Do’s and Dont’s of Internet Browsing

  • Those that do many “searches” on the internet run higher risk of encountering the Smitfraud virus. Review your search results before clicking.
  • Those that communicate through social networking sites run higher risk of encountering viruses.
  • Those who click on links and open attachments in emails run higher risk of encountering viruses.
  • Those who download all the neat stuff they encounter while browsing the Internet will install adware (pop-ups that NO popup blocker can stop), malicious software and potentially viruses.
  • Those who are super nice and let anyone use their computer are prone to have a messed up operating system. Take a collection for the inevitable repair.
Attention! You can have the best anti-virus and firewall program available and still get infected. How? You have heard the adage, “a computer will do what you tell it to do”. Okay, so you look at me funny and say, of course I am not going to install a virus, and all that questionable stuff, I expect my security software to take care of. That is wishful thinking. Virus programs do not typically pop up on your screen and say, “hey, I’m a virus!”, they do the opposite (thus the term Trojan). If you click on something, even to close or cancel it out, your security software has possibly just received an “okay” to let it through. The following advice may help greatly in keeping your computer safe and running smoothly.

If your computer was recently serviced and you need to add your printer, follow these basic guidelines to prevent the manufacturer from installing all of their marketing and “bloatware” during printer installation;

-If you don’t have the printer disk, just call us with the make and model. We can get one for you as quick as you can be here to pick it up.

-Do not plug the printer into the computer until the software asks for it (or mentions that it can’t find the printer)

-Carefully read all interactive windows during software installation. We recommend you look for the “custom” or “minimum” method of install. During that install, it is our opinion that you should only install basic software or “drivers” only.

I have yet to see a digital camera require software to unload its pictures to the computer. Load the software that came with the camera and chances are a handful of programs will run in the background (100% of the time) waiting for the camera to be plugged in. I recommend you let your operating system handle the unload of pictures from your camera or memory card. Microsoft Windows does a fine job of finding your pictures and giving you a choice of what to do with them.

All toolbars are parasites. Some you may choose to live with (ie; eBay Turbo Lister) but if you can live without it, do not install it (or uninstall whichever the case)

Most toolbars are spyware… why risk it? – Choose not to have any toolbars.

Do not click on the “Congratulations! You are the Millionth Visitor! Click Here to receive you FREE IPAD!” The end result will very disappointing and can mess your PC up.

Stay away from FREE; screen savers, simile central (free smiles), wall papers, freeze, mouse coursers, coupon printers, etc. Most of these will install Trojan Viruses or Malware (sometimes just poorly written software) that can cripple your computer or put a strangle hold on it.

Caution when adding “bling” to your Facebook. Programs like yontoo layers offer tools to bling up your Facebook page but fail to inform you that your computer will not act right once installed.

Do not click on a link or attachment in an email unless you were expecting the link or attachment. DO NOT click on a link or attachment just because you recognize (or think you recognize) the service or person the email is from. That is a lure for the nastiest of viruses… they only need you to left click to start messing day up.

Chat ROOM’s (vs. private messaging), can be bad and your PC can be completely disabled within 2 minuets of connecting if the wrong person is in that room. People do it for fun.

Computer running slow? Did you install “Microsoft Updates”? There is a big difference between “Windows Updates” and “Microsoft Updates”. Computers with less than significant CPU power and excess RAM, (especially computers running Windows XP) will find their computer choked ~ even to a crippling crawl at times if “Microsoft Updates” are installed. Want to find out? There are a couple ways to check and change settings based on the Windows operating system you have. Just Google; “Microsoft Updates (and your operating system)” and you will find advice on how to check and disable this feature.

Lures exploiting your frustration over a slow Internet connection or slow computer are popular on many legitimate websites. These lures promise to “speed up your PC”. These are generally “Registry Cleaners” of some sort or “Driver Updaters” and will report dozens if not hundreds of problems with a promise to fix and speed things up for a fee (of course, the “scan” is usually free). In most cases, once you run the downloaded program and pay it’s ransom, your computer may appear to perform better when in fact your computer may now have a permanently damaged registry.

Lately, AT&T / Yahoo email accounts have been hacked. What has actually happened is the email host’s server is attacked with a bot that looks for email accounts that are logged in for long periods of time giving the bot time to find the password to the email account…. yours. All of a sudden, your computer and email address is used to send spam to everyone in your address book. To resolve this, change your email password a couple days in a row and never use the originally hacked password again. To prevent this, assure you are not staying logged into your email account (or whatever account for that matter) when you close your browser. Look for the checkbox that keeps you logged in (check or un-check as appropriate) and also click the “log off” or “log out” button when you are done with the website.

If you download FREE music, videos, games or files using a P2P (peer to peer) system like; Torrents, Bearshare, Frostware, Aries, etc., you WILL get viruses. Even if you “purchase” the “pro” version of the software. Don’t do it.

If you “hack” and “crack” or “warez” (methods and software that helps one cheat or pirate software), you will most likely get the nastiest viruses.

Know the name of your installed anti-virus and spyware programs. The most common (we see and get calls about it every day!) and damaging Trojan Virus out there (known as the Smitfraud) Masks itself as legitimate security software. If you EVER experience a window popping up telling you that your computer is “infected” or at risk of being attacked (or broken!), starts doing some type of scan and tries to sell you the fix, DO NOT TOUCH IT! DO NOT EVEN “X” IT OUT! Enter “Task Manager” (ctl+alt+del or right clicking on the task or start bar then selecting it), get on the application tab, find the browser, highlight and end. or… Shut your computer down by simply pushing the power button once (most desktops only). If this action just puts your computer into a sleep or suspend mode, then hold the power button in for about 8 seconds.

Guess what sites are used aggressively for spreading viruses? Myface and Spacebook (you get the idea.. ). The site owners themselves are not the culprit, but bad guys that use these sites to exploit the “friends list” to spread viruses. I recommend not opening any mail derived from a social network site. I would create an email account just for the social network sites and use it for the purpose of creating your account. I then would never open any email sent to that address. My friends know my real email address(es).

Know what to and what not to update. Programs like “Adobe Flash Player”, “Adobe Reader” and “Java” really need to be updated to fully enjoy the Internet. Update these but be aware of “pre-selected” or “pre-checked” items stating you agree to install the extra software and/or browser changes. We recommend you do not get anything but the update. Please examine every interactive window during the install of the updates to assure you are not inadvertently installing extra junk.

Please, please do not fall for the on-line computer enhancement advertisements. Most of these, once run, may produce the illusion of a better performing computer in order to get your credit card payment when in fact, they have destroyed your operating system to the point that a complete wipe and reload is the only resolution.

There are many “free” versions of quality software that try to trick you into installing the “trial” version. The difference is free is free and trial is for a limited time… then you pay to keep the software. I don’t blame some of these software companies in wanting you to install the pay version, but I am not fond of the deceptive methods they use to get you to install the trial over the free version. Please be aware during updates of the free software and only accept the trial if that is in fact what you choose to install.

If you get a phone call from “Microsoft” or one of their representatives, hang up. It’s a scam . They will take control of your computer and show you some very legit looking errors or what they call viruses. They will offer you a fix for a fee and they have been known to threaten their victims with a call to the FBI or other law enforcement if the “dangerous” problem is not fixed. This is a complete scam and we are sad to see so many victims in recent months who have paid out hundreds to have their computer destroyed. If you have a question.. call us! We will offer free advice on this matter over the phone. 859-745-5775

Update and scan with your spyware removers and anti-virus programs relative to your computer usage. Scan at least once a month for light Internet use and perhaps once a week for heavier Internet use. Tip: Scanning in “Safe Mode” will generally give better results in infection removal. To access “Safe Mode” poke the “F8” key right after you push the power button. Continue to poke until the “Safe Mode” menu appears. If the Windows welcome shows up.. you missed it.

Laptop? ALWAYS place your laptop on a hard surface that will not smother the breathing and fan ports. NEVER use the laptop on a bed, carpet or in your lap on top of a comforter.

Spill on your laptop? Immediately remove the power plug and mobile battery! If liquid did get into the laptop DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TURN IT ON and get it to a qualified technician.