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’ of the Week (#47)

February 10, 2010

Due to the blizzard conditions here in Maryland, my intro for Geek Squeaks’ is a short one…  I encourage you to take advantage of Geek Squeaks’ and bookmark the sites reflected below that are maintained by some of the best bloggers on the internet.


Tweak Windows 7 with TweakNow PowerPack

TTC Shelbyville
Windows 7 Classic View

I Love Free Software
USB Safeguard: Secure Documents on Flash Drive

Worthy Tips
Shout down and wake up your PC
using Windows Mobile with WakeAndShake

Have you created your Google Profile Yet?

Canadian Tech Blogger
Facebook is 6 Years Old, 400 Million Active Users

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Blogging with windows live writer 6

TuneUp Blog
How to Install Windows 7 from a USB Thumb Drive

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites February 10

Tech-for Everyone
Warning! The Worst Virus Ever! (Verified by Snopes!)
Test and choose DNS server that performs best for you

Easy Poster Printer
Slices and Dices Your Posters for Standard Printers

thePC Security Router: Password, Admin List and Details

AKS-Feel the Change
How to Mute System Sound with a Hotkey

Carol’s Vault
SpeedyFox Freeware – improve Firefox startup times
How to Remove SecurePcAv

Plato On-Line
The Whiteout at the White House

Evilfantasy’s Blog
Windows Pirates Encouraged to Install Security Patches

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Free Windows 7 in a Box – Access Win 7’s Features, Settings, Programs, and Tools Instantly

What’s On My PC
Tips to making that call to Tech Support…


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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
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?

Replace Library Icons
Customizes Windows 7 Library Icons [Downloads]
Colorbrewer – excellent color schemes resource

Sugarloaf Tech
Just say no to toolbars

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

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

Winners of Google Wave Invitations Giveaway!

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

Microsoft Security Essentials A Free Anti-Virus From Microsoft

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

Domain names extensions in International scripts

TTC Shelbyville
Resize Photos Online

Tux in the Midwest
Flirting with Androids

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

November 1, 2009

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]


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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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#31)

October 7, 2009

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.

Geek Squeaks’

Plato On-Line
WHY Do We Have Sex?

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

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

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
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
CrossLoop – remote access and support software

Freeware Pharmacy

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


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

August 20, 2009

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 (#7)

April 22, 2009

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 –

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 –

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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April Fool’s Day – Conficker hot topic…

March 30, 2009

While enjoying lunch today with my parents my Mother asked me if I knew about the Conficker worm.  I nearly fell off my chair and was thinking; “Mom is becoming a techie?”.


Sometime back I did (3)-three posts on the Conficker worm:

Worm Bounty Set By Microsoft ($250,000)

Downadup (aka: Conficker, Kido) is using AutoRun
to spread “like a can of worms”…

Is your system infected by the Downadup Worm, Conficker or Kido?

I found that Mom had been following the news on the Conficker worm on one of the national TV networks. The news media is taking Conficker and really running with it. Remember hot news keeps an audience. Create a panic and they will come… Too bad they do not carry special “daily” segments on the other security threats on the internet where people are having their money and privacy taken away.

To keep you up to date, the Conficker worm virus, which has literally baffled the IT experts, has infected over 10 million PC’s worldwide since November 2008  The conficker worm takes advantage of a vulnerability in Windows that Microsoft patched back in October 2008. If your PC is patched, then do not worry.

The April 1st threat (or any date for that matter) is speculation that the network of computers, already infected by the Conficker program, will start scanning thousands of websites for a new set of malicious instructions. In essence, these computers would become part of a network of robots (called a botnet) that would execute the instructions, once received. For example, if instruction were received by 10 million computers to attack (flood with data), specific websites, it could bring the sites down and even affect the integrity of the internet.

As always, keep the software on your computer up to date; especially your Window’s updates and your system security software.


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411 for Spyware and Malware Assistance

March 20, 2009

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:


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

Browser Helper Objects
Browser Hijackers
Fake Antispyware Software
Tracking Cookies

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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Online Porn – Conservative States Biggest Users…

February 28, 2009

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!

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Porn in the USA: Conservatives Are Biggest Consumers

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

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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Worm Bounty set by Microsoft ($250,000)

February 16, 2009

Remember the Conficker worm that you recently read about here on “What’s on my PC…” [ click here ] ?  In summary, Microsoft is going on the offensive by offering a quarter of a million dollars to track down the author(s) of the Conficker worm (aka: downadup, Kido). Conficker exploits a Windows vulnerability; patched by the October ‘08 Microsoft security update. If you had your PC configured to receive Microsoft updates automatically, you would have received the patch (or fix) this past October.  Numerous reports are indicating that, as many as, 10 million PC’s have been infected.  Being a former IT Manager, I have to wonder how many business and government entities were standing with their pants down on this one.  No excuse in missing Windows updates, on the business or government level, in my opinion.

Wanted Conficker Worm

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Microsoft Posts $250,000 Reward for PC Hackers

Friday, February 13, 2009

Look out, computer hackers– there’s a new sheriff in town.

Microsoft announced Thursday that it had placed a $250,000 bounty on the heads of the developers and distributors of a nasty computer virus that’s been worming its way worldwide for months.

Known as the Conficker (a pun on “configure” and a four-letter German swear word) or Downadup worm , the virus has infected at least 10 million Windows-based computers since it first appeared in October. It’s forced the British and French navies to take some systems offline.

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Is your system infected with the Downadup Worm, Conficker or Kido?

January 17, 2009

I cannot stress enough, the importance of maintaining and managing your Window’s Updates or any software for that matter…  Microsoft normally issues patches or fixes on the second Tuesday of each month; however, in this case (reflected below), due to the immediate nature of the threat, an “out of cycle” critical update was issued (back in October).  This is an example of where systems were compromised as a result of people failing to update their systems.  If you updated you should be fine; if not, it is recommended you install the October update, then run the January edition of the MSRT to clean up compromised computers.

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Researcher: Worm infects 1.1M Windows PCs in 24 hours

January 14, 2009 (Computerworld) The computer worm that exploits a months-old Windows bug has infected more than a million PCs in the past 24 hours, a security company said today.

Early Wednesday, Helsinki, Finland-based security firm F-Secure Corp. estimated that 3.5 million PCs have been compromised by the “Downadup” worm, an increase of more than 1.1 million since Tuesday.

The worm, which several security companies have described as surging dramatically during the past few days, exploits a bug in the Windows Server service used by all supported versions of Microsoft Corp.‘s operating system, including Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008.

Microsoft issued an emergency patch in late October, fixing the flaw with one of its rare “out of cycle” updates.

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

October 16, 2008

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.