Microsoft Edge Browser To Get Extensions Support — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-012)

March 21, 2016

Microsoft Edge Browser To Get Extensions Support – If you use Google Chrome or Firefox, then you are familiar with browser extensions that extend the functionality of the browser. Microsoft recently announced that they have shipped the first preview release of Microsoft Edge with extensions support to Windows Insiders. Microsoft Edge is the browser that we see in Windows 10. To us at home, we will not see this just yet. I am also reading in various places where Microsoft is working on a tool that will let developers port Chrome extensions to Microsoft Edge… READ MORE

Microsoft Edge

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

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytyes Anti-Malware

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Launch Your Windows Desktop Like An iPad – How would you like to double click on your Windows desktop and a program (or shortcut) launcher appears that allows you to customize and launch your favorite programs, apps, files, folders or web URLs? If so, you need to take a look at PaperPlane. I have always loved program launchers and this one is no exception. PaperPlane Smart Launch is a free launcher program (shortcut manager) which enables you to launch your desktop like an iPad. If you are familiar with Mac OS Launchpad, you could say that it’s a better Launchpad just for your Windows. It enables you to quickly access your most used apps, open a recent file, visit a website URL, play your favorite game, or open any shortcut etc, in one place.

PaperPlane

PaperPlane

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A Best Seller Portable Hard Drive – Looking for a way to safeguard your personal files? The WD 2TB Black My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive (w/USB 3.0) may be the solution you are looking for. I currently use a similar Western Digital portable drive to backup my personal files that I then transport and store offsite (away from my home) — READ MORE

WD 2TB Black My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive

WD 2TB Black My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive

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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.

 


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