Tag Archive: security


Trending Vulnerability

I’m reading an article that blows my mind. It’s not an uncommon article or even a surprise, but its a shocking reminder. The topic… Chrome and Firefox users are horrible at updating their browser to protect themselves from the latest security vulnerabilities. 

 

Kaspersky is quoted saying “Firefox users take an average of 30 days to upgrade to the latest version, giving criminals a lengthy window to launch new attacks.” This is alarming. 

 

Lets be clear about something. Lets talk about security and vulnerability. Windows computers are most susceptible to a virus why? Because it is the most popular operating system. Attackers are going to spend time writing virus material for something that can and will easily and widely spread. Apple didn’t elude attacks because they are taking the appropriate steps and securing your data, they simply aren’t attacked…yet. As they grow in popularity, they are seeing trends of increasing attacks. 

 

Which smartphone OS is being attacked with 4 different viruses on 2 different versions? Android OS… because why? Yes, (as I cringe to say) it is currently the most popular OS. 

 

Computer users originally switched to browsers like Chrome and Firefox because they were safer than Internet Explorer. They were safer because they were less popular. Thats the bottom line. As they became more and more common as the go-to browser, they too became susceptible to attacks because attackers started writing attacks targeting them and their users. 

 

Now, unfortunately, every update that comes out is not always regarded as worthy or even stable. Our developers are allowed to release anything they wish that has a “final release” badge on it, while often at best its Beta… another topic for another time. You just need to stay alert to the security aspects, and take responsibility for security risks that you could be spreading to your friends and family out of neglect. 

 

#LifeTip: For every person that moves to something trendy, there is an equal number of people trying to spoil the fun. 

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AntiVirus 101

There are so many different AntiVirus programs out there, that promise to protect you from more new and dangerous Trojans than the other company’s software. Well that is partly true… right this moment. Meaning that while thousands of different Virus types and Trojans surface the web daily, they are saying that they currently cover at least 1 that another company doesn’t. This is why selecting an AntiVirus Program that updates virus definitions regularly is critical. So just HAVING an AntiVirus program is only half the battle. Proper scan and update setup is the other half. Not all instances/user habits are going to require the same set up. I will address and answer most of what might be part of your selection process and set up process.

As with most of my material, this is something that most beginner – moderate level computer users can do on their own, without the need for expensive consultation. If you are unsure about something… just ask. I am very excited to help and connect with you. But I always give very basic and beginner level instructions, or warn you accordingly if “you should not try this at home”

The selection process. Let me help narrow this down quickly for you. SpyWare, Maleware and Virus protection – all 3 are critical. There are a lot of programs that package all 3 together for a pretty fair price. Some of them, high priced and cheap, are very sufficient once set up properly. You can even visit Microsofts website and now download for free, enough software to protect you on all levels. That’s the reason I am writing this blog… Because again I say, HAVING the software is only half the battle. Why spend time setting up 3 different programs? I recommend one that incorporates all packages and areas of protection into one program, so that you don’t miss any critical steps in setup, so that you don’t have to take so many extra steps regularly to stay protected, and to put the least load possible on your machine. Too many programs running in the background affect performance as well as life expectancy of your processor and computer in general.

To the point… I recommend AVG. First and foremost… Its FREE. Yes it’s free BUT, to it’s best ability, continuously finds clever ways to try to get you to upgrade. Ignore and move on if/when it occurs. While it IS ad supported, it won’t affect you or your pleasant computing experience. It’s not intrusive, it’s easy to set up, and I have had tremendous success, in that, I rarely have any customers with Virus concerns. All of my computers out there are running the FREE version of AVG downloaded from here and I am confident in saying that they are very protected (if you follow these steps, and even practice “safe surf”, you could still get a virus, please don’t write me with blame, only with questions).

So you have downloaded it, now to install & set it up. Close all programs. It’s a safe practice for installing any programs or software, to close out all other programs. Primarily because an installer may close it for you, causing loss of any unsaved data. Go ahead and click install…. Follow the steps BUT REMEMBER: “Avoiding Those Toolbars” is a great read before you start, because like I said AVG is ad supported, and they throw in a few annoyances that you’ll see after installation if you don’t follow the installation in my prior blog.

Once installed you’ll notice all sorts of errors and in the top right it will say “Fix All” – for the time being (because its an attempt to sell you an upgrade) pay no attention to it. You will also get pop ups that alert you to perform an initial scan, you can go ahead and do it, but it may slow down your PC, or you can ignore it and let it run the scan at the scheduled time. By tomorrow this time, it will be scanned and protected.

Just click on tools/advanced settings – and locate in the new window “Schedules” click on the little + to make it drop down and make yours look like the pictures below. (But be sure to read the text following the pics)

Notice in my pictures that the “Update” time is scheduled prior to the “Scan” time (for obvious reasons?) but that they are set for late at night. Set the program update for any time. Specifically note that its best to schedule them for when you are not likely to be on the computer. Its not imperative, it only helps because when you are on the computer, you don’t want stuff happening in the background as it affects how fast your computer works for you when you are on it. So I make all scheduled tasks for times when I am likely to be sleeping or at work while all of this is happening.

As I mentioned AVG packages all areas of protection, and more importantly shuts off any other software you might be using i.e. Windows defender, spybot…etc. My strong warning is, prior to installation of AVG (But after downloading AVG) go into control panel/add remove programs and get rid of any protection software you have been using or even have installed on your computer. Commonly computers come from the factory w/ trials of Norton and McAffe even though they have expired, they should not be there at all. They negate and fight one another and only one will win, but even the winner will be compromised. If you think to yourself, “I paid $49.99 for that, I am not deleting it” please remember I do not just offer free advice, I also offer paid services and can be available for hire to fix your PC if you do not listen to me 🙂 Delete it. Restart your computer once you are finished with everything.

So let me know how you make out… what would you like to know about next?