Suggestions Common Sense

Suggestions, Frequently Asked Questions and Links
to help repair frequently reported PC problems:

  1. Don’t open ANY attachment if you are NOT expecting it.  New viruses send their own email that looks JUST like it came from a trusted source.  For example one recent virus was sending emails that appeared to be coming from Mail Administration at Bosshelp.com  – It contained a password protected Zip file and it suggested that I had violated Bosshelp.com mail rules and in order to maintain my account I needed to clean my system with the attached file.There are a couple BIG problems with that email that I spotted right away.  I am the mail administrator for Bosshelp.com – I’m certainly NOT going to cancel my own accounts.  – So you can see you need to be VERY careful.
  2. Use Antivirus software.  Make SURE it is set to update once a week.  New viruses come out all the time.  Many consumer antivirus programs need to be repurchased every year to continue getting updates. McAfee and AVG are 2 trusted names. AVG Offers a free version –
    UPDATE
    – Due to recent changes I cannot recommend Norton Antivirus any longer.  The program is difficult to install and uninstall and recently this made the news “Symantec has issued a patch for a flaw in its scanning software that could cause a virus to execute, rather than catch it.
    Second Update– List of recent major problems with Symantec products –
  3. Be careful what you allow websites to do to your PC
    There are a TON of search bars and ad software out there that will eventually slow your PC to a crawl.  To remove them, try Malware Bytes. , Ad Aware  and/or Spy Bot
    Many times the first indication of a problem is the slowness of your PC or the constant popups.  Many people rely on Popup stopper programs.  They are just fixing the symptoms NOT the real problem.  The real problem is the software that you have allowed various websites to down load to your PC.  Either thru a popup install window or thru a free screensaver or funny movie.    Many of thee install windows look like this ….

    screen_secdialog

    This one is from Macromedia – Which is legitimate web software – BUT MANY of the search bars and cursors and other MALWARE install using the same type of popup window….  It says “Do you want to install and RUN...”  In most cases you should just Just click NO.

    Here is a quote from Microsoft’s Help file on Active X controls- Great Advice What should I do when Internet Explorer blocks the installation of an ActiveX control?You should always be cautious about allowing Web sites to run ActiveX controls
    on your computer.
    If an ActiveX control is not essential to your computer activity,
    try to avoid installing it.”

    Be sure to read the article below at Number 9

  4. Install Malware Bytes,  Spybot or Ad-Aware.   Update it – Let it scan your PC – Fix all the issues it finds – then reboot and run it again.  I often run 2 programs on users computers – Many times one program will pickup malware missed by the other.   If you PC seems to have a mind of its own and you cant seem to get control of the PC long enough to go to get Spybot try this: – Using a USB flash drive download the software using another PC and then UNLPLUG the network cable on your PC – This will slow the popups and in many cases give you back some control of your PC – Then install the your favorite 2 applications from the flash drive.FYI as of this date Spybot is freeware and Ad-aware is only free for PERSONAL use.  DON’T install Ad-Aware on a corporate or business PC without approval of that companies IS or Licensing dept.
  5. Kazaa, Morpheus, Limewire, imesh, edonkey, Ares Galaxy, BitTorrent and other programs often include subprograms that are installed along with the main program.  Many of these companies use the ad or search programs to generate the revenue that allows them to give away the software.    Most any file swapping programs are breeding grounds for popups and the like.  Remove them – Go to the control panel – add remove programs and uninstall them.  Windows 7 add remove programs allows you to sort by install date to see what else might have been installed along with your expected program.
  6. Backup your data- Use a Cloud Backup service like crashplan , DVD R, Flash driver or USB harddrive to backup your valuable data on a regular basis – Eventually you will have a virus or a drive failure or other mishap that causes you to lose data.  Cloud backups are cheap insurance and are set it and forget it insurance.
  7. Most of the unbelievable stories you get in email are scams or hoaxes.  You can check the hoaxes out here and Govt info on email scams .  Don’t forward those stories to everyone in your address book
  8. Here is interesting Business Week story about one of the largest Spyware companies, showing some of the detail f how they work and why its profitable for them to screw up your machine by attaching their bad software to ringtones and screensavers and such that you down load

 

If you live in the Dallas Fort Worth Area and would like more information of help getting these kinds of things set up or repaired let us know.