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Friday, November 30, 2012

Beware of Hackers and Scammers

Lately, lots of my friends have been getting more and more viruses into their computers. The viruses range from simple ones attacking internet browsers for ads to completely disabling a computer from accessing any program including the Windows task manager.

One of my relatives caught a terrible virus earlier today that mimicked an anti-virus software and was trying to have her pay for coverage to rid her of an infection. I tried using Ctrl+Alt+Del and Ctrl+Shift+Esc to bring up the task manager yet it would not start. A notification in the Vista toolbar would appear saying that it was infected with an infection and needs to fixed with the fake anti-virus software named System Progressive Control or something like that.

This was all due to downloading an attachment from a fake e-mail from someone spoofing an e-mail address belonging to the IRS and her not having a sufficient anti-virus software to seek the problem and fix it.

Make sure that you have some sort of working anti-virus program installed on your computer. That is key in prevention. A good defense makes a great offense especially in this situation. My anti-virus software alerts me to any and all attacks on my computer, even doing so yesterday with a Trojan virus.

Be careful what websites you visit. Pornographic websites are notorious for carrying files with viruses as well as many gossip websites. You can take precautions by either not visiting these sites or visiting them in safe environments. A safe environment can be:
-using a different operating system like Linux, Android, or another OS than the one that you use for the majority of your internet use
-using things like trusted proxy servers (if not trusted, it can have negative effects)
-using an account on your computer, like the Guest account, that doesn't have administrative rights (without administrative rights, it is near impossible for things to be downloaded or installed)
-only visiting websites that you trust
-monitoring anti-virus programs and allowing them to download updates and perform random scans of your computer

Try avoiding most used anti-virus programs or ones that come with your computer, are third party (not from Microsoft or whoever manufactures your computer) and are pre-installed when you buy/format it. These are typically the anti-virus programs that virus-creators target when trying to take control of your system.

Be safe and cautious. Don't just download everything and use every program recommended to you. Google is your friend, use it to research. Research can be as simple as searching for a program's name or a download file's name in a search engine like Google. Chances are that most viruses have been used on others and others have sought help within online forums for guidance.

The creation and use of viruses has skyrocketed lately as the economy declines and people look into making money in the most deceptive ways they can. Be alert and mindful.

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