Emsisoft – one of the World’s best computer antivirus companies according to http://www.av-comparatives.org/ – have just contacted me to let all readers know about this great Valentine’s deal they now have on offer! The offer won’t last long, so be quick if you want to benefit from it!
What’s this amazing software you ask? Well, it’s CCleaner and it’s a great little program to have and use on your Windows computer and now it’s also available for Macs.
I ALWAYS use it on every computer I repair and/or optimize – It’s not just a program that professional I.T. workers exclusively know how to use – the basic cleaning functions which remove unnecessary data are really simple for computer newbies to understand as well. It’s also useful to run the program just before running your antivirus software so as to reduce scan waiting time.
Now a few expert tips I can add:
- You should probably untick the Empty Recycle Bin box from within CCleaner because sometimes you’ll find you need to recover your deleted files from the bin.
- LEAVE THE REGISTRY CLEANER ALONE (unless you’re more of an expert and know EXACTLY what you’re doing). Yes, most of the time running registry cleaning software isn’t going to cause any big problems but when it does go wrong it can be a big deal. The potential gains usually aren’t worth the potential misery.
- Watch the video below for a great way to disable unwanted startup programs. This will speed up your computer’s startup time and is also the place where MOST viruses, adware etc tend to attach themselves, so you can actually potentially stop a virus causing more harm by switching it off before running your antivirus of choice.
Depending on your needs, there are several versions available but home users will benefit most from CCleaner Professional.
Alternatively, if you wish to try the free version to get a feel for it’s functionality: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL INTERNET USERS…
The following is extracted from http://www.examiner.com :
‘The Crypto Locker virus is considered to be a historically devastating virus because it holds your computer hostage until you pay a ransom. The Crypto Locker virus is easy to get and almost impossible to get rid of, unless you pay a ransom of up to $700. “The CryptoLocker Virus – which not only has the potential to destroy a computer hard drive, but holds the computer owners data ransom -infects computers through a legitimate-looking email, usually from a reputable company like FedEx or UPS,” reported University Herald on Oct. 26, 2013.
More specifically, the Crypto Locker virus is typically spread through emails that pretend to be customer support related issues from Fedex, UPS, DHS, etc. These emails contain a zip attachment that when opened will infect the computer. These zip files contain executables that are disguised as PDF files as they have a PDF icon and are typically named something like FORM_101513.exe or FORM_101513.pdf.exe. Since Microsoft does not show extensions by default, they look like normal PDF files and people open them.
The Crypto Locker virus, also written as CryptoLocker virus, is a ransomware computer program which holds your computer hostage until you pay a ransom. Holding your computer hostage, in this case, means that you will not be able to use any information on your computer unless you pay a ransom.
The Crypto Locker virus was released around the beginning of September of 2013 and shows up on your computer with a display which shows a Crypto Locker payment program that asks you to send a ransom, usually either $100 or $300 in order to decrypt the files.
The Crypto Locker virus screen might be asking for even more money, but it will display a timer stating that you have 96 hours, or 4 days, to pay the ransom, or it will delete your encryption key and you will not have any way to decrypt your files. This ransom must be paid using MoneyPak vouchers or Bitcoins.
Once you send the payment and it is verified, the program promises that it will decrypt the files that it encrypted, at least that is what the Crypto Locker virus screen promises. However, even when paying the ransom demanded by the Crypto Locker virus screen, one might not get all of the encrypted files back.
Before deciding to pay a ransom to get rid of the Crypto Locker virus, it is a good idea to visit CryptoLocker Ransomware Information Guide and FAQ, a website which discusses the Crypto Locker virus in detail and which continually updates its information.
While the website’s information about the Crypto Locker virus might sound too technical for some, it does provide helpful information on whether or not to pay a ransom, how to delay paying ransom, and what other options might be available. If the website is too difficult to understand, consulting a computer techie might be the best first step to deal with the Crypto Locker virus.
For computer techies, following some of the instructions on the website provides useful information on how to block the Crypto Locker virus, how to generate a list of files that have been encrypted by the Crypto Locker virus, and how to potentially restore files that were affected by the Crypto Locker virus.
Unfortunately, the Crypto Locker virus is not the first nor will it be the last virus that is attacking computer users. As such, the Crypto Locker virus is an important reminder to follow three major rules:
Always back up any information from your computer that you do not want to lose (files, documents, pictures).
Opening any files or links in your e-mail could be a virus, no matter how trustworthy the sender might sound. (A most recent method of spreading a virus is sending it under a friend’s name.)
Computer problems are going to happen; it is just a matter of time. Whether it is through a Crypto Locker virus, technical failure, or other incident, nothing on a computer is forever.’
I personally nearly fell for this trick about 2 months ago. The email was apparently sent from a parcel delivery company and funnily enough I was sending quite a few things via couriers and therefore thought the email was possibly legitimate. Unlike the usually badly written (bad grammar) emails from devious cyber criminals, this was written and presented very professionally. What gave it away as a fraudulent email was that the details within it weren’t quite accurate regarding my particular dispatch. A lesson to be learned here is to read your emails thoroughly before opening any attachments.
I was helping someone with a laptop issue the other day which involved verifying whether or not their antivirus programs were authentic or not. Not so easy when you work on a lot of people’s computers. What I should have done and I recommend that you also do is this: open Notepad or a similar word processing program relevant to the operating system that you use (Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux etc.) and write a quick list of the names of your antivirus, firewall and of any additional security software you may have installed on your PC. This is extremely useful for if you suspect that you have a virus and maybe don’t recognise the behaviour of your antivirus, firewall etc as being normal. One of the things some sophisticated viruses are capable of doing is making themselves look like and mimic security software! A typical scenario would be that the fake antivirus sends you a bunch of pop-up warnings that tell you to click here and there until it’s taken over your PC and you have seemingly no control of anything that the computer does,except for maybe, the last resort of switching it off from the mains supply. Not a good place to be. So next time your antivirus or firewall seems to be acting a little strange – which they do anyway sometimes – just check that little note you made previously 😉
Something that seemed so obvious, it should have been well known to me a long time ago, only jumped into my mind a couple of days ago: Would multiple accounts on the same computer, improve my security by limiting the access viruses and other nasty things have to files and settings. After a few minutes research the answer was a resounding YES!
This guy explains the process you should go through to create this extra bit of safety on your PC and it really is easy:
Hi! Are you still here? Great! Now onto the good bits 🙂 Ok, so I’m going to assume that the majority of readers know what an antivirus program is. Good. For the Grandparents among us I will simply say: If you have a computer you NEED one and it can be thought of as a tool that stops your computer becoming ill. The first “tool” I will suggest is:
This will cost you the exact price of nothing as it’s completely free! The Emergency Kit is great for if your computer has already become ill and needs repairing but as with most things, prevention is better than cure. If you don’t have a decent security package already in place to prevent infection then your PC may become unrecoverable from it’s sickly state. This is where the use of something like this becomes a very good idea:
30 Day free trial EMSISOFT INTERNET SECURITY (click here)
The reason I feel the need to recommend Emsisoft’s software first is that I believe it to be pretty damn good at detecting malware. Back in my younger days, when I was still new to PC security and using a few cracked programs, I thought I was being smart by first scanning the acquired software before installing it, believing that if the antivirus found nothing untoward then all was good. Not the case. A long story short, my computer begun to slow down, crash (computer term for when it closes down by itself) and generally become horrible to use. That’s when I thought more about my previous activities with installing non-legit software. I basically made it my mission to rid my computer of it’s viruses and in so doing found that Emsisoft’s software was capable of finding threats that many other antivirus company’s tools were incapable of detecting.
Over the years, I have successfully used Emsisoft Emergency Kit on several different people’s machines, and removed threats, that would have at worst stolen their online banking information and emptied their accounts. Now you can see why this article is important 😉
To all those that read this I have a confession to make: I have used “cracked” software in the past – to those that have no idea what this means – the software was not payed for. That’s all you need to know for now.
Now you’re probably asking yourself, “Why the hell’s this person confessing this crap and why the heck should I keep reading?”. Ok. Valid question. The reason why you should keep reading this blog is because I understand more than most when it comes to PC security, and the measures that should be in place to make using your PC that bit more relaxing and stress free.
Your second question I telepathically “hear”, “Oh great! Another PC tutorial, 10000000,111110…infinity.” Ah. Can I stop you there? This is unlike any other PC security lesson you will have ever witnessed. Yeah really.
Firstly, this blog is to be written in a way that even your Grandparents could understand. Secondly, I have real World experience of teaching complete newbies on PC security measures both in their homes and in using highly confidential data within the workplace.
What did you say? Why did I start this introduction with a confession? Stay tuned, all will be revealed shortly 🙂