Vital Internet Security Alerts and Information for the
everyday Non-technical Computer user, Internet User and
Web Surfer who just wants to be safe doing basic stuff
without the hassle of viruses, spyware, or worse.
I'm very pleased that you're here today,
and that you're
concerned about your computer security and family
Internet Safety. I look forward to your early return to
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Sep 11, 2011
Free vs Paid
Anti-virus Protection - what's your choice?
In the time of rapidly advancing technology, it is
more necessary than ever to protect your computer.
Criminals have risen to the challenge and can use
this technology to steal your information and infest
your machine with a variety of malware.
You can install software that searches for the
viruses, worms, etc., and eliminate them from ever
being a problem.
But, there is another dilemma: With so many products
on the market, which one do you choose? There
is no right and wrong answer here but some people
are concerned about the difference between the free
programs offered and the ones that you have to pay a
yearly subscription for.
Lets backtrack a bit and talk about viruses. Unlike
the ones that humans deal with, the computer variety
can often be found and eliminated before they cause
Computer viruses get into your hard drive and
wreak havoc. They slow your computer down by taking
up your hard drive space. Once there, they can
infect your programs and steal personal and
financial information. What you are left with is a
big mess that is a pain in the neck to fix.
Antivirus software may come pre-installed on
your computer. If it does, it is likely a free
trial or a paid subscription that you
ordered with the system. Either way,
15, 2011Internet Social
Media and your kids Safety- are they at risk?
As a parent, grandparent, and now a great-grandparent, I've
watched more than a dozen children learn to socialize with
other kids - it's part of growing up.
As grown-ups, we socialize in many ways. We tweet, we make
friends on facebook, we Stumble, Digg, make videos to
share on YouTube, and look to make friends on even more Social Media sites .
Social networking sites are fun and children want to participate
in them, too, but they do present some potential dangers.
With the popularity of social networking sites, here are some
words of caution.
As a parent, the very first thing we should do is teach our children
about the possible dangers that exist on the Internet, particularly
about situations that might crop up on a social networking website.
This free article highlights some of the more Important subjects to
review with our children
- You can read it in abut two minutes
June 6, 2011
Security Issues gleaned from Reliable Sources
There is so much
cyber criminal activity going on throughout the
Internet that it takes professionals or their
organizations to keep up with what has happened
and to try to anticipate what Dirty Tricks could
Here are just a few of the reports and alerts I read
during the past week that I felt worth passing on to
Dirty Tricks, Courtesy of SunbeltSoftware
Windows Scareware Fakes Impending Drive Disaster.
Scammers are trying to trick Windows users into paying
to fix bogus hard drive errors that have apparently
erased important files, a researcher said today. Note:
this is a nasty one folks - it comes from poisoned sites
and hits you up for $80 to buy a worthless utility.
Quoted from LarrysWorld.com
Technology products, reviews & policies
---- quote -------------- Apple Issues Malware Fix, but Its Time for Mac
Users to Wake Up
Friday, June 3rd, 2011 | Article
When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton reportedly
said, because thats where the money is. Although he
later denied saying that, the quote endures and is
applied to both legitimate businesses and criminal
enterprises, including the production and distribution
of what we generally think of as computer viruses or
While many of the early PC viruses might have been
motivated by ego and the desire to make a mark on the
world by publicly disrupting other peoples lives,
todays malware writers, according to Trend Micros
senior threat analyst Paul Ferguson, are motivated by
the same thing that motivated Sutton and most other
OK, so that covers some of the treats against both
Windows, and Macs. My goal is to minimize or
eliminate apathy - "they" have us as targets in their
malware sights. Let's not make it easy for "them" to
score. Keeping our Operating Systems, firewalls, and
anti-malware programs up-to-date will help.
May 29, 2011Mac malware authors
release a new, more dangerous version
I certainly don't wish nasty malware on
anyone, even the diehard Mac users who constantly intone
the "It doesn't happen to a Mac" chant. In our
shop, we face up to the fact that it is happening and we
treat our Mac with the same concern as we do our PCs.
Fortunately, there are experts who monitor the antics of
Mac Attackers and report publicly, most with no ax to
grind. Ed Bott is one of those experts and we extracted
this short intro to his recent post.
- - - - -
from Ed Bott's
Microsoft Report - - - - -
May 25, 2011, 12:05pm PDT
"Apple finally responded to the Mac Defender outbreak,
with a technical note containing removal instructions
and the promise of a removal tool. Within hours, the bad
guys had released a new version of their malware. This
one doesnt require that you enter an administrators
Yesterday, 25 days after the Mac Defender malware began
to appear in the wild, Apple finally responded. In a
technical support note, How to avoid or remove Mac
Defender malware, the company posted instructions for
users to follow if theyve encountered this malware
specimen in the wild. It also promised a security update
to remove infections automatically.
File that memo under, Too little, too late.
Within 12 hours of Apples announcement, the author of
the original Mac Defender program had a new variant
available that renders key portions of the current Mac
Defender prevention plan obsolete."
When you visit Ed Bott's Blog, be sure to scan
over the comments - some of them seemed extremely
childish in defense of the Mac's reputed
invulnerability. One commenter in particular kinda
reminded me of an Ostrich.
Don't be one of them, too. It's not worth the potential
What does it mean? It's what could get dumped
into our computers without our awareness or permission
when downloading a new software product or even when
updating some of our existing programs.
I'm not experienced enough, and I doubt that many of my
friends have the experience to recognize when our
computers are being violated - and by some
of the more respected names in the software development
Ed Bott (Ed Bott's Microsoft Report)
is so upset abut this practice that he has identified
some of the worst offenders in his "Foistware Hall of
It's eye opening and startling when you realize that
Adobe, Skype, and even
Microsoft, along with many smaller software companies employ the "Foistware Tactic". It's worth a
few minutes of your time to read Ed Bott's post on
Foistware. Consider it an Alert that could save you
some hassle in the future.
And while you are visiting his blog, look for the link
malware alert for Macs.
If you are a Mac user, it looks as if malware will be
targeting your system soon - very soon.
April 25, 2011Kerry, McCain Introduce
Legislation that Would Enhance Protection and Control
of Personal Information
(Excerpted from a Press Release posted on Senator
Consumers want to shop, browse and share information in
an environment that is respectful of their personal
information. Our legislation sets forth a framework for
companies to create such an environment and allows
businesses to continue to market and advertise to all
consumers, including potential customers, said Senator
John McCain. However, the bill does not allow for the
collection and sharing of private data by businesses
that have no relationship to the consumer for purposes
other than advertising and marketing. It is this
practice that American consumers reject as an
unreasonable invasion of privacy. This bill would put in
place rules to guide the Federal Trade Commission in its
ability to ensure the security of personal information
while providing businesses more clarity in the
The Kerry-McCain Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act
of 2011 would establish rights to protect every American
when it comes to the collection, use, and dissemination
of their personally identifiable information (PII).
Here are some of the thoughts that come to my
If it becomes law, it will require that consumers
need to deliberately opt out of tracking practices
through links on websites.
The problem here is that it'll require a lot of work to
opt out of every site you have ever visited (and who
actually has any ideas how many that is, or what they
The question has been raised - "Why not a universal
ask off or opt out Registry much like the Do Not Call
Registry list for telemarketers?"
My question is "How many of the millions of online
computer surfers would agree to registering their email addresses,
and who would administer such a program - the Federal
Government, State Agencies? Unfortunately, staffing
these programs won't help to increase job opportunities
in the private sector.
Would such an "opt out" list only lead to more junk
in our email as happened in many areas where
telephone "No Call" registry policies are in effect. The
FTC reported large increases in unwanted calls to
registry members in Indianapolis, for example.
Also, the 'government' will be permitted to collect
personal data. Local, state and federal law enforcement
agencies are exempt, as are government agencies.
(Sounds like Happy Hunting Grounds for the Lawyers)
I'm Not sure what this will mean to marketers,
ordinary Internet users, cyber crooks or hackers - or if
such a Bill would ever get out of Committee.
Something to really think about!
Word of Caution - be
about what you click on. As we pointed out in last
week's Episilon Breach alert, the intrusion into their
database will have some long term upsetting
consequences. Epsilon handles the email for a number of
large companies. We have been told that social security
numbers were not part of the theft, but, email addresses
relating to the various companies were.
We have already seen the results - a flood of phishing
attempts by the cyber-crooks.
Another Caution - "Malvertising" it's advertising
that spreads malicious software. SunbeltSoftware reports
"The advantage malvertising has over methods of
intrusion is that the advertising content itself can be
inserted into high-profile reputable websites,
malvertising enables the bad guys to drive their
incursions at all web users even those with a more
cautious bent. Users who would not normally visit
unknown sites or click on email links utilize legit web
sites with lookalike ads that are malware based. Like
fake branded goods sold on street corners, these ads
have one purpose and one purpose only - to rip you off.
This Week's Top 10 Spyware Threats, as reported and
copyrighted by SunbeltSoftware*
"My Freeze/YourScreen is a website which contains many
screen savers, and is bundled with many adwares such as
Whenu.com, Save now etc. This so- called "freeware" is
not as free as it looks. It is bundled with advertising
software, aka, adware and the primary program will not
work if you remove the adware. So you may say what is
wrong with that? And you would be right in wondering but
upon further exploration, the adware often functions
independently, not only of the software but also from
you the user. It can send private information back to
its headquarters including tracking your web surfing
activities. The problem is that it may also install
applications without your consent and we know that is
not a good thing. You may also end up with a toolbar or
two and desktop shortcuts to the adware products.
Have you wondered why your inbox is suddenly loaded with
message after message reporting a package being sent to
It could be linked to a recent Data Breach
(release of once secure information) at the third-party
marketer Epsilon. So far Target, Kroger, TiVo, US Bank,
JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, Citi, Home Shopping
Network, Ameriprise Financial, LL Bean Visa Card,
McKinsey & Company, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Marriott
Rewards, New York & Company, Brookstone, Walgreens, The
College Board, Disney Destinations, and Best Buy have
notified their own customers about the breach. Hilton
Hotels and Ethan Allen are also said to be affected.
If you've ever given your e-mail
address to any of the above companies, your email
address and name are probably in the criminal hackers
The word is that NO credit card
numbers were compromised. But - where you shop or do
business or banking might now be personal knowledge in
the hands of the criminal hackers.
A way to determine if your email is coming from
non-legitimate sources is to examine the return email
address. They are usually altered to suggest legitimacy,
but instead of saying dot com or dot org, they may have
an unfamiliar domain name. Also, most of these
messages contain both errors in grammar and spelling.
Just be as suspicious as you can be and don't open any
links or attachments, unless you are absolutely certain
that they pertain to a conscious action you have taken.
You might also consider updating some of your most
important passwords. Don't save them in your computer -
keep an offline journal and post each of your user names
and passwords, and the date when you created or updated
If you found our Security
Alert Blog interesting, please
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you don't have a Virus Protection program yet, here's an
Emergency Step you should take,
McAfee offers a FREE Virus Scanning program named
It's a great backup tool when, for example,
your computer is infected with a
virus and you can't go online
for an update, or even use
your existing anti-virus
program. If you saved the latest
version of McAfee Labs Stinger
to a CD or flash drive, you
could disconnect from the
Internet and run a scan or two
with Stinger, which currently
searches for 2038
viruses, Trojans and variants!
*Stinger is a standalone
utility used to detect and
remove specific viruses. It
is not a substitute for full
anti-virus protection, but
rather a tool to assist
administrators and users
when dealing with an
infected system. Stinger
scan engine technology,
including process scanning,
digitally signed .DAT files,
and scan performance
optimizations. It detects
and removes threats
identified under the "List
Viruses" icon in the Stinger
If you found our Security
Alert Blog interesting, please
subscribe to our RSS feed!
March 26, 2011
Are you still using outdated Microsoft
Internet Explorer browsers?
experience in creating websites that render properly in
various browsers was that the 10 year old IE6
doesn't always display our sites properly - showing
broken pages, misplaced images, etc.
Didn't seem to matter if the sites were created using
Dreamweaver or FrontPage.
Then we read in SunbeltSecurityNews,
that Microsoft is Urging Users to upgrade from IE6 (and
in my opinion, users should update if they are still
using IE7, too)
marketers and webmasters -
Who's stealing your stuff?
"How Would YOU Feel ...if you were surfing the Web and
suddenly saw an exact copy of something you created, and
to which you own the legal rights of use, on someone
else's web site? Including, but not limited to ...
* YOUR Articles,
* YOUR Web Site Designs
* YOUR Web Site Copy
* YOUR Sales Letter Copy
* YOUR Ebooks or Reports
* YOUR Ad Copy
* YOUR Software
* YOUR Other Products
* YOUR Graphics & Images
* YOUR Newsletters & Ezines
How would you reclaim your copyrighted
Wouldn't you like to know how to get your stolen
Intellectual Property removed from the web without
hiring a Lawyer?
You'll be pleased to learn that there is a brand new
ebook where you'll discover how you can "Beat Web
Thieves at Their Own Game!"
Actually, you really need this ebook BEFORE your
own intellectual property (or copyrighted material) is
stolen so you can take the necessary steps to protect
Who wrote the book? - jlScott. The author is Director of
the International Council of Online Professionals (i-Cop).
Included in her ebook is a recent case history
documenting how she used her expertise to have a blatant
case of plagiarism (complete sections of the i-Cop
website stolen and republished word for word) removed
within a matter of hours!
There's stuff in this ebook that has already helped me
prepare to take action against the thieves who have
copied my property and even shut down a couple of my
-some of which is the included word-for-word,
fill-in-the-blanks samples to use in corresponding with
the plagiarists, their ISP's, web hosts, and even their
lawyers, if necessary.
You'll want to take advantage of the low "Public Launch
price" before it goes up in the near future. Click on
over to learn how and where you can get immediate access
to your ebook -
"Beat Web Thieves at Their Own Game!"
hesitate to express
your views and opinions on my Security Alert Blog and Cyber
Security Alert postings (easily done by clicking on
the highlighted 'COMMENT' |
at each post. Watch for postings on fraud alerts,
virus alerts, worm alerts, Internet Security alerts, security scams,
parental controls, online predators, net security, and more. Be sure to visit our
Firewalls-and-Virus Protection website for even more help
Free report -
"Avoiding Current Security Threats"
There are still some unresolved issues with the
Conficker worm and Cyber criminals are flooding the
Internet with bogus "Anti Virus and Anti Spyware"
programs designed to steal your personal information,
add your computers to world wide "botnets", and generally
prey on unsuspecting web surfers with unprotected
But you can take steps to avoid these security threats,
and I have outlined them in a special report you can have
This report is an update and a bit of an overview of the
information published in my newsletters, blog and
It covers the basics of what to look for and
how to prepare your computer to avoid the next high risk
threat. It's a quick download (PDF file) which you
can obtain by going to the registration page and leaving
your email address so that the download instructions can
be sent to your email inbox.
Get Free Report here and share this web address with
your friends so the emails you get from them are clean
and free of malware.
Please accept our
to Help Parents Teach Their Kids to be Safe Surfers
an Invitation to Help other Parents, Grandparents and Guardian by Sharing Your
Teaching Your Children To Be Safe When
They Were learning to Surf
the Internet. Please Tell Us
About It HERE
Update your Emergency Virus Protection program
you don't have your Virus Protection program yet, here's an
Emergency Step you should take,
McAfee offers a FREE Virus Scanning program named STINGER.
It has grown in size a little over the past few years and no longer fits on a single floppy Disk.
But so many of the newer PCs, including lap tops don't have a "A" floppy
drive anyway, you should burn it to a CD or memory stick for an offline back up tool.
You can use it as we do, to check
any of your PC computers for viruses, without being on line.
It is an 'After the Fact' application, which means that it does not scan
incoming email files, attachments or downloads, but it does scan whatever
you have already received online.
It currently checks, and repairs over 200 recent viruses. It's FREE
to download fromMcAfee
Contact Me Unlike the
people who use
Twitter to tell you they've
walked their dog, I Tweet
Only the things that I believe
all my followers will find useful.
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Follow me on Twitter
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