Archive for the Category ◊ PC Security ◊

Another Creepy FaceBook Feature – Spy Cam
Monday, August 13th, 2012 | Author:

Facebook has developed a camera so it can detect users when they go into a store. All under the guise of providing targeted information.

Yeah, right….

Recent reports of a phishing scam where users are asked to put in their passwords were tricked, and the passwords were put up on the Internet for everyone to see.

This was originally thought it was only Microsoft’s Hotmail, but it seems to have stretched to Yahoo mail, Google Mail, Comcast, Earthlink and others.

The hackers tricked users into putting passwords into a bogus site, and stole the passwords, then published them on a website.

Here is the full article

If you think you have been scammed, I highly suggest you go in and change your passwords, especially if they are the same for other things that someone might be able to hack into.

Symantec & McAfee Get Slap on Hand
Thursday, June 11th, 2009 | Author:

I have heard from many customers how McAfee and Symantec (also known as Norton) both do this autobill thing where they charge you each year automatically for your Anti-virus software subscription. I am not a fan of either of these products for many reasons, and this is absolutely another huge thing they do that I have never agreed with.

They both have these auto billing programs where it is not very clear that you are signing up for a subscription for the anti-virus software. They used to send you a message saying go to their website, and renew your subscription. But they started a program where they just started billing the credit card that was on file, and never really told anyone nor did they make it clear they were doing that.

I guess I am not the only one who does not like the practices by these companies. The New York City Attorney has been investigating both companies and surprise, surprise! They both have agreed to pay $350,000 each in penalties and costs for the practices that they have engaged in.

Investigators found that the two companies had “failed to adequately disclose to consumers that subscriptions would automatically be renewed and that consumers would be charged,” the office of Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Wednesday announcing the settlement. “Companies cannot play hide the ball when it comes to fees consumers are being charged.”

These were deceptive business practices, and should be punished. However, I am sure the $350,000 is a drop in the bucket for these large corporations who get upwards of $79 for a pumped up renewal version of their software. In addition to paying the fine, the companies must be more forthcoming on disclosing their subscription renewal fees.

The two companies will also now refund the customer’s charges if requested within 60 days of being billed. There will also be an automated way to opt out of the auto billing, instead of trying to figure out how to not get billed.

I have used both of the products over the years, and at a time, each one was the best. During the early years they were THE best thing out there. Now the companies have become so huge that they have a lot of money and think they need to keep adding things into their “suite” of products. The programs became bloated, and now they are not anywhere near as good as they once were.

Even though this is a little slap on the hand for this large companies, maybe it will help bring them back down to earth and remind them about customer service and who really pays the bills for the company.

Here is a link to an article on this news

You can safely click on the link below, to test and see if you have the conficker worm on your computer. A working group has been assembled in to collaborate efforts with technology industry leaders and academia to implement a coordinated, global approach to combating the Conficker worm.

How does this work?

This works by trying to load several pictures from Security Websites. If the top pictures do not load, you may have the virus. That is one of the traits of the conficker, is that it will block you from going to these type of sites. The bottom 3 pictures are from non-security sites, so they should always load.

If you only see some of the pictures, check below the chart for an explantion. Also try hitting F5 to refresh your broswer to see if they load, as you know the browser sometimes does not get all the pictures when you go to a site the first time.

If you get all 6 pictures on the Eye Chart, you are good!

Run the Test!

You can also check out the approximate map of infected computers throughout the world!

Microsoft & Security Software – Another Gilligan’s Rerun
Saturday, February 21st, 2009 | Author:

Microsoft Drops Live OneCare Security product and will offer new free version of some new revamped security software. This is like seeing a rerun of Gilligan’s Island for the 15th time.

Like Gilligan’s Island, this is funny, predictable, entertaining, and always a catastrophe brewing. But the software is not really going to help keep your PC secure. Microsoft has tried to make Antivirus security programs for many years now, and each time, they have failed.

They have tried the free version, the pay version and the part free, part pay version, since back in the early 90’s. They all have been lousy programs that do not protect your computer well.

I have been a strong advocate against Window’s Live OneCare for a long time now, and Microsoft has announced that they are dropping the retail security software in June of this year.

The not surprising news is that they are coming out with a free program code named “Morro”. Microsoft has hired a guy from McAfee to oversee their Security Research & Response Team.

Microsoft has bought out many little Antivirus security companies that made good software, and then ran the products into the ground only to end up with watered-down, poor software.

I would strongly suggest not using this free product when it becomes widely available. It will be cheap and appealing to save a few bucks. However, as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for!”

Remember, with Internet security, you pay $35-$60 a year, which is about $3-$5 a month, for peace of mind, safety, and keeping your computer and information protected. That is not a bad investment.

I still stand by Trend Micro Internet Security. Trend by the way, did not get the best review from PC World recently. The problem with the PC World review is that there is no comparison or discussion about how well the product performs. How easy is it to uninstall or troubleshoot a problem you might have? How easy is it for the average user to understand and use? How much does the program slow down the computer, and how much memory do you really need to run it?
Another issue I see is that PC World accepts advertising, and oddly enough there is not a lot of Trend Micro advertising in that magazine.

With the computers that come in the shop, I see fewer problems with Trend. I have tried them all, and sold both McAfee and Norton/Symantec, and I still feel Trend is one of the best products available, with everything considered. I have run AVG Free, F-Secure, Kaspersky, Panda, and they all have issues. There is no perfect product out there, but I do still highly recommend Trend.

Internet Security Tips

Whatever program you use for Internet Security, make you do the following:

  • Have good, current version of a paid-up Anti-virus/Internet Security program
  • Have it turned on and receiving automatic updates of the virus definitions
  • Have it set to automatically perform a full scan of the computer weekly
  • Make sure your Microsoft Windows updates are turned on (you can find the settings in Control Panel>Automatic Updates)

Here is a good article on the new Microsoft Free Antivirus that is coming soon: