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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Second Testing Cycle In A Row – Microsoft Security Essentials Has Failed Certification As An Effective Security Application

January 17, 2013

The title of this post tells it all; AND, as a matter of fact it is a direct quote from Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts where his article “Microsoft Security Essentials – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – But, It’s Over; You’re Gone” quickly opened my sleepy eyes this morning.

Microsoft Security Essentials – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – But, It’s Over; You’re Gone

I had been reading inklings here and there where Microsoft Security Essentials (also called Microsoft Defender on Windows 8) has been faltering here of late and I shrugged it off, thinking the software giant was on top of it; however, Bill’s article was the kick in the butt that I needed.

It is really concerning to me that my main level defense on my PC may be lacking and further concerning (and a lesson to be learned) that even the giant can have weaknesses.  As a matter of fact, I can remember many, many, many, many moon’s ago where Microsoft developed their own antivirus software and they eventually dropped the product. I sure hope that we are not heading in that direction again and history is going to repeat itself.

After reading Bill’s article, I have decided to take his advice and take a look at AVG AntiVirus Free 2013. When I was managing a network, years back, AVG was my antivirus (and anti-malware) software of choice; however, AVG even took a dip there for awhile; BUT, they are back in full tilt, as Bill’s article will highlight.

As blogger’s we can make a difference and I am sure once Microsoft starts to see these articles, we may see a change that will open the sleepy eyes of the giant.

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NEW Version of Microsoft Security Essentials

April 25, 2012

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’ (#57) – Awesome Flash Drive, Microsoft Security Essentials, DVD Cloning and Fun, Microsoft Photo Gallery Features, and Moving Your Blog

October 14, 2011

SanDisk Cruzer 8 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive
Take it all with you – on reliable USB flash drives

Cruzer Flash Drive

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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

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Windows Live Photo Gallery

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Geek Squeaksof the Week (#64)

June 16, 2010

Where does the week go? It is time for another round of Geek Squeaks’; a premier listing of tech links to articles that are crafted by the members of the What’s On My PC blogroll. If you are into information technology and computers, then it is highly recommended that you bookmark and follow these sites. I will guarantee you that you will walk away learning something that you did not know. For example, pictured is the ultimate tech beach chair to kick back and read Geek Squeaks’…

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
For Added Internet Protection – Virtualize Your System with Free Wondershare Time Freeze

My Technology Guide
Get a Chance to Win Free License of “Handy Backup Professional” worth $99 [Contest, Giveaway

GadgetsHolic
Genos CYCLOPS universal controller

RGdot.com
Trix: Freeware Efficiency And Productivity Utility For Windows

Mr. Reiner
Why the current computer security paradigm
is analogous to fixing a leaky dam

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites June 15

Laptops Review Central
Toshiba updates Satellite Pro line

TTC Shelbyville
Protect Me!

AKS-Feel The Change
Rotate your PDF document Permanently with RotatePDF.net

AskBillFirst
Adobe reports critical flaw in Flash,
Acrobat | Security – CNET News

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Defense Center

404 Tech Support
Avoiding IT Career Burnout

Tech-for Everyone
WinPatrol PLUS License Giveaway

Plato On-Line
BP Oil Disaster: It’s Everyone’s Fault?! –edited

Worthy Tips
Turns your laptop into kids friendly gadget with Smash Key

Rarst.net
MWSnap – old but useful screenshot tool

Netbook Freeware
BatteryBar: Free Software to Monitor Battery of Netbook

Lifehacker
DIY Laptop Riser Is a Convenient Surfing-in-Bed Companion

Confessions of a Freeware Junkie
Remote Control: Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Manager

I Love Free Software
PulpTunes – Access your iTunes Library from Any PC

thePC Security
Free Sandbox Software for Best Security – Trustware BufferZone

The Internet Security Blog
Best Free Internet Security for New Malware –
Microsoft Security Essentials

Canadian Tech Blogger
Google Adds A Caffeine Boost To Its Search Index

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
Windows XP Users: End of Support Reminder

TuneUp Blog about Windows
TechEd 2010 – All About Windows Troubleshooting

What’s On My PC
The easy way to print filenames in folders…

StumbleIt

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#54)

April 7, 2010

Welcome to this weeks’ edition of Geek Squeaks’…  Each week, What’s On My PC features articles (posted within the past week) from the blogs that are associated with What’s On My PC blogroll community.  If you really want to learn more about information technology and computers, then you are at the right place.  I encourage you to visit (and bookmark) each of these sites.

image

Netbook Freeware NEW
Explore++ : Free, Multi-Tab File Manager
for Windows Netbook

HD Doctor Blog – NEW
Blog about computer repair, computer recovery, computer data backup and so on.

404 Tech Support
Hidden Easter Eggs in Software and The Security Implications

Snakebytez
Send Free SMS Worldwide with FreeSMS 1.4

TTC Shelbyville
Optimize Your Windows 7 or Windows Vista Internet Connection

I Love Free Software
Speccy – Free Software to Get Hardware Info of your System

Worthy Tips
Transform your email into physical mail using MailWriter service

TuneUp Blog About Windows
Windows XP Gets a Facelift! (Part 1) – New Boot Screens

Canadian Tech Blogger
JooJoo And HP Slate Desperately Trying To Out Win Apple iPad

Internet Security Blog
Software to Hide Computer Files & Folders – Freeware

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites April 6

Tech-for Everyone
How To Uninstall Live Messenger

Rarst.net
Prepare to wrestle computer issues unprepared

Lifehacker
CloudApp Instantly Shares Any File, Is My New Favorite Timesaver

AKS-Feel The Change
Facebook Antivirus is FAKE!

Carol’s Vault
Inbox2 – One stream for all your accounts

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Your Protection

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Download Free Microsoft Security Essentials – Kill Malware DEAD!

Right On Technology
iPad Launch Day is here!

Big Geek Daddy
How to Protect Kids Using the Internet

Blogging Fool
WordPress Version 3 To Incorporate Powerful Multi-User Functionality As Beta 1 Is Released

Plato Press
Is the iPad the End Of The Internet?

What’s On My PC
A Digital and Analog Clock Combo…

StumbleIt

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#36)

November 11, 2009

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…

StumbleIt

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