Tag Archives: anti-virus

CA Offers Savings to Stay Safe Online

Malware is everywhere. You don’t have to download torrents or visit adult sites in order to have your computer infected. Seemingly innocent sites aimed at kids have been known to have drive-by malicious content embedded within their pages. These drive-bys install themselves silenty onto your machine to do their dirty work. There is no warning. There are no popups. You usually never even know they are there. This is why it is crucial to have a solid security foundation. CA Anti-Virus Plus Anti-Spyware is one program which can help you stay safe.

In order to help you keep your information and data safe, CA is offering a fantastic deal on their software until October 5th. If you use coupon code FGS7156 during checkout, you will save 40% off of the normal retail price on CA Anti-Virus Plus Anti-Spyware 2-Year protection for up to 3 PCs.

If that offer doesn’t suit your needs, CA has graciously offered up a few others:

CA has something for everyone, and now is the time to make sure that your information and identity stays safe.

Top 100 Windows PC Security Tips

There are more threats to the security of your computer than I can begin to count. New types of attacks are released on more than a daily basis… you have to be vigilant. You already know to use strong passwords. You also know to be sure and have a good anti-virus program and firewall installed. However, there are many other easy things you can do to help make sure your PC is safe. This is why I have come up with my Top 100 Windows PC Security Tips eBook.

You are free to set your own price for this Gnome Tome, with a suggested minimum of five dollars. Once you have downloaded the .PDF file, you will learn how to fully protect your computer from hackers, viruses, phishing attempts, trojans, worms and much more. Many of these little gems are likely things you didn’t already know how to do… or even that they existed. Much of the information deals with things already in place on your operating system – you just have to know how to use them.

Educate your family about the basics of malware and how to avoid becoming infected — and know where your kids go online.

The above tip may seem to be a no-brainer. You would be surprised to learn how many people simply do not take the time to educate their children and teenagers… or how many teens neglect to educate their parents. The 100 tips and tricks cover everything you need to know – from education to prevention to recovery.

On the last page, you will find several links to discounted security products that we have recommended in the past. We are grateful to those partners for continuing to offer these special prices to our community.

Education is the key to everything – including protection yourself and your information.

McAfee Mess Could Cost Millions

In the antivirus industry, false positives run amok. No matter which vendor you choose to buy from, you’re going to have the occasional hiccup. Those small snafus are usually easily sorted out, with minimal downtime or expense. Once in a while, though, someone falls asleep at the wheel and all hell breaks loose. Such was the case with McAfee on Wednesday.

The company rolled out an update that took down Windows XP computers around the world. The company then issued a statement claiming that “less than .005% of McAfee users were hit by the update,” which misidentified a legitimate SP function as a virus and killed it. The results were computers locked in a reboot loop. Unfortunately, it appears that there are many thousands of computers affected by this disaster… adding up to a far higher percentage than McAfee is apparently willing to admit.

Solera Networks, a supplier of network forensics technology, says it helped one large U.S. multi-national company quickly determine that the poisonous update from McAfee threw 50,000 of its PCs into a rebooting frenzy. McAfee advised the company that “remediation time is estimated to be 30 minutes per user, ” says Solera CEO Steve Shillingford. “Estimating $100 per hour, this organization’s lost time alone can be conservatively estimated to cost more than $2.5 million,” says Shillingford. “And that does not factor in lost productivity while users are down.” The fix issued by McAfee is a long and arduous one, likely not to be attempted by computer novices.

Others affected by the so-called “false positive situation” include hospitals, police departments, major universities and retail stores. Hospitals in Rhode Island had to refuse treatment for all but life-threatening situations. State police officers in Kentucky were without computers in their patrol cars while the IT department scrambled to fix machines. Australian supermarket behemoth Coles was hit so hard that 10 percent of its point-of-sales terminals were taken down. The company was forced to shut down stores in both western and southern parts of the country.

McAfee apparently sent an email to their larger enterprise customers to explain the situation. According to documents sent to Ed Bott, thorough testing was not even done prior to the update being released. The email admits that “Some specific steps of the existing Quality Assurance processes were not followed: Standard Peer Review of the driver was not done, and the Risk Assessment of the driver in question was inadequate” and that “there was inadequate coverage of Product and Operating System combinations in the test systems used. Specifically, XP SP3 with VSE 8.7 was not included in the test configuration at the time of release.”

This blows my mind. Windows XP SP3 is the most widely-used configuration in the enterprise desktop environment. I fail to understand how such a key testing phase could have just been “overlooked” or bypassed.

The most troubling aspect of the entire situation is McAfee’s seemingly cavalier attitude towards the event. The company apologized in a blog post on Thursday, but little has been said about the entire subject. Meanwhile, customers are complaining loudly all over the McAfee community forums, and they want answers. One commenter called for McAfee to “man up and own up to what happened, instead of trying to sugar-coat it and make it seem as though this is no big deal.”

It will be interesting to watch how this will play out as more information comes to light. I have a feeling we have only just begun to hear about the full effect the McAfee mess had on customers all over the world.

Common Web Sites Compromised with Malware

Today, one security firm reported that there were about 5.5 million pages infected with malware in the last three months of 2009. Some of those pages were commonly visited sites: “In those three months, sites for Fox Sports, technology blog Gizmodo, and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, were exploited to deliver malware to unsuspecting visitors.”

There was a commonly held belief that if you avoid “bad” sites and limit yourself to popular sites, then you would be safe from malware. Obviously, this is not the case. Hackers are becoming very sophisticated and they will go where they can find the most traffic to exploit. That means some very popular sites have been targeted and will be targeted in the future.

It is no longer some teenager wanting to cause some problems and showing off for a limited number of friends. This is organized crime. These criminals want to exploit computers for identity theft, for spamming, for developing a bot network, and for other criminal intent.

The dark side of the Internet is that everyone is a target, and we remind our readers to protect themselves and their personal information. These Internet crimes are silent; it may take months or years, for example, before you realize that your identity has been stolen and exploited. If you are online, you must pay attention to Internet security. That is why we recommend security programs such as Webroot Internet Security Essentials (WISE).

“… With unmatched anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall security, WISE provides blockbuster protection for your PC. In fact, the technologies in WISE have won a combined 11 PC Magazine Editors’ Choice awards! These technologies provide more complete protection than competing products to proactively block: viruses, spyware, worms, trojans, data theft, rootkits, hackers, intrusions, keyloggers…”

Webroot is allowing up to three computers to be protected and with a ten dollar discount. This works out to an amount under seventeen dollars per computer. It is a huge bargain.

Protect yourself with an award-winning program. If you have more than one computer, you need to protect all of them. We want you to be safe online and just securing one machine is not enough. You do not want to be spreading malware when you synchronize your machines or share files between the machines.

This Webroot offer would be an exceptional gift to any friend or family member who does not pay much attention to Internet security. This is an easy to use program that you can give for year round computer security. And remember, this offer allows you to protect three computers.

What AntiVirus Do You Use?

Do you use an AntiVirus program? If so, what one do you run? You do realize that that may not always be enough to keep you completely protected, right? Your best bet is layers of protection. I came across the above video, and used it to ask others what they use to keep their computers safe.

At work: Norton AntiVirus 2008, at home: AVG Free – Haggis (Sean)

My Mac 😉 – Andru Edwards

Mac. Plus my Windows-on-VMware i just reuse a clean snapshot. – Glenn Batuyong

I’m on PC. I’m not using any. Was using NOD32, but opted to not renew. – Jason Shultz

Avast! The Pirate Approved Antivirus Tool! – Stephen Pierzchala

ClamAv on 1, Avast on another but usually I don’t run any antivirus – tsudohnimh

At home: AVG Free and Microsoft Defender – Alex Scoble CISSP

Nod32 on both rigs… – Live4Soccer

OS X – Brian roy

OS X. – Paul W. Swansen

Avira Antivir – Nicholas Kreidberg

Avira Antivirus, free for personal use and IMHO the best low-resource and good detection AV going. – cmiper

Currently trying NOD32 on XP Pro x64 – Jaemi Kehoe

Avast! – Molly, the Muse

None! I use a Mac with OS 10.5.5 all updated just today with the big 136MB Java iteration. Nothing installs without my password. – Siddharth Deb

Not using antivirus — haven’t had one in years. I’m just savvy enough not to open weird email attachments or IM links – JungleG

AVG on the laptop; Avira on the PC – Jasmin Smith

OS X. Never had one virus. – Brad Waller

Avast! – Rah(sheen)™

Brad, that you know of. – Alex Scoble CISSP

+1 Alex. And the thing of it is that AV alone isn’t enough. *shrug* Video was interesting but I’m definitely not in their target audience. – Jennifer Leggio

I am a big fan of trend micro’s products – Peter Ghosh

Symantec Corporate Edition /IBM laptop – work system – Susan Beebe

AVG works well for me. – Jason Huebel

AVG works very good for me – Joshua Smith

AVG for me as well. – Alex Vernon

ESET SmartSecurity – ChangeForge | Ken Stewart

Im just running with Windows Defender and good web viewing habits – Chacha

The reason why I use Avast! is because it’s audible and tells you when it’s updated and it warns you with a noise if you get a virus. – Molly, the Muse

So… what do you use? Are your files and data well-protected? Do you back them up regularly?

Are there any Free Web-Based Virus Scanners?

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What is more stupid… running your face alongside a cheese grater, or running Limewire? I argue that it’s far healthier to run your face on the cheese grater. What can you do if you don’t run an anti-virus on your desktop? Or what if you download something but want to be 100% sure it’s not a malicious file before you install or run it? Is there any other way to protect yourself?

P2P programs are a breeding ground for malware of all types. That’s why I always recommend you stay away from programs like that, not counting the fact that much of what you would download is illegal. I’m just talking about the viruses, trojans, rootkits and spyware that can and will infest your machine.

Anyway, if you come across a file that you’re just not sure of, you may run it through your desktop client. We all know that desktop solutions can have false positives, or totally miss something it really shouldn’t. How can you be sure it’s safe then?

Well, there are a couple of excellent places online where you can test single files. The first of these is VirusTotal. Virustotal is a free service that will run a file through 32 separate anti-virus programs. Afterwards, it will give you a report. The report will contain the results from each AV, the date of the last update of each AV.

There are two blogs found on Lockergnome that you can always count on to keep you up-to-date with the latest information on what Security products are good, what’s in, what’s out and what to stay away from. One is written by Ron’s MVP award area is in Windows Desktop Experience, and Kat’s award is in Consumer Security. Both are well known in their fields, and know what they’re talking about.

If your program reports something as bad that you aren’t sure is… why not take an extra moment to run the file through VirusTotal? What are your thoughts on P2P programs, and even computer security programs?


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How to Unbox and Set Up a New Computer

I recently received an email from Emmanuel. He has watched friends and family members receive a new computer many times, and then promptly do something to inadvertently harm it. Or worse… they don’t properly set the machine up! He asked me to pass along his email, in the hopes it may help you get started once you receive your next machine.

First of all, unpack carefully. How many times have I heard about people having issues with a new product? Then they have to do all these sorts of things and in the process, end up damaging the computer? I’ve heard it enough times, believe me. So please, unpack with caution. Also, wait until you are in a quiet, safe spot for opening and unpacking your computer — like your desk, or your normal computing place. Bad things are possible with all of the confusion that could happen with people running around and pulling power cables or accidentally spilling something on the computer or its peripherals and documentation. So wait for the best time to unpack.

Next, when you turn on the computer, follow any directions the computer tells you. It may ask you to set the language, time, etc. Once you complete such a course, you will hopefully be greeted by the desktop. Now this is where the fun begins.

Next, remove all the pre-installed crapware. Crapware is basically trial or crippled software that gets factory installed by the manufacturer. On a Mac, usually you would get iLife, which is a great suite of creative applications that are pretty awesome and are the only things pre-installed usually. On a Linux computer, you will see a lot of pre-installed software, however, they actually are not trial or crippled software either. On a Windows computer, well, that is not usually the case. So go to the Add/Remove feature in Windows in remove everything that is unnecessary, except the trial anti-virus that comes with the computer usually. You will need some way to protect yourself until you get a decent anti-virus. Then, get your computer updated as soon as possible. Once you are done, we move on.

Next, get your favorite anti-virus software and remove the old one. Nod32 is about the best anti-virus software there is. For a free anti-virus, use AVG Free Edition.

Next, get your favorite applications, as well as hardware drivers installed. Firefox and OpenOffice are wonderful examples, and plus they are FREE! So check those out. Get your driver discs, software discs, etc. Install what you need. This is important — the less unnecessary software you have, the faster your computer will be. Trust me.

Finally, restore your documents from a backup or transfer from your previous computer. And then you are done! In the end, you will have a nice, fast, new computer that has been tweaked to suit your needs.

Firewall and Computer Security

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – The round table discusses the free Comodo Firewall, and other Security programs for your Windows machine.

Four of my friends joined me for this discussion: Kat, SC_Thor, Wirelesspacket, and last but certainly not least… Datalore.

Kat started this discussion off, based on a comment she received to her blog post with her recommendations for Windows Protection Software. Someone wrote in, claiming that the free Comodo firewall is not as good as what people think. As I pointed out, Comodo IS a very good firewall. It is easy on system resources, and it just plain works.

Regardless of your product choice, always make sure to use a firewall. Keep yourself protected, no matter how good you think you are. A combination of a hardware AND software firewall is best. Always have an Anti-Virus program running, and possibly even an Anti-Spyware one, as well. Layers of protection like this will help keep your computer safe from all the nasties that are out there.

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Are Symantec and McAfee the only choices?

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Users are tired of having Anti-Virus programs that drain their system resources, and cost an arm and a leg. What other alternatives are out there?

Symantec and McAfee have become entirely bloated. They charge you a bunch of money, use up your system resources, then sell you programs to speed up your computer. I call this “selling you the disease and the cure”. I hate this. I think it’s just plain wrong.

There are several alternatives. If you want paid protection, try Kaspersky or nod32. Both are excellent protection programs that are easy on your computer’s resources.

If you want to go the free route… which I always recommend when possible… take a look at one of these:

When suggesting an Anti-Virus, I also must suggest a firewall. There is an excellent free firewall named Comodo. This thing really works well, and has won several awards. Why pay for protection you can get for free?

I want to remind you all that if you run Windows, it really is critical to run these protection programs. Malware isn’t only installed on your system these days by visiting porn sites or opening email attachments. MANY innocent appearing sites can be “drive by downloaders” for Malware. You don’t always have to click something. On a drive by site, you simply open the site… let’s say from Google after searching for something… and bam. You’re infected. That’s all it takes, folks. I don’t care how “smart” of a computer user you are, it just makes sense to protect yourself. Be smart. Know what is going in and out of your computer, protect it, and protect yourself.

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