that additional armor of “automated” protection. Many computer techs out there use this software and will tell you to make it part of your routine maintenance and security strategy.

[ CLICK HERE ] to preview and download SuperAntiSpyware.

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Online Porn – Conservative States Biggest Users…

ABC News has published an article that indicates the people who are most outraged by pornography turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by. A nationwide study, which was based on credit-card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider, is indicating that the more conservative and religious states are reportedly topping out the numbers.

Irregardless of your stance or the validity of the study; my stance is avoid it at all costs. They call it an “entertainment industry”; it is an “addiction industry” that will destroy. Parents, watch your kids. This stuff is readily available (for FREE) at the click of a mouse.

From the tech side of all this… I do not know what a person pays to become a member of the porn community, but in addition to that cost expect to pay for some type of computer repair in addition to possible identity theft.  Porn sites are notorious breeding grounds (no pun intended) for malware, viruses, pop-up windows, trojans, keyloggers, browser hijacking, tracking cookies; and on and on!  Also, nothing is more embarrassing than when a tech sits down to repair your PC and finds that you have a dark side!

clipped from abcnews.go.com

Porn in the USA: Conservatives Are Biggest Consumers


8 of Top 10 Porn-Consuming States Voted Republican in 2008 Presidential Election


By EWEN CALLAWAY
Feb. 28, 2009

Americans may paint themselves in increasingly bright shades of red and blue, but new research finds one thing that varies little across the nation: the liking for online pornography.


States where a majority of residents agreed with the statement “I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage,” bought 3.6 more subscriptions per thousand people than states where a majority disagreed.


Photo: Americans may paint themselves in increasingly bright shades of red and blue, but new research finds one thing that varies little across the nation: the liking for online pornography.

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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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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”.

The Malware Evolution…

While conducting research on computer malware, I happened across an article at ‘howstuffworks -10 Worst Computer Viruses of All Time” (by Jonathan Strickland).  I was very impressed with the article and decided to summarize, in a table format (see below), the ten worst computer viruses of all time (based on the information from that article), in an effort to demonstrate how malware is evolving. You can read the full article on the “10 Worst Computer Viruses of All Time”, by clicking on the “howstuffworks” logo at the bottom of the page.

Another source of information that blends in well with this topic, is an article posted at Tech-for Everyone, “A Brief History – Holiday Edition”, that provides a short history on who wrote the first true virus, the evolution of viruses; and how virus and malware protection has led to a $38 billion industry.  I recently communicated with the author (known as TechPaul) and he made the following “real world” statement, that demonstrates how the malware evolution is affecting people on a personal level.

“As a Help and Support tech, I see (and repair) the damage done by malware everyday, and it is no joke. I have talked with folks who were forced to buy new machines due to rootkit and firmware infections. I have talked with people who have spent time rebuilding their credit after their “identity” was stolen.” –TechPaul

In conclusion, the objective of this article is to display the timeline and evolution of viruses (aka: malware) and to impress upon my readers the importance of keeping your security and system software up to date.  Malware has evolved from what you are seeing in this table to include thousands of variations of computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, spyware, dishonest adware, crimeware and other malicious and unwanted software.   The motivation in the past was more idealistic; whereas, today the motivation is money.

10

Melissa

1999

MS-Word Macro; Propagated via email attachment; When opened: sent itself out to the top 50 people in the recipient’s e-mail address book.

9

ILOVEYOU

2000

Standalone Program; Worm; Propagated via email attachment; Subj:  Love Letter from a Secret Admirer, Attachment: LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs; When opened: wide range of attacks.

8

Klez

2001

Propagated via Email message; Spoofing; Replicated itself; Sent itself to people in recipient’s address book; Some variations rendered a persons computer inoperable.

7

Code Red

2001

Worm; Propagated via Internet; Exploited vulnerability in operating system (buffer overflow); distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the White House.

6

Nimda

2001

Nimda is “Admin” backwards; Worm; Propagated via the Internet & Email (very quickly); Primary target: Internet Servers; Purpose: To bring the internet to a crawl.

5

SQL Slammer / Sapphire

2003

Propagated via Internet; Attacked Web Servers; Took down unprepared infrastructure systems; Caused $1 Billion plus in damage; Victims infected within seconds after initial launch.

4

MyDoom

2004

Propagated via email; Created backdoor in victim’s computer; Had two triggers: Caused Denial of Service Attack and second trigger commanded the virus to stop distributing itself on Feb. 12, 2004; Replicated via email addresses on victim’s PC; Second outbreak caused search engines to come to a crawl.

3

Sasser and Netsky

2004

Worm; Propagated via internet; Attacked computer through a Microsoft vulnerability; Scanned random IP’s for victim computers; Virus created by 17 year old German programmer.

2

Leap-A/Oompa-A

2006

Infected Apple Mac’s PC’s; Propagated via instant messaging (iChat); Caused little harm; Demonstrated that Mac PC’s can be vulnerable as well.

1

Storm Worm

2006

Progated via email and fake links; Trojan Horse; Original had email subj line: “230 dead as storm batters Europe”; Can turn PC into “zombies” or “bots”; Vulnerable to remote control by attacker.

 

clipped from computer.howstuffworks.com

HowStuffWorks


10 Worst Computer Viruses of All Time


by Jonathan Strickland

 


Computer viruses can be a nightmare. Some can wipe out the information on a hard drive, tie up traffic on a computer network for hours, turn an innocent machine into a zombie and replicate and send themselves to other computers. If you’ve never had a machine fall victim to a computer virus, you may wonder what the fuss is about. But the concern is understandable — according to Consumer Reports, computer viruses helped contribute to $8.5 billion in consumer losses in 2008 [source: MarketWatch]. Computer viruses are just one kind of online threat, but they’re arguably the best known of the bunch.


Computer virus

 

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Uninstalling and Installing AntiVirus Software…

Antivirus software are complex programs designed to identify, neutralize or eliminate malicious content that invade your computer.  Many people over a period of time will change from one brand of antivirus software to another.  Antivirus software is big business and today there are many flavors and options available. 

For example; There are (3)-three “FREE (for personal use)” reputable antivirus packages that are widely recognized (see below).  I prefer any one of these over the major brand antivirus software packages due they are light on system resources, and are not bloated.   As a matter of fact, I cannot remember ever having a commercial (paid for) version of an antivirus program on any of my computers at home.  

 

Avast

 

Avira AntiVir

 

AVG

The points of this article is to educate you to the fact that there are FREE antivirus software options available and that follow-up research may be required to “completely” uninstall (remove) antivirus software from your system in the event you desire to install another antivirus program.

Antivirus software, when running on your system, is hooked into many areas (i.e. registry, file system, resident memory, etc…) and uninstalling it can leave debris behind that can cause other systemic issues.  Antiviruses are like viruses; they can be hard to get rid of…  To prove my point, I researched (9)-nine antivirus programs and found that every one of them had supplemental removal instructions or tools, in addition to following the typical Add/Remove console process found in Windows. I have listed the sites below for convenience and reference.  During this research I also found that locating this information was often buried deep in their sites and was not readily accessible.

Antivirus Programs
Uninstall Information & Links


Norton Removal Tool – The Norton Removal Tool uninstalls all Norton 2009/2008/2007/2006/2005/2004/2003 products, Norton 360 and Norton SystemWorks 12.0 from your computer. If you use ACT! or WinFAX, back up those databases before you proceed.

McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool (MCPR.exe) – uninstall or reinstall supported McAfee consumer products using the McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool (MCPR.exe)

Avast! uninstall utility – Sometimes it´s not possible to uninstall avast! the standard way – using the ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS in control panel. In this case, you can use our uninstallation utility aswClear.

Avira AntiVir -Normally the Avira Registry Cleaner removes all entries that were created by AntiVir. In this way, it prepares your system for the installation of a new AntiVir version.

BitDefender Uninstall Tool – There are two methods of uninstalling BitDefender from your computer: using the system tools and using the special uninstall tool provided by BitDefender.

Kaspersky’s Antivirus Removal Tool – Some errors might occur when deleting Kaspersky Anti-Virus product via Start > Control Panel > Add\Remove Programs. As a result the program will not be uninstalled or will be partially uninstalled.  The removal tool is required to remove a variety of their products.

F-Secure Internet Security (and antivirus) – Should you decide to uninstall, F-Secure does not provide its own uninstaller. You must use the Microsoft uninstaller found in Add and Remove Programs within the Command Console. After a reboot we found no Registry files, but we did find several program and log files in an F-Secure directory tree on the root drive.

Trend Micro Antivirus –  Trend Micro Support to remove Trend Antivirus plus AntiSpyware from my computer?

AVG – Open the directory with AVG Free Edition installed in and run the SETUP.EXE file or download the current installation file of AVG Free Edition from here and run it to start installation process. A window with following options will be displayed during the installation process: Add/Remove Components, Repair installation or Uninstall

 

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“WOT” is NEW…

Recently I posted an article “WOT to trust; WOT not to trust…” which highlighted the “FREE” internet security addon for your browser called WOT (Web of Trust).  WOT is a FREE downloadable browser add-on for Internet Explorer and Firefox that will warn you when you are about to interact with a risky web site.  If you desire to see how WOT works, [Click Here] to see a demo.

WOT - Web of Trust

Today I received exciting news from WOT headquarters that a new feature has been added:

WOT has added the top three web-based email services – Google Gmail, Windows Live Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail, to its free security protection. WOT checks links embedded in email and warns users of dangerous websites to help them avoid spyware, spam, phishing, identity theft and other Internet scams, before they risk clicking.  A demo is provided below to show you how WOT can protect you in Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail:


 

[Click Here to see the PRESS RELEASE]

 

If you have not done so, I strongly urge you to take advantage of the WOT addon and the protection it provides.

  • WOT has been downloaded by over 1.8 million users
  • Information on over 20.7 million websites
  • Based on WOT statistics, 1 out of 20 sites is dangerous
  • WOT users can contribute by rating and commenting on websites
  • WOT partners with a number of trusted sources, such as PhishTank, TRUSTe, hpHosts, DNS-BH Malware Domain list and Artists Against 419

GET IT HERE - WOT

 

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Threat Analysis of Security Related Risks…

Have you ever wondered where the security threats (such as viruses, worms, trojans, adware, spyware, etc.), we are exposed to, are being generated from?  I recently visited a site called ThreatExpert that specializes in the analysis of computer security related risks and how those threats are distirbuted; and from what origin (Country).  As of the date of this post, the percentage of threats captured for analysis came from the following Countries:

ThreatExpert

China – 31.6%
Russian Federation – 23.77%
United States – 7.79%
Brazil – 6.77%
United Kingdom – 5.53%
Ukraine – 5.02%
Spain – 4.02%

Threat Expert

ThreatExpert (patent pending) is an advanced automated threat analysis system (ATAS) designed to analyze and report the behavior of computer viruses, worms, trojans, adware, spyware, and other security-related risks in a fully automated mode.

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The Underbelly of the Internet – Antivirus 2009 (removal help)…

I am getting sporadic reports from friends of getting the uninvited rogue “Antivirus 2009” anti-spyware program on their computers. From what I can find, the “Antivirus 2009” is usually spread via a ZLOB/MediaAccess Codec installer usually found on adult sites, in shady torrent downloads, and from what I call the underbelly of the internet. If you are one to cruise the underbelly, you better be prepared for the consequences. It is not to say there is the possibility infection can occur from what appears to be legitimate means; but the underbelly of the internet is usually the carrier and promoter of these rogue packages. These forms of infection carry what is called a “Trojan” that is basically installed on your computer and disguised as system notifications that lead to websites with rogue anti-spyware and anti-virus programs. If you are seeing random pop-ups prompting you to do system scans and showing results that your system is infected with spyware, etc., then you’ve been had. Do not let desperation get the best of you where you end up using your credit card to purchase of the “rogue” software. Again, it goes back to the old premise, “believe nothing and verify everything”; including the removal sources for these type of malware applications. I strongly advise that if you get infected, do not make any online purchases where you are typing in personal information, such as credit card numbers, etc… The “Trojan”, as I mentioned earlier can or could contain a keylogger which could record and send out every keystroke you make. I do not put anything past these rogue packages. If you do get infected, research the problem, preferably on a clean machine AND, if possible, get someone to help you… These infections are difficult to remove and are usually bundled with so much other malware, that traditional antispyware or antivirus programs have difficulty with completely cleaning these infections. Even a seasoned tech person will tell you these packages are a nightmare and it is not uncommon to do a complete rebuild on the computer.

Research information and Removal Assistance (click on links below):

SmitFraudFix – A tool created to remove rogue anti-spyware applications that utilize Trojans to issue fake taskbar security alerts or that change your background in order to scare you into purchasing the full commercial version of their software..  This is a specialized tool was created in order to help a user clean their system of these infections.

Bill Mullin’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts – Bill, a seasoned blogger and information technology expert, recently posted an article on (VirusResponse Lab 2009) – Removal Solutions which describes a similar circumstance as the Antivirus 2009. Further down in Bill’s blog post you will find additional removal sources.

Tech – for Everyone – Another blogging site that is an excellent resource, with numerous posts, which describes and teaches you what to expect from the underbelly of the internet.

Spyware Techie – A techie’s take on spyware. The site specializes in identifying and providing removal solutions for numerous of these rogue carriers.

 

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Spyware Techie

 

Spyware Techie

Have you ever experienced one of those rogue anti-spyware or anti-virus programs designed by hackers to take your money in return for a useless program.  I’m talking about those “no-name programs” that hijack your system, keeps popping up, and just won’t go away. Some of these programs actually appear very professional and will even emulate some of the Microsoft  Security Center software. Most users are taken in by this and end up infecting their systems. Removal, most often, is very difficult… If you do get hijacked or infected, hit the “Spyware Techie” site to research your problem. Spyware Techie is “A techie’s take on Spyware”. The site is stacked full of information and removal instructions for many of these rogue packages. Also, some advice that I was given many years ago when I first entered into the Information Technology world; “Believe Nothing and Verify Everything“…

Beware when the dog barks…

WinPatrolis one piece of software on my PC that I will not do without. It is basically my first line of defense against any critical changes made to my computer without my permission. After you install WinPatrol you will notice a little black “Scotty” dog in the system tray. That is confirmation that “Scotty” is on patrol. If any changes occur to the computer (i.e. hijackings, malware attacks, etc.), Scotty will actually bark and a dialogue box will appear alerting you that a change is about to take place AND what or where the change is occurring. You then have an option of accepting the change or not. Keep in mind, some of the things that Scotty alerts you to may be OK (i.e. software installs). WinPatrol can also be used to monitor, stop and control Windows services, detect and review new auto-startup programs and monitor IE home and search pages. I have been using WinPatrol on my computer for years. I highly recommend this software. There is a FREE version as well as a PLUS version. WinPatrol is coded By Bill Pytlovany, who also maintains a blog called “BillP Studios Spyware Blog” (click here).

[WinPatrol – GET IT HERE]

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