On-Line PC Safety

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by SpiritualMadMan, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. SpiritualMadMan

    SpiritualMadMan
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    I saw where a user had been hit with a Virus and thought it might be a good idea to revisit PC and On-Line safety Issues?

    Just a note: You need to be very careful about following Links in e-mails or on Yahoo Messenger, or Facebook (Or any of the other Social Networking Sites.)

    My wife and I started out both using SEP11.0...

    Somewhere she went zapped SEP and I have tried everything short of reformating the hard drive to get SEP11.0 reinstalled.

    She is now using aVast Free.

    But, again she got one of those fake ransomware Virus tools because she followed a link somewhere... "Your PC Could Be Infected!" (Please follow our link so we can infect your machine and demand ransom!)

    That was the hardest to remove and took literally tens of hours to finally get rid of without losing all her passwords, etc. Safe Mode, Folder Searches, Manual Registry Edits... Etc...

    Rules:
    1. Unless you absolutely know the person sending the e-mail... Delete it without readinging...

    (Even if you know the person sending the e-mail, they make have a trojan that is using their mailing list...)

    2. Even if you know the person sending the e-mail if the subject line doesn't "fit" them, delete the message and e-mail them separately and ask them if they sent such and such and e-mail and if they did to resend it.

    3. Use a Pop-Up Blocker! IE8 comes with one.

    4. Do not arbitrarily follow any links unless you absolutely know where it's taking you.

    (Note: Yahoo search includes warnings in it's search results if a site has been know to offer or have malicious downloads. Google does NOT. So, if you are not all that PC Literate use Yahoo vs Google or the others.)

    ? More ?
     
  2. SpiritualMadMan

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    Follow-On...

    There has been another rash of Greeting Card trojans. So, you may want to be extra wary about opening On-Line Greeting Cards... Even from friends, because it's usually the site that's infected not your friends.
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Invest in an Apple
     
  4. preacher4truth

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    Apples are prone to attacks also.

    Put this in your favorites: pcsafety.us

    There are many free tools to use there to rid your PC of problems.

    My wife and I have had issues in the past with viruses. PCsafety.us has solved may of them. Probably all of them. Since then we've used kaspersky internet security, and we've had no issues.

    We've tried a couple others, but kaspersky has seemed to work best for us.

    Also, microsoft.com has a totally free anti-virus software. IE9 has been very solid too.
     
  5. exscentric

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    "Invest in an Apple " Be sure to pay great attention to that first word! :laugh:
     
  6. annsni

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    We've been on the internet from the very early days and have never had a virus despite not having any anti-virus software. We have accomplished this by:

    Never opening links in e-mails.

    Never trust an e-mail even if it's from someone you know. If hubby sends me an e-mail with pictures or links or whatever, I'll call him and tell him what I got to see if it's from him. I won't even open anything from him without checking!

    Watch what you link through on websites. Only visit legit websites.

    Have one administrator and have the computer set up so that only the one administrator can download things - password protected. I can't even update my software without getting hubby to put in his password - which I do not know.

    It DOES help that my hubby is a computer engineer and is very knowledgeable regarding computers. It's made a big difference. :)

    OH - and the Apple comment? FULLY agree. Get Macs.
     
  7. billwald

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    If I did on line banking I would buy a cheap computer and ONLY use it for on line banking. It would be deductible.
     
  8. Trotter

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    Microsoft Security Essentials is free as long as you have a legit copy of Windows. It is small and works very well, getting top marks amond anti-viruses.

    Ann's words about how she watches out holds true, but many legit sites have been compromised recently and infected with malware, even through paid advertisements.

    Oh, and you can keep your Macs. I only bow to One and that ain't Steve Jobs and his ego. ;)
     
  9. Baptist Believer

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    Except that there has not been a single virus for Mac OS X observed in the wild since the release of the operating system on March 24, 2001.

    Not one.

    And few Mac owners run anti-virus software... it just hasn't been needed.
     
  10. Baptist Believer

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    So you bow to Steve Ballmer and his sweaty ego?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ugh.
     
  11. Don

    Don
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    http://www.sophos.com/pressoffice/news/articles/2006/02/macosxleap.html

    http://www.theshootingrange.net/1490/apple-vs-windows-debunking-the-myth-macs-dont-get-viruses.php

    http://coding.drewcorp.ca/news/computer-myths/

    http://www.betanews.com/article/Macs-dont-get-viruses-myth-dissolves-before-publics-eyes/1251493625

    http://antivirus.about.com/od/macintoshresource/tp/macvirusfaqs.htm


    Care to re-visit your viewpoint?
     
  12. preacher4truth

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    Wow, that's different from what this report says:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12537279/
     
  13. Trotter

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    I ignore Monkey Boy for the most part as he is an idiot in many ways. ;) I use Windows 7 but am not afraid to cut loose with Linux. I build my own computers from the parts that I choose, not what Balmer says I must run, and most definitely not what Jobs' clerics declare is the current incarnation.

    My biggest problem with Apple is the fanboyism/elitism of many who own Macs and other Apple products. Anything that is designed by a single company from the ground up to work together is going to work. The Apple OS is designed to work solely on Apple's stuff and thus can be designed very specifically. I have no problem whatsoever with that. But when the claims start flying as did above... well, that gets my hackles up a bit.

    I run a tech site and can tell you that people have problems with Macs, too. Most of the time the answer is to take it to Apple as they are not something you can open up and work on like most PCs. Even those who know Macs will tell people to take it in to an Apple store because of this.
     
  14. Baptist Believer

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    Let's see... this comes from an anti-virus company, who makes its living from selling anti-virus software, who can't decide between the title and subtitle whether it is a virus or worm. Furthermore, the article tries to make the case that the malware (actually a trojan horse, in the "tarball" format (tgz) no less, which requires the user to enter an administrator password to install and run) is somehow a virus by redefining the definition of a virus. If that's a virus, then there is no hope of protecting any computer system since the user is actually bypassing all system protections to install the malware.

    Makes the old, tired argument that Macintoshes don't get viruses because not many people have them. That just doesn't cut it anymore. Furthermore, because of Apple's reputation for security, there's extra incentive for hackers and virus-builders to create viruses for the Macs as a point of pride.

    The U.S. military has studied these issues carefully and has moved a number of highly secure systems to Macintosh to provide extra security.

    And by the way, did you notice that the article couldn't provide one example of a virus for the Macintosh?

    The article makes two assertions:

    1) The Pwn2Own Hacking Challenge - If you research these challenges, you will know that the hackers plan their attacks for months and write software ti do the job, so having someone hack "in 5 seconds" is fairly irrelevant information since the work has often taken months. It is merely the running of the software that takes 5 seconds. Furthermore, this is a "hack to own" event where people are competing to own the hardware they hack. Apple is likely going to be the first to be breached because most people want to Apple hardware over Windows hardware because of it's value.

    I could say more about this, but the writer of the piece makes a legitimate point. There is no system that is invulnerable under the right circumstances. (In these hacking contests, often someone at the computer has to go to special websites, directed by the hacker, with certain configurations of software installed and running.) However, the claim was about viruses, and what is happening at the hacking challenge is not virus activity.

    2.) The writer give the foolish "obscurity" argument with the extra twist that since anti-virus software exists for the Macintosh (and sells VERY poorly, BTW), viruses for OS X must exist. Nope. That's like saying that we know the government is reading everyone's mind because some people wear tin-foil hats.

    The article's title advertises "viruses" (to get page clicks, no doubt), but goes on to talk about nothing but malware (again, software the user must install by using an administrator password) and Apple's addition of operating system enhancements to detect potential malware.

    Again, not a virus no matter what the headline claims.

    I'll just quote the article from Microsoft NBC (MSNBC):

    "most Mac infections occur as a result of user behavior (downloading Warez or counterfeit software, for example). Whereas a Windows system is easily susceptible to a so-called drive-by silent infection that happens through no fault of the user, a Mac infection usually requires some deliberate (and thus avoidable) action."
    ...
    "[Are there any real Mac viruses out there?] Some try to answer this question literally, based on the strict definition of 'virus' - i.e. malicious software that infects other files. But the term 'virus' is used much more loosely these days and in that context refers to malicious software in general (or what the industry terms 'malware')."

    This article fairly and honestly points out that the word virus, in popular usage, has been loosened up in recent years to include malware, which makes the word almost meaningless. No anti-virus software can protect against malware without crippling your system's ability to run the software you select.

    The article hints at "real" viruses for the Mac OS X operating system, but doesn't name any. That's because there have been no Mac OS X viruses ever encountered in the wild.

    I absolutely stand by it. I've been hearing this foolishness about OS X for nearly a decade. I've had Windows computers at work during that entire time and even though we have a large IT department, Sophos software, and way too many things locked down, we still get viruses from time to time on computers in the network. On the other hand, I have not had a single virus successfully attack my system (although I've receive countless examples from Windows friends).

    That may change, but it is true at this point.
     
  15. Baptist Believer

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    Yes, Microsoft NBC is apparently reporting the same "virus" (malware) that was reported in the first article that Don cited.

    It's not a virus.

    The user had to select the software, install it using an administrator password, and then run it.

    No one can protect against the stupidity of a user who bypasses all security with the administrator password.
     
  16. Baptist Believer

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    So true. :laugh:

    This may surprise you, but I think Windows 7 is actually a pretty good operating system. Microsoft has taken quite a few good ideas from Mac OS X and implemented them in Windows, and then added a few good ideas of their own.

    I've been using Windows 7 for about two months now and, aside from recurring blue-screens of death (which many be related to a bad motherboard that was swapped out about two weeks ago), it has been a huge improvement over XP.

    I still strongly prefer OS X for lots of reasons, but Windows 7 is not too bad.

    Sure. Some people prefer the hands-on approach. I'm not a hobbyist anymore, like I was back in the early 1980s when I bought my first computer in 1981. I use them to make a living, so I just need them to work and get out of my way so I can do the creative things.

    Yeah, that's a "people problem" though, not the products. There are a lot of Windows jerks too.

    Yep. That's Apple's biggest advantage with usability. It's a different philosophy than Microsoft. Microsoft's philosophy has made many people very wealthy, but I think it will be a failure as a long-term strategy unless they get innovative.

    Yep. Never made the claim that they didn't. However, Consumer Reports and other independent assessment assert that Apple leads the industry in reliability and customer support for their products.

    I've owned a number of tower Macs and have replaced components on them (hard drives, video cards, memory) and well as added hardware (USB cards, memory, additional hard drives, firewire cards, and a processor upgrade).

    We now have an iMac, so I'm a bit more restricted regarding what I can do. However, I have had Apple give me new equipment out of their stock at the Apple Store from time-to-time when I've had failures. Essentially, I go home with new stuff. I can't complain about that!
     
  17. Don

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    This is considered "niggling." A term "computer virus" has morphed over the last 5 years or so to include malware, trojans, worms, and others.

    Not really; what's the point of creating a virus if it doesn't give me any return on investment?

    Um, sorry; been in the military for 23 years; spent the last 14 years as a communications/computer officer. We don't use Macs. Every once in a while, we have some high muckety-muck that wants special consideration to have his personal Mac attached to the network; we make him fill out the appropriate paperwork, and then we don't support him if anything happens to it.

    Not sure what your point is here; no hacker sits down and writes a piece of virus code in 5 seconds or 5 minutes. They take whatever time they need to code it before releasing. So if anything, you're validating what the article says.

    1) Why does it sell poorly? Because someone keeps telling people they don't need it? Because there are free alternatives?

    2) Does OSX/Puper exist? Yes. Does OSX/RSPlug.A exist? Yes. Even though they are most technically considered "trojans," they fall into the over-arching class of viruses.

    3) Are there very few Mac viruses in existence? Yes; but it only takes 1 to infect a system, doesn't it?

    Unfortunately, the computer industry does not agree with you. Feel free to Google the definition of "computer virus," and see how many responses include worms, trojans, and even malware as "virus."

    For the sake of space, I'll stop there.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!
     
  18. Don

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    To your final statement: You are correct.

    To your statement that "it's not a virus": the code implemented the chat messaging program to send replications of itself to 10 other users. That is most definitely the definition of "virus."
     
  19. Baptist Believer

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    Not niggling if there is a real difference. Just like someone broadening the definition of "Christian" to include Mormons and JWs doesn't change the reality of the situation.

    Okay, let's play by the new definition of things... I'll restate my position:

    You don't have to worry about passively picking up viruses on Mac OS X like you do with Windows. Only if you do foolish things like intentionally run applications that require the administrator password will you possibly encounter problems on the Mac. However with Windows systems, you don't have to be foolish to get a virus. Your system can get infected passively, without your knowledge that anything has happened until it is too late. Fortunately Windows 7 has improved this somewhat.

    So, if you're not foolish and you run Mac OS X, you're highly unlikely to ever be affected by a virus. Virus protection software is essentially unnecessary.


    How's that?

    Bragging rights among other things. And what's this about "any return" on investment? You act as if almost no one runs OS X.

    http://www.forbes.com/2007/12/20/apple-army-hackers-tech-security-cx_ag_1221army.html

    The point I am making is that it takes more than 5 seconds to break into a Mac. The article made it sound like someone just sat down and cracked it without any preparation.

    Because it's unneeded. Most people buy Macs because they know someone who has a Mac and one of the selling points is that they are very secure. If there were a rash of viruses, anti-virus would sell.

    Only if you change the definitions. You don't passively get infected by them. You have to act stupidly for it to damage your system.

    Sure, but if you're going to play the numbers game, then you would be a fool to use Windows. The simple fact it that almost all viruses and malware are written for Windows (whatever reason you would like to cite for it).
     

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