HELP - I think we have a VIRUS

      
    
     Use A
 Whois Domain Name Search to Confirm the  Validity of a Website

   
 "Whois Search can Verify Websites"

While surfing the Internet, you've probably visited the home pages of new and interesting websites that you'd like to investigate, and possibly get the products or information they offered - but were uncertain about the validity of the websites, themselves.

Have you hesitated and wondered who is behind that website on your screen? Does that web page really belong to the company it claims to represent? Is it an honest and valid domain?

A handy service, known as a "Whois", can tell you who is behind a web page and verify its validity before you make that final click or download that free offer.

It's a utility that looks up information about individual websites from its whois database and reveals whatever information is currently available for any website. It will find the Domain Name and IP Address so you will at least know the identity of the registered owner of the domain (website).
The exception is when an owner of a website lists it as "private". In that case, the only information available is whether the website really exists – obviously of primary importance when you're considering making a purchase or downloading information.

How much, or how little information available for a Whois query depends on what the owner of the Domain Name decides to make public. Thankfully, most serious businesses provide ample information.

Serious Companies usually want to make it easy for customers to get in touch; they list every possible way to reach them – telephone and fax numbers, physical (street) and postal addresses, and of course email contacts, in order to attract prospective customers.

A personal website owner, though, may list only the minimum required data, or even register as "private". That way, they would avoid attracting unwanted sales pitches, spammers, or perhaps even worse.

Not all Whois applications search ALL domains. Each Domain Registrar is responsible for maintaining a Whois over those domains (websites) registered with him. When the internet was in its infancy, each Whois was designated to search only one type of domain; there was one for ".COM", another for ".ORG", and so on.

Even today, many of these utilities are still dedicated to one domain type or to one Registrar (the agency where you have registered your Domain Name). To facilitate searching, we now have publicly accessible Whois software and services that can search all Domain Registrars plus all Hosting Servers for any type of domain.

We'll first look at two basic categories of these services:

       a) Free Whois software
       b) Affordable, commercial Whois software that you pay to use

The type best for you, naturally, depends on how you are going to use the information they provide - something you'll know after trying a few different services.

While learning how to use a Whois, try the free ones. They deliver results that are just as accurate as any other model. They all search the same data bases, after all!

When using a free, no-frills service or software, the information might be presented in a long text-based list of line after line of data. However, some of the free services display information in a more convenient tabular form.

For infrequent use, a free service will do and it makes sense to start with free software until you know enough to decide whether to spend money on an easier program. For just basic inquiries, it's quite likely that you may never need to buy a Whois program at all.

You can find these free services by doing a Google, Bing, or other search for 'Whois". The results page will display many commercial and free services. Some of those little ads on the right side of the results page will often take you directly to a free trial.

One of these searches might give you the following information about a website –

Suppose you are searching the internet and you find an appealing site like
"HONEST-SITE.COM". First, you'll want to see who they really are. A Whois search usually tells you:
1. The true Domain Name, hopefully, HONEST-SITE.COM in this instance.
2. The IP Address of the website, e.g., 123.45.0.234 (four groups of numbers
   from 0-255, separated from one another by periods (dots). Try typing those
    numbers into your browser address bar – it should bring up the same
    website again.
3. Any other contact information available. You can expect to find
   information about who hosts the website (supplies the Web Server):
4. The name of the Hosting Company (Domain Name Server or Web Server),
   e.g., "WORLDSBESTDOMAINSHOP.COM"
5. The IP Address of that Web Server, including contact email addresses and
   phone numbers
6. The email addresses for their Administrator (ADMIN) and Webmaster (TECH).

A Whois reveals whatever information is available for any website, so you can see who stands behind it. You can practice at Better-WhoIs.com. Check out this free service by copying and pasting this address into the search box: firewalls-and-virus-protection.com

And yes, as you have guessed by now, a Whois is a quick and ideal way to unmask faked (phishing) websites.    
                                   
                                                                               ... Richard Rossbauer

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Richard started his "Firewalls and Virus Protection" website and "Security Alert News Reporter" to help everyday Internet users navigate safely through the Cyber Space that has become a 'Cyber Jungle', loaded with ambushes and booby traps. He promotes his "Computer Security Awareness Campaign" thru his website at http://www.firewalls-and-virus-protection.com
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