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

June 25, 2015

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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Microsoft’s Malware Center Flags The Older Versions Of The “Ask Toolbar” As Malware

June 13, 2015

I have been on numerous computers over the years and the Ask Toolbar always seems to find a way (usually through trickery) to install itself on people’s computers. Well, there is some good news and it is from Microsoft…

Microsoft recently flagged the older versions of the Ask Toolbar and is officially considering it malware. As a matter of fact, to validate this point, Windows Defender for Windows 8.1, or Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7 and Windows Vista have been engineered to detect the older versions of the Ask Toolbar and remove it.

I don’t know if a lesson has been learned here or not, by the makers of the Ask Toolbar; but, Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center states, “The latest version of this application is not detected by our objective criteria, and is not considered unwanted software”… So, what I get from this is that the new version is ok and the old version is not.

The older version, that I have personally seen on many computers, will hijack your browser and restrict or limit your control over your search provider. I have to wonder if Microsoft became aggressive with this due to the Ask Toolbar, in essence, messing with Microsoft’s own search engine (called Bing).

Either way, I recommend that you avoid installing it (or any toolbar) and be careful when installing any software that allows other third party software to piggy back its’ way onto your computer (see example below of how the Ask Toolbar is along for the ride when Java is updated and installed — unless you uncheck it).

Ask Toolbar with Java

Also, I am not a real advocate of Microsoft Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials. Both, at present, are not rated very well. You may want to consider Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium … I prefer the premium version (which has full time scanning) over the free version (which does not have full-time scanning).

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Terminate Known Malware Processes With RKill – Then Run Your Security Software

December 15, 2014

Did you ever wrestle with a Malware infection, think you have the PC cleaned; but, when you reboot the PC it comes back with a vengeance? This is where you need to have the utility by BleepingComputer.com, called RKill in your toolbox.

What RKill does is that it will attempt to terminate known malware processes.  It does not delete any files and only stops the malware processes from temporarily occurring, giving you that window of opportunity to run your security software (such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware). To learn, in detail, what RKill does and and what it doesn’t — click here

Below is what RKill looks like running, in a console screen. That console screen will continue to run until it RKill has finished. Once finished, the box will close and a log will be displayed showing all of the processes that were terminated by RKill and while RKill was running.

RKill

RKill just kills 32-bit and 64-bit malware processes and scans the registry for entries that would not allow you to run various legitimate programs. When scanning the Registry, Rkill will search for malicious Image File Execution Objects, DisallowRuns entries, executable hijacks, and policies that restrict your use of various Windows utilities. When changing Windows Registry entries it will create a backup of these entries and save them in the rkill folder on your desktop. Each registry backup will contain a time stamp so that the backups are not overwritten on subsequent runs of Rkill. For a list of changes in Rkill, please see the change log at the bottom of this post.

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A Free AppRemover Utility To Uninstall Antivirus and Security Software, Public File Sharing Applications, Toolbars and MORE

December 4, 2014

AppRemover is a must have utility to have around if you decide to swap out your antivirus or malware software on your computer.

It is important to know that security software installs, such as antivirus and malware software, are very complex in nature; and, if not uninstalled properly can wreak havoc to a PC. Typically, most developers of Security software will provide an uninstaller that you can download from their site; however, most people do not know or think about that. An easy option for removal of security type software is AppRemover.

AppRemover

AppRemover supports the removal of a boat load of applications – see here…  AppRemover is a standalone (portable) application that you simply download and run. You can download AppRemover – from here.

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Be Ready For When The Cybercriminal That Misrepresents Microsoft Calls You

November 17, 2014

I want to start off this post by stating something I tell people, especially the elderly, who came from a generation that trusted other people.

“If you receive an unsolicited telephone call, whether it be a charity, a politician, an alarm company, your grandson is locked up in a jail in Canada, etc… where the caller is wanting money, PLEASE disconnect the call”.

What I am finding is once you get hooked by these calls you are placed on a call list that is sold to others AND the calls will perpetuate into more calls. It is like getting spammed by telephone and it gets so bad that you do not know what is real and what is not. My general rule of thumb is, when I get a phone call at my house and there is a delay of 3 seconds, GUESS WHAT? You just got disconnected.

 

One of my favorite blogging sites is TCAT Shelbyville – Technical Blog. Recently they posted an article (that I reblogged) titled, “No, you are not a Microsoft employee, no I don’t have a virus and by the way, you are definitely talking to the wrong people” that really hit home with me personally. I actually know several people, including members of my immediate family, where this fraudulent activity occurred.

The fraudulent activity I refer to is where a person (usually with a foreign accent) will randomly call you and tell you that they are a Microsoft Tech and will offer to fix your computer problems or sell you a software license. They will convince you into taking over your computer remotely and then they will go to work attempting one or all of the following:

  • Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
  • Convince you to visit legitimate websites (like http://www.ammyy.com) to download software that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
  • Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
  • Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there

After reading the TCAT-Shelbyville article, I started wondering if Microsoft is aware that they are being misrepresented in this manner. What I discovered is that they do know and actually have a page up on their Safety & Security Site that focuses specifically on this matter. I strongly encourage you to visit Microsoft and read, “Avoid Tech Support Phone Scams” where you will learn the following:

  • Telephone tech support scams: What you need to know
  • How to protect yourself from telephone tech support scams
  • What to do if you already gave information to a tech support person
  • Will Microsoft ever call me?

How to report this crime:

The CyberCriminals that initiate these calls know that most people will not report the crime. I suggest that if you are victim of a call such as this, especially if you find your credit card has been compromised, that you report the matter to the local authorities and contact your credit card company immediately to be issued another card.

Microsoft also encourages you to contact them, as well:

Whenever you receive a phone call or see a pop-up window on your PC and feel uncertain whether it is from someone at Microsoft, don’t take the risk. Reach out directly to one of their technical support experts dedicated to helping you at the Microsoft Answer Desk. Or you can simply call Microsoft at 1-800-426-9400 or one of their customer service phone numbers for people located around the world.

Report phone scams 

In the United States, use the FTC Complaint Assistant form.

In Canada, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can provide support.

In the United Kingdom, you can report fraud as well as unsolicited calls.

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Malware Herd Protection For Your PC

October 11, 2014

What is that old saying, “there is strength in numbers?”… Malware is the leading cause to computer problems today that is also criminal in nature. What I have discovered over the years that no single anti-malware or anti-virus program can give you protection 100 percent of the time.

This is where the cloud sourced program called herdProtect can help, as your second line of defense against malware, by providing strength in numbers. herdProtect utilizes a ‘herd’ of multiple online anti-malware engines (68 engines to be exact) to guarantee the widest coverage and the earliest possible detection. As a second line of defense anti-malware solution, herdProtect is designed to run with any existing anti-virus program already installed on a user’s PC. herdProtect is a free service to help user’s find and remove malicious software; and, is an excellent resource to run, after an infection, when you think you have a computer cleaned of malware using your own anti-malware software. herdProtect is available as a full windows install or can be downloaded and run as a portable app.

herdProtect - Anti-Malware

The herdProtect scanning engine works by monitoring the active objects (processes, modules, drivers, etc.) on a user’s PC as well as the hundreds of auto-start execution points (ASEPs). As new objects such as processes become active in the system, herdProtect will use a secured network tunnel to scan the object for malware against the engines of the top 68 anti-malware scanners. By scanning in the cloud all processor intensive activities are performed independent of the user’s PC. Depending on the aggregate results of the scan, the user can then take the appropriate actions and keep their PC free from any known malware threats.

 


GEEK SQUEAKS – Use Windows 8.1’s Quick Access Menu To Shutdown Windows

March 5, 2014

What gets me about Windows 8 and 8.1 is that you have to go on an Easter egg hunt to find the most basic of functions that we commonly use in Windows. I really think Microsoft has a lost sight of what the end user’s needs are and have never heard of the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid).

For example, anyone who has not experienced Windows 8 or 8.1 will immediately discover that they cannot easily find a shutdown button in order to turn the computer “off”. Recently I set up a Windows 8 box for my parents and I ended up creating a shutdown button on the taskbar so that they would not have to go digging for this function. To the home based end user, these sort of things can be a challenge.

For others out there, in an effort to help you out…  If you have upgraded to Windows 8.1, the easiest way to get to the Shutdown or Signout options, is to right mouse click on the Start Button which is located in the bottom left corner of the screen (or on the very left side of the task bar at the bottom of the screen). If you are not seeing the Start Button, hover your mouse pointer in the bottom left corner and the button will appear.  When the button appears, right mouse click on the Start Menu button and a menu will pop up.  This is called the Quick Access Menu.

Quick Access Menu

One the menu pops up you will see an option for Shutdown or Sign Out; and, if you hover your mouse pointer over that option another menu will appear to the side giving you the ability to Sign Out, Sleep, Shut Down or Restart.

This may sound like a lot, but once you accomplish this feat it will become second nature; PLUS, the bonus to this you will know how to get to many other features in Windows via the Quick Access Menu such as the Control Panel, Task Manager, File Explorer, etc…

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MORE GEEK SQUEAKS
FROM AROUND THE NET

[NEWS] Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 5, 2014 – 10 Things You Need to Know About Digital Security;  FreedomPop Announces A Fully-Encrypted Smartphone For $10 A Month;  Identity Fraud: It’s Here to Stay;  How to use Chrome’s coming voice search feature today;  5 New Uses for Chromecast;  Free: Tweaking.com – Windows Repair;  Chromebooks are a revolution in Easy;  RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores;  Apple faces website blacklist in ‘misleading’ warranty claims;  VPN Users ‘Pirating’ Netflix Scare TV Networks;  Google Fixes Nearly 20 Bugs in Chrome 33… @Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

[WINDOWS] Free PC cleaner & Privacy Tool – PrivaZer a privacy tool and PC cleaner. It’s free and easy… @PrivaZer

[HARDWARE] WD My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 with Auto and Cloud Backup – My Passport Ultra portable hard drive features WD SmartWare Pro backup software that lets you back up to the drive itself or use Dropbox to back up to the cloud. Move files quickly with the blazing speed of USB 3.0 connectivity. Keep your data private with password protection and hardware encryption… @AMAZON

[ANDROID] USA Today – The nation’s news from USA TODAY is accessible 24/7 on your Android phone or tablet. Staying informed has never been this quick, easy or enjoyable… @Google Play

[NEWS] Porn Dethroned as Top Source of Mobile Malware – Pornography is no longer the leading source of malware on mobile devices, according to a new study. The non-honor now goes to Web-based ads, according to Blue Coat, a security firm that analyzed data from more than 75 million global users for a report it released Wednesday… @NBC News

[WALLPAPER] – CATERHAM CT03 RENAULT @wallpaperfusion

CATERHAM CT03 RENAULT

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