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A Friendly Reminder: Update and Run your antispyware programs!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Just a reminder to everyone to update and run your antispyware programs regularly.

I just got a call today to play tech support for a family member who didn't keep her programs updated and run frequently, and is now out $2100 because they got a hold of her account information. She's sorting it out with her bank and whatnot because it was obviously fraud and they have a guarantee to replace it. But even if you have an account with one of those "fraud free guarantee" banks, it's still better not to lose the money in the first place, right?

After updating and running her programs, she found some rather malicious things on her computer. While this will work out fine for my relative in the long run, I say an ounce of paranoia/prevention is better than a pound of cure in this situation.

If you do not have anti spyware programs installed on your computer, I have found the information at www.spywarewarrior.com helpful. They also have a list of rogue spyware software which claims to be an antispyware program, but still installs bad things on your computer. (I am in no way affiliated with spywarewarrior, I've just found them helpful.)

End of Public Service Announcement
post #2 of 20
That`s scary! Glad your relative will get this sorted.

Being quite thick when it comes to computers can I ask something? I run Norton internet security programe and I always seem to have a tracking cookie. Every time I scan it`s there and I remove it but I can do this every day and it`s back again.

Is there some way to stop it?

Also somebody told me it`s best not to get the popular brand programes because they are the ones people do nasty stuff to the most
I find it all very confusing
post #3 of 20
Thanks for the reminder!!

I got a nasty virus in January and had to reformat....Ever since then I am very diligent with my virus/antispyware/firewalls.

But in the summer, I'm so busy I sometimes forget to do scans...but I normally do every weekend!

Its very important everyone!
post #4 of 20
Norton has always been known for not being that good, I'm not that familiar with any of their current programs but I do remember a few years ago that the one that was out then had to always be patched.

It's always a good idea to run a couple of other programs to check, like adaware, avg adware scanner, even hijack this. Using a firefox with adblock will also prevent some nasty stuff lurking in java from loading.
post #5 of 20
Thanks so much for the reminder. I've been so lazy lately about 1) Installing a new virus program...McAfee sucks, had to replace it, 2) Installing a new firewall...been using Microsofts standard firewall, but it doesn't scan outgoing, and 3) password protecting my router.

Just saw your post and spent the last hour doing all three!!!

P.S. Just scanned, and thankfully I had no viruses on my computer
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffacake View Post
That`s scary! Glad your relative will get this sorted.

Being quite thick when it comes to computers can I ask something? I run Norton internet security programe and I always seem to have a tracking cookie. Every time I scan it`s there and I remove it but I can do this every day and it`s back again.

Is there some way to stop it?

Also somebody told me it`s best not to get the popular brand programes because they are the ones people do nasty stuff to the most
I find it all very confusing
Yeah Norton isn't really a favorite of mine, but if you are going to use it as an antivirus, its surely better than nothing. It has caught a few trojans trying to run on my system. Naughty viruses!

But thats viruses... For spyware, I tend to like the Ad-Aware and AVG Anti-Spyware combo. AVG says you have to buy it after 30 days, but I've found after 30 days it still works, you just have to do the updates manually. Either one of these should get rid of your tracking cookie problem... along with a bunch of others norton didn't even find.

HTH!
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isadora44 View Post
P.S. Just scanned, and thankfully I had no viruses on my computer
Yay for no viruses!

...But did you run an anti-spyware program to check for those?
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
I thought this might help too:

The difference between a virus and spyware
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuttigreeMom View Post
Yay for no viruses!

...But did you run an anti-spyware program to check for those?
Oh yeah, I checked for those too. That's just about the only thing that I've had a good program for on my computer.
post #10 of 20
Another idea to help protect you too:

A coworker of mine has 2 credit cards. One he uses everywhere else, the other he only uses on the internet. He keeps the limit at $500 for the Internet purchase credit cards because if it does get stolen, the max is at $500.

Also I always discourage using debit cards on the internet. You don't receive the same protection that you normally receive.

Is your relative certain that her credit information was stolen from the Internet? Just curious.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isadora44 View Post
Oh yeah, I checked for those too. That's just about the only thing that I've had a good program for on my computer.
Ahh good good.

Eesh I sound like an overbearing mom about this I just want everyone to practice safe internet, so I have to check
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
Is your relative certain that her credit information was stolen from the Internet? Just curious.
Most of the time I probably wouldn't know for sure, but I went through all her computer habits with her and pinpointed exactly where the problem was.

I don't want to give out too many details, but it was a combo platter of a specific notorious spyware/malware and TMI... especially given the nature of the crime and how the money was taken from her.

We then had a nice long talk about what information to use on the internet, how to do it safely, etc.. etc.. I'm hoping I got through to her.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuttigreeMom View Post
Yeah Norton isn't really a favorite of mine, but if you are going to use it as an antivirus, its surely better than nothing. It has caught a few trojans trying to run on my system. Naughty viruses!

But thats viruses... For spyware, I tend to like the Ad-Aware and AVG Anti-Spyware combo. AVG says you have to buy it after 30 days, but I've found after 30 days it still works, you just have to do the updates manually. Either one of these should get rid of your tracking cookie problem... along with a bunch of others norton didn't even find.

HTH!
Ok anouther question.

I got the Vista for dummies book. Think you can tell why
And it says in there that you shouldn`t run more than one security programe because they tend to argue with each other and cause problems.
So does that include seperate spyware programe?
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffacake View Post
Ok anouther question.

I got the Vista for dummies book. Think you can tell why
And it says in there that you shouldn`t run more than one security programe because they tend to argue with each other and cause problems.
So does that include seperate spyware programe?
Hmm.. I haven't read the book myself, so I can't be 100% sure what they're discussing, but it sounds to me like they mean combo programs like Norton Internet Security.

But that's really just a guess.

As for spyware programs, I've run quite a few of them at the same time and never had a problem. Actually I've never had less than two running at the same time and usually thats in conjunction with a firewall, an antivirus, an antispam, etc etc

HTH!
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuttigreeMom View Post
Just a reminder to everyone to update and run your antispyware programs regularly.

I just got a call today to play tech support for a family member who didn't keep her programs updated and run frequently, and is now out $2100 because they got a hold of her account information. She's sorting it out with her bank and whatnot because it was obviously fraud and they have a guarantee to replace it. But even if you have an account with one of those "fraud free guarantee" banks, it's still better not to lose the money in the first place, right?

After updating and running her programs, she found some rather malicious things on her computer. While this will work out fine for my relative in the long run, I say an ounce of paranoia/prevention is better than a pound of cure in this situation.

If you do not have anti spyware programs installed on your computer, I have found the information at www.spywarewarrior.com helpful. They also have a list of rogue spyware software which claims to be an antispyware program, but still installs bad things on your computer. (I am in no way affiliated with spywarewarrior, I've just found them helpful.)

End of Public Service Announcement

It's not only important to run anti spyware programs regularly, but it's important to take measures to protect yourself from getting such stuff to begin with. Some browsers are more prone to attracting malware than others. Internet Explorer is terrible for getting hit with malware type stuff. I use Mozilla-Firefox. Most if not all browsers and firewalls come with features that block ads and popups, it's important to learn how to use those features so that you are preventing those types of things from even reaching your computer.

The things I do to keep my computer safely protected:

1. Up-to-date AntiVirus program;
2. Up-to-date Firewall program;
3. I connect to a router;
4. I use Mozilla-Firefox and extensions https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir...cation=firefox
5. I block all internet ads with Mozilla-Firefox extensions and my Firewall;
6. I run Lavasoft Adaware daily;
7. I download and run Dr Web's Cureit once a week;
8. I run ccleaner every day;
9. I virus scan once a week;
10. I do not turn on "preview pane" in Outlook Express. How to disable preview pane
11. I never, ever, ever open an email from anyone that I am not expecting one from. I'm not only talking about the attachments, but the email itself too. While some attachments have a virus/worm/trojan, it's also possible to embed a 1 pixel transparent gif file into a mailing that activates when you open the email and proceeds to send back data to the sender.
12. I also use a startup manager with my Windows XP so that I can see what is running in the background and I turn off everything that I don't want to run, and investigate things I see running that shouldn't be there.
13. Never download free screensavers and fun looking toolbars!!!! They are filled with malicious spyware.
14. I delete cookies and online and offline content and temporary internet files. Never save banking or password or any sensitive information cookies on your computer.

In the more than 7 years since I've been on the intenet I've never had a virus. The closest I came was some malware that was apparently sending out thousands of emails that I didn't know about. I eventually found out when I called my ISP to find out why I couldn't send or retrieve my email and they told me that they turned off my privileges! I did all kinds of scans at a variety of links they gave me, and the only thing that showed up on my system was some adware, some of which apparently was the problem. Once I got rid of that stuff, my ISP turned my email privileges back on again.

I also know so many who have had computer crashes and have had to reformat their systems because of spyware/adware/malware.

People may think it's no big deal, but when you have been affected by it like I have, or know so many others who have lost everything because of it, you begin to realize how extremely important it is to be vigilent with keeping that stuff out of your computer.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffacake View Post
you shouldn`t run more than one security programe because they tend to argue with each other and cause problems.
Yes, that's true. Pick a good AntiVirus program and keep it up to date.

So far as anit adware programs go, you can run as many as you like. Actually, it's better to run a couple because one will get what the other misses.

I use Adaware and Cureit to check my computer for malware programs. They only run when I want them to.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
It's not only important to run anti spyware programs regularly, but it's important to take measures to protect yourself from getting such stuff to begin with. Some browsers are more prone to attracting malware than others. Internet Explorer is terrible for getting hit with malware type stuff. I use Mozilla-Firefox. Most if not all browsers and firewalls come with features that block ads and popups, it's important to learn how to use those features so that you are preventing those types of things from even reaching your computer.

The things I do to keep my computer safely protected:

1. Up-to-date AntiVirus program;
2. Up-to-date Firewall program;
3. I connect to a router;
4. I use Mozilla-Firefox and extensions https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir...cation=firefox
5. I block all internet ads with Mozilla-Firefox extensions and my Firewall;
6. I run Lavasoft Adaware daily;
7. I download and run Dr Web's Cureit once a week;
8. I run ccleaner every day;
9. I virus scan once a week;
10. I do not turn on "preview pane" in Outlook Express. How to disable preview pane
11. I never, ever, ever open an email from anyone that I am not expecting one from. I'm not only talking about the attachments, but the email itself too. While some attachments have a virus/worm/trojan, it's also possible to embed a 1 pixel transparent gif file into a mailing that activates when you open the email and proceeds to send back data to the sender.
12. I also use a startup manager with my Windows XP so that I can see what is running in the background and I turn off everything that I don't want to run, and investigate things I see running that shouldn't be there.
13. Never download free screensavers and fun looking toolbars!!!! They are filled with malicious spyware.
14. I delete cookies and online and offline content and temporary internet files. Never save banking or password or any sensitive information cookies on your computer.

In the more than 7 years since I've been on the intenet I've never had a virus. The closest I came was some malware that was apparently sending out thousands of emails that I didn't know about. I eventually found out when I called my ISP to find out why I couldn't send or retrieve my email and they told me that they turned off my privileges! I did all kinds of scans at a variety of links they gave me, and the only thing that showed up on my system was some adware, some of which apparently was the problem. Once I got rid of that stuff, my ISP turned my email privileges back on again.

I also know so many who have had computer crashes and have had to reformat their systems because of spyware/adware/malware.

People may think it's no big deal, but when you have been affected by it like I have, or know so many others who have lost everything because of it, you begin to realize how extremely important it is to be vigilent with keeping that stuff out of your computer.
Well done! And good to know I'm not the only one who goes this far (I've been called paranoid... but better to be paranoid, ya know?)

Good on you!
post #18 of 20
Being techno-illiterate and unable to fix things myself, I'm careful about my antivirus/spyware, too. I've got Adaware and AVG and have never had a virus, either. I have them set to run regular scans and AVG updates on a daily basis.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffacake View Post
Ok anouther question.

I got the Vista for dummies book. Think you can tell why
And it says in there that you shouldn`t run more than one security programe because they tend to argue with each other and cause problems.
So does that include seperate spyware programe?
I haven't kept up to date lately, but basically back in "the day" (2-3 years ago) the only reason for this is that some anti-spyware programs came with spyware on them. IMO it is a good idea to download at least 2 (i.e. Spybot and AVG for example) to make sure that one or both are not creating spyware or adware on your computer.

Freeware is simply that: Free. Much of the freeware that we know is support through donations however in some case they have resorted to including Spyware and Adware.

However what I said may change or has changed because if memory serves correctly there is a law either trying to be passed or is going to be in effect that says that software may not include any form of Spyware, including freeware, shareware, and commercial-of-the-shelf. Basically any form of software cannot install other software (including those toolbars) without your acknowledgment.
post #20 of 20
What Natalie_ca said is excellent!! It may seem like a lot of effort, but trust me - it's worth it in the long run!!!

Using Mozilla Firefox rather than Internet Explorer is a good easy thing to do that helps a huge amount, and definitely absolutely do not download any toolbars!!! If you have any toolbars running - DISABLE THEM NOW!!!!

Google Pack - pack.google.com has a heap of good free software including anti-spyware software and Norton Security Scan, so if you are running nothing, that's a good place to start.

I also use http://housecall.antivirus.com for our Windows machine - follow through the free scan links, and run the free virus scanner, it's very good and will remove pretty much all bad things on your computer.

The internet is a dangerous place these days
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