Posts Tagged ‘Spyware and Adware’

Porn is a Tricky Issue

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

As an IT provider we work with many different types of people and a in variety of situations.  Some can be awkward at times.  Case in point is from an issue we dealt with earlier in the week.

It is very rare that we have a computer come back regarding a virus removal.  Usually we remove the virus and/or malware, secure the computer and the computer is good-to-go.  When we setup the computer for this client, he stated he wanted a less stringent security policy than one we normally use.

We received an urgent call from Mr. X’s office, his administrative assistant said he had a virus and it was very important we got over there to take care of it as quickly as possible.  While working on the system it became obvious the owner was using his computer to surf porn sites.   As the owner, he certainly has the right to do with his time whatever he chooses, and he doesn’t complain about us charging him for the almost periodic virus removals.

This does put our technicians in a very peculiar situation when they come upon an issue such as this. In all my years of working on computers, I only came upon a scenario such as this once, and while it wasn’t the owner, the man held a very high position in the company.

If someone wants to browse for porn, that is their own business.  But for the sake of their company’s security, they should not do it on a computer used for the business.

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Spyware and Malware Misconception #3

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

If my computer is working fine right now, I don’t need to perform maintenance on it.

This is probably one of the biggest and most deadly misconceptions that most computer users fall victim to. Computers are just like cars. If you don’t change the oil, change the filter, rotate the tires, flush the transmission, and perform other regular maintenance on your car, it will eventually break down and cost you FAR MORE to repair than the cost of the basic maintenance.

There are certain maintenance checks that need to be done daily (like virus updates and spam filtering), weekly (like system backups and a spyware sweep), and monthly or quarterly like checking for and installing security patches and updates, disk defrag, spyware detection and removal, checking the surge suppressor and the integrity of the hard drive, and so on.

Your computer repair technician should be adamant that you have regular maintenance done on your computer and should offer to set up automatic virus definition updates, spam filtering (to avoid viruses), and automatic system backups that are stored on an OFF SITE location (this protects the backup from fire, flood, or other natural disasters).

Lack of system maintenance is the NUMBER ONE reason most people end up losing valuable files and incurring heavy computer repair bills.

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Spyware and Malware Misconception #1

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Spyware and Malware is easy to remove.

Some spyware and malware CAN be easily removed.

However, not all malicious programs can be removed – or even detected – using the above software. Many programs integrate so deeply into the operating system that it takes a skilled technician several hours to fully diagnose and remove the malicious program. In some extreme cases, we have had no alternative, but to wipe the hard disk clean by deleting all of the files on it and re-installing the operating system.

Obviously this is NOT an ideal situation and we do everything within our power to avoid it. Unfortunately there are some malicious programs that are so intelligent that there is simply no other way of removing them.

You can use Spybot or Ad-Aware as a first attempt at cleaning your machine; however, if you continue to notice that your computer runs slow, if you continue to get crippling pop-ups, or any other of the tell-tale signs discussed earlier, you will need to seek the help of an experienced computer technician.

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