Troubleshooting a New PC
8:23 pm edt
04/24/12 - Macs have outsold PCs for 23 months. BEST Buy
makes $18 per square foot and
Mac stores make $1100 per square foot. The Mac revolution is here to stay. Consumers are
buying up the Mac even though the price is a bit more. They love the capabilities of the systems
and the reliability
of the Operating System. Many of we common users still wish for a Mac and
buy a PC…
electronics are brand new, we expect them to just work, and the office PC is no
different. But sometimes, you press the
Power button and nothing happens. Whether it’s a
disconnected cord or something more sinister, this article will
help you find the problem.
Check Your Power
how securely you attached the power cords for the PC and monitor, the cords may
have come off while you were moving the
PC into your office or when you were connecting one
end to the other. First, check and see if all the power cords and
the display cable are properly
connected. To be completely sure, it’s a good idea to remove and firmly reattach
because it may appear attached but not make a solid connection. Try powering on the system
hear any noise coming from the PC? Do you see any video on the monitor? If the PC is
making noise but not displaying
any video, you can at least be sure the PC has power. If you
don’t hear anything, try pushing the Power button
harder or holding it down for a few seconds.
Next, look at the power supply on the back of the PC and flip the power
toggle, if present,
because it may have accidentally been switched to the Off position. The toggle with the single
line (designed to appear as a 1 and symbolize On in binary) should be in the downward position.
A circle (designed
to appear as a 0 and symbolize Off in binary) disconnects power from the PC,
and it should be upward.
doesn’t work, switch the toggle to the Off position for 30 seconds. This will give the
capacitors within the computer
time to drain of power. When you turn the PC on again, the
capacitors will reset, which may fix the error that was stopping
your PC from starting. Another
good idea is to try plugging the power cords directly into a wall outlet, rather than
a power strip
or surge protector, because an old or poor surge protector may no longer transfer power to your
You may also want to try switching the power toggle on the power strip and
checking that other electronic devices, such
as a lamp, can be powered by the wall outlet or
power strip. If not, you may need to reset the circuit breaker for the
Inside Your Box
exhausted the list of external power problems, but we know that shipping can be rough on
PCs. In particular, the internal
cable that runs form the case’s front Power button may have
become disconnected during the shipping process. Start
by opening the case by removing the
thumbscrews on the panel. Consult the manual from your PC’s manufacturer or
look for a Power SW connector, which is a thin 2-pin connector that can typically be found on
lower-right side of the motherboard.
Power SW connector is loose, examine the diagram for your motherboard manual to see
where the 2-pin connector must be
connected. It’s also possible that “PWR SW” or “PW” may
be written in small print above
the connector on the silicon board. With the Power SW connector
back in place, try starting the PC again.
new PC will be under warranty, and if you’ve gotten this far, you can safely tell the tech
support agent that you’ve
tried everything and the system won’t power on. The problem may be
a broken power supply, a short with a cord
that’s connected to the motherboard, or a bad power
cable. Whatever the case, the PC’s manufacturer should
fix the problem or give you a
replacement unit that runs.
Is My Picture And Power
scenario, you hear fans run and can see lights on the Power button or inside the
computer, but you don’t see any
images on the monitor. First check and see if there are any
indication of power on the monitor, such as a light near
the Power button or a No Signal
message. Assuming it is plugged in, try pressing the Power button to ensure that the
isn’t turned off.
monitors support multiple types of inputs, and you may need to cycle through the
input selections to switch the display
to the correct input. Typically, monitors feature an Input
button that you can press to move among the display options.
It’s also important to make sure
that the monitor cable is securely connected to both your monitor
and the video output on the
PC. Press firmly on the connectors and tightly fasten the two screws on each plug. You should
also examine the cord for any cuts or kinks. Which can block the video signal from reaching the
monitor. If you have
a second video cable on hand, try switching out calbes to ensure that the
cable isn’t the problem.
way to determine the cause of the problem is to try the monitor on another computer. If
the monitor works on a second
computer, your PC likely has an issue with its video card or
integrated graphics processor that’s preventing it
form displaying video on the monitor. Follow
the instructions in the next section to reseat the video card or contact
the manufacturer about
a warranty replacement for your new PC. If the monitor doesn’t work on the second PC, try
connecting a spare monitor to the new computer to determine whether it works with another
The Video Card
Similar to issues with power
connectors. Video cards … especially recent models that are built
with large, heavy fans, can become unseated
during shipping. Before you try to reseat the card,
you should ground yourself by touching a metal object, such as the
frame of the case, to
discharge the static from your body. You can also invest in an antistatic wrist band from a local
unplug the power cord from the computer and remove the monitor cable. Open the case
and locate the video card, which
is the component with the video outputs. Remove the screw that
holds the video card in place from the chassis (or flip
the plastic bracket that locks above the
chassis) and release the plastic tab on the motherboard to unlock the video
card. Pull out the
video card and realign it over the slot. Push the video card straight down until the screw hole in
the video card’s metal plate lines up over the hole in the computer’s chassis.
video cards also require dedicated energy from the power supply, and it’s likely that the
video card needs power
from 6-pin and/or 8-pin PCI-E (Peripheral Component Interconnect
Express) connectors. Check that there are no loose 6-pin
(has six physical holes) or 8-pin
(eight physical holes) connectors hanging around the video card. When you’re
sure the video
card is properly attached and powered, screw the card to the chassis and put the side panel
on the case.
PC appears to start but it has an issue that’s preventing it form booting into Windows,
such as the appearance
of an error message or an audible beep code, it’s a good idea to return
your new system right away, because it’s
still under warranty. Other situations that justify a
warranty return include when the computer turns on for only a few
seconds before shutting down,
if the computer hangs while booting into Windows, or if spontaneous reboots occur. Remember,
it’s your money and the consumer is always right!
Eradicating Windows Safety Manager
04/21/12 - Windows Safety Manager is a fraudulent application that belongs to the
1:02 pm edt
category of rogue
anti-spywares. This malware is from the specific family of rogues
that all share the same GUI, alerts and distribution
techniques. Similarly to its
earlier versions (Windows Antivirus Patch, Windows Protection Unit)
and others, it
works on lurking people that their computers are dangerously infected. In addition,
Manager offers to purchase its licensed version as the only
program capable to help. However, that’s just a way
how these programs tend to
earn some easy money. You should never fall for Windows Safety Manager and buy
version. Please use one of the automatic removal tools listed below to
eradicte this parasite
from your system.
When it comes the infiltration moment, Windows Safety Manager prefers using the
backdoor methods and never asks
a permission from its victim. It is usually
downloaded with a help of trojans that additionally drop some files and make
system launch its executable files every time PC is rebooted. In the meanwhile,
user starts receiving continuous
alerts and scanners from Windows Safety Manager
telling that PC is dangerously infected. However, you should never be
these alerts because they report only about invented viruses.
are some of Windows Safety Manager alerts misleadingly reporting about
Warning! Identity theft attempt Detected
Hidden connection IP: 188.8.131.52
passwords for sites
Trojan activity detected.
System data security is at risk.
It is recommended to activate protection and run a full system scan.
Firewall has blocked a program from accessing the Internet
is suspected to have infected your PC. This type of virus intercepts
entered data and transmits
them to a remote server.
By displaying fake scan reports, Windows Safety Manager
seeks to scare its victims
and additionally push them into purchasing its fake license. Instead of doing this,
recommend checking your computer with legitimate anti-spyware program and
see which files are infected in reality. It
can be easily predetermined that Windows
Safety Manager will be detected as malicious, so you should waste no time and
remove it from your computer.
Windows Safety Manager is Extremely
is a corrupt Anti-Spyware program
spread via Trojans
may display fake security messages
install additional spyware to your computer
files, spread or update by itself
violates your privacy and compromises your security
Eradicating Windows Antivirus Patch
04/21/12 - Windows Antivirus Patch is a typical rogue anti-spyware
that will do its best in making
12:58 pm edt
you scared about your PC. This program may look like a helpful tool which is worth to
be kept on
your computer. However, in reality it is just an average virus that belongs to the FakeVimes family
rogues showing up and infecting computers for only few days. After that, they are usually
replaced by the new rogue that
does the same dirty job and tries to swindle the money for its
Windows Antivirus Patch, similarly to its earlier versions (Windows Protection Unit or Windows
is usually distributed with a help of trojans that get inside the system through
security vulnerabilities found. Once
the executable of Windows Antivirus Patch gets launched,
users start suffering from its activity that includes fake alerts
and scanners continuously reporting
about numerous viruses detected. This rogue keeps displaying loads of popup warnings
about malicious viruses detected and claim that PC is being infected by trojans,
and other infections. However, beyond a doubt, all alerts displayed by
Windows Antivirus Patch are fake and should never
be followed. Here are some examples:
Firewall has blocked a program from accessing the Internet.
Windows Media Player Resources
C:\Windows\system32\dllcache\wmploc.dll is suspected to have infected your PC. This
type of virus intercepts entered
data and transmits them to a remote server.
Keylogger activity detected. System information security is at risk.
It is recommended to activate
protection and run a full system scan.
Software without a digital signature detected.
Your system files are at risk. We strongly advise you to activate your
Windows Antivirus Patch is way too
exaggerated to be trusted. The reason why this scam is
released is really simple – you can be sure that Windows
Antivirus Patch will offer you to
purchase its licensed version that will be promissed to help you with virus removal.
just like the trialware, licensed Windows Antivirus Patch version has an empty virus data base,
is useless in virus removal. Instead of falling for this virus and paying for its license, you
should run a full system
scan with reputable anti-spyware. Please use one of the automatic
removal tools listed below to eradicate this parasite.
Windows Antivirus Patch is Extremely dangerous
is a corrupt Anti-Spyware
may spread via Trojans
display fake security messages
install additional spyware to your computer
repair its files, spread or update by itself
violates your privacy and compromises your security
Eradicating Attention! All your files are encrypted!
04/21/12 - Attention! All your files are encrypted! message means the
scareware that is another
12:48 pm edt
tool designed by scammers to swindle the money. Identified as Trojan.Ransom.HM, this
is aimed at people who like to use file-sharing services, like download movies, music
and other stuff. Program is found
to encrypt the files on victim’s computer and additionally
demand 50 euros in order to restore them.
This scamware is distributed through illegal copies of music, movies and
other files in most of
the cases. As soon as it is executed, it drops some files that can’t be executed normally
additionally displays the alert saying that there are illegal programs found on your PC. Besides,
encrypts all extensions by adding .EnCiPhErEd to file extension and tends to change
default icons to a pink common icon.
Every folder on the target PC is usually renamed to
“HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt” and
included this message:
Attention! All your files are encrypted!
You are using
To restore your files and access them,
send code Ukash or Paysafecard nominal value of
EUR 50 to the e-mail
During the day you receive the answer with the code.
You have 5 attempts to enter the code. If you exceed this
date all data is
irretrievably spoiled. Be careful when you enter the code!
The best prevention for this encryption trojan is doing regular backups. To prevent your systemAttention! All your files are encrypted! is Dangerous
this parasitem use one the Security Suites listed below.
is a Trojan parasite
displays fake security & messages
displays numerous annoying advertisements
may be remotely controlled by a malicious person
may spread additional
may repair its files, spread or update by itself
may prove difficult or impossible to remove
your privacy and compromises your security
Network Troubleshooting: Get Your Mac Network Up
2:11 pm edt
04/13/12 - There is a need to share files across your network,
to print and connect to the
internet… The networked computer is a necessity. The network has become more important
than ever for any computer user.
network goes wrong, we typically are dealing with connectivity issues. These issues
have common occurrences that can
be examined with a suite of tools designed to fix them
(allowing you to get and stay well connected with your Mac).
Network Performance And Connectivity
look at some common issues and examine the tools we can use to fix them.
issues come from three different sources: the server you’re trying to reach, your
connection to your ISP (Internet
Service Provider), and the local conditions on your home
network. The most important step in fixing network – related
issues is understanding where the
problem is occurring.
what your network issue, the initial symptom will always be the same: You’re trying to
reach a Web site or check
your email, and nothing happens. You may receive an error message
indicating that the server could not be reached. However,
a break at any stage of the chain ( your
network, the ISP, or the Website) results in the same error. How so you figure
out where the
from the outside and work your way in. If you are unable to reach a Web site, try another
one – www.google.com is a great choice because of its legendary uptime. Assuming that other
sites are working, you’ve successfully localized the problem to that particular site. You can
either wait or
inform the site owners of the outage.
However, if Google (or any site you try) is
unreachable it’s time to move your investigation closer
into your network. The trick now is to distinguish between
a problem happening with your ISP
and one happening with your own network.
Mac users are blessed with
a built-in suite of tools for monitoring the network. In the Utilities
folder (click ‘Go’ and ‘Applications’
to find it), you’ll find an application called Network Utility. This
tool contains a number of different tabs that
tap into the Unix command – line tools that come
with every Mac, allowing you to test and gain intelligence about
your network status.
Operating The Traceroute Network Utility
open Network Utility, you’ll find a tab called ‘Traceroute’. It allows you to enter a
domain name (such
as Apple.com) and then shows you every ‘hop’ one the network between
your computer and the destination. To
get a feel for how it works, use Apple.com as your domain
and click ‘Trace’ to begin the process.
occurs in real time in the results window. You’ll note that each hop on the path from
you computer to the destination
has a number, with the IP (Internet Protocol) address of
10.0.0.1. The next hop after that will be to your ISP’s
local switch for your network. In most
cases, your request will bounce around on the ISP’s network for a few hops
and then wend its
way out to the backbone of the Internet. This starts happening by the sixth hop in the example.
Take note of the domain names that start appearing. They include city abbreviations showing
travel from Jacksonville,
to New York City, to Chicago, to San Jose before ending up on the
Apple Server. Once there, asterisks appear, indicating
servers that don’t respond. But given that
the trace found Apple, we can be confident that everything is working
and that Apple’s internal
servers are simply ignoring trace requests.
Any breaks (indicated by asterisks)
that appear before reaching your destination will often
indicate a problem at the point where it occurred. If the trace
goes beyond your own network,
then you have one piece of evidence that your network isn’t the problem.
problem is beyond your network, a common problem for ISP’s relates to a breakdown of
their DNS (Domain Name Servers).
These are the servers that translate domain names (such as
Apple.com) into their IP addresses (such as 184.108.40.206).
Try using an IP address in your
Web browser instead of the domain name and see if it works. If so, then you can call
and ask them to fix their DNS servers. However, if that Traceroute stops before your home router,
you know the problem is local.
Resolve Network Problems
for many problems is often a power cycle away. Refer to your router’s documentation for
the best way to reboot
it. Tapping a reset button or pulling the power cable are common
methods. If that doesn’t solve your problem, check
to make sure that your router is getting an IP
address from your ISP (again, check your router’s documentation
to learn how to determine
this). If it’s not, you may want to call them up and ask them to check the status of
are still having trouble, then you may have a malfunctioning router. But before you go
searching for your receipt and
warranty papers, there’s one more place to check: your Mac.
to the Network Utility and click the ‘Info’ tab. Find the drop-down menu at the top, which
allows you to
select the network interface that you’re using; typically its either Ethernet or
AirPort. Look at the IP address;
if it begins with either 10.0 or 192.168, then you have confirmed
that your router is connected and providing you with
a working IP address. If the address begins
with 169, then you haven’t been assigned an address, which points to
a problem, again, with the
router. Take another look at your router’s documentation to ensure that the DHCP (Dynamic
Host Configuration Protocol) server is running (this is the router software that assigns IP
addresses to connected
have more than one computer on your network, ensure that all of them are having the
connection problem. If so, then you
know the problem is your router. But what happens when
you’ve narrowed it down to your Mac? Go to System Preferences
(under the Apple menu) and
choose ‘Network’. Click the active interface in the left – hand source pane
(again, either AirPort
or Ethernet) and confirm the connection: Are you connected to the right wireless network? For
an AirPort connection, click the Advanced button and choose the TCP/IP tab. Confirm that
you’re using DHCP to
configure your network settings, that the router IP address is correct, and
that clicking Renew DHCP Lease doesn’t
try connecting to other networks. If none of them work, then you’ve likely narrowed the
problem down to a fault
in your network hardware, and your next step is a visit to your local
Apple Store’s Genius Bar.
a methodical approach you will learn where the problem resides within the network
chain. By paying attention to detail
and getting to know your tools, you’ll be well on your way to
solving just about any networking issue. Good Hunting!
Eradicating Windows Foolproof Protector
04/13/12 - Windows Foolproof Protector is a rogue anti-spyware
program that displays fake
2:06 pm edt
security alerts and claims that your computer is infected with viruses. The rogue program
claims that your personal information is at risk and cane be stolen by hackers. This fake anti
has been noticed to be actively distributed with a help of Trojans and hacked
websites that redirect users to fake online
virus scanners. Fake scanners reports non-existent
infections and offer to download malware removal tool to remove supposedly
Most of the time Windows Foolproof Protector has to be installed manually but sometimes it
enter your computer without your knowledge. Either installed manually or without any user’s
permission it starts
misleadin actions. Its strategy involves some certain modifications done for
computer’s registry and also invention
of some harmless files that later will be detected as
spyware, trojans and rootkits. They are mostly announced on such
has blocked a program from accessing the Internet
C:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe
is suspected to
have infected your PC. This type of virus intercepts entered data
and transmits them to a remote server.
Warning! Identity theft attempt Detected
Target: Your passwords for sites
When Windows Foolproof Protector is installed on your computer, it starts displaying fake
reporting many of viruses detected on the system during fake system scan.
Rogue alerts, useless virus scanners and other
notifications are nothing but scam because
their function is to encourage you to start thinking about the program which
will fix everything.
Windows Foolproof Protector claims that it is definitely the best removal tool for these trojans,
keyloggers and spyware but before getting it installed asks paying the money. However, these
detections should be simply
ignored because sometimes they may even be simple your system
As you can see, this is the way rogue anti-spywares act, and Windows Foolproof Protector is a
anti-spyware program. You should ignore fake security alerts and notifications of this
scareware and keep away from instructions
it recommends you to do. As soon as you notice it
on board, remove Windows Foolproof Protector from your computer
as soon as possible. It's
nothing more but a scam. Use our recommend malware removal software to remove this virus
from your PC. Also, if you have already purchased it, you should contact your credit card
company and dispute the charges. Please
use one of the automatic removal tools listed below
to eradicate this parasite from your system as soon as possible.
Eradicating Windows Command Processor
04/13/12 - Windows Command Processor is one more member of Rogue.FakeVimes
1:59 pm edt
Just like its predecessors the program tries to trick you into thinking that your system is badly
and then make you purchase something completely useless. The application uses
tricky methods to get access to systems.
It employs trojan viruses and may use some Internet
websites and display its fake scanners online that only pretend scanning
your computer. Then it
definitely states that your system is infected and recommends downloading and installing a full
version of Windows Command Processor in order to clean all infections.
Windows Command Processor displays various security notifications which also warn about
some suspicious items detected
on your machine. That is just a kind of tactics that rogue
programs use in order to gain trust and convince computer
users into purchasing something
fake. Needless to say that Windows Command Processor will not detect or remove anything
at all. Have a look at some pop up messages that you can receive if you are infected with
Windows Command Processor:
Warning! Identity theft attempt Detected
Target: Your passwords for sites
Trojan activity detected. System data security is at risk.
It is recommended to
activate protection and run a full system scan.
Firewall has blocked a program from accessing the Internet
is suspected to have infected your PC. This type of virus intercepts entered data
them to a remote server.
Beware of such
program and be very careful about downloading anything without making a small
research about the program first. You cannot
pay for it under any circumstances. If by any
reason you have done that already, contact your credit card company and
dispute the charges
in order to avoid making any benefits for the cyber criminals. Remove Windows Command
using a reputable antispyware program as soon as possible. Please use one of the
automatic removal tools listed below
to eradicate this parasite from your system as soon as possible.
Eradicating Enfiltrator Black Box
04/13/12 - ENFILTRATOR Black Box Home Edition (EBBHE) is a complete computer monitoring
1:55 pm edt
solution for personal
computers. Everything that is typed, every window that is used, will be
logged for review. eBBHE will tell you how long
a program was used, how many keystrokes were
entered, the amount of active and inactive time spent on each program, the
program's title, path,
name and more! Everything you need to know to make accurate assessments of computer
will be logged.' Please use one of the automatic removal tools listed below to eradicate
this parasite from your systems.
Enfiltrator Black Box properties:
• Takes and sends out screenshots of user activity
• Sends out logs by FTP or email
• Logs keystrokes
• Hides from the user
• Stays resident
Time to Take Security Seriously Mac
10:35 pm edt
04/10/12 - The malware-free times of Mac users are behind us permanently." Mac OS X Trojan,
Mac Security, Mac Protector (and the biggest of all) Flashback (is back).
Although Apple has a small segment of the computer
market, its owners are a richer
demographic. "If you can spend (US)$2,000 for a MacBook, you've got money".
are smart… These bad guys want to get a look at the ‘Mac’ user’s bank accounts
First, with the release of Windows 7, it’s time to stop making fun of Windows for having swiss
security. Microsoft made security a major focus for this operating system, and it did
make some solid progress in the
job of plugging the old leaks that plagued Windows users for
Second, Macs are apparently not much more or less secure than Windows machines. That’s
right, all that “Macs
can’t get viruses” and “OS X is such a secure operating system” bravado is
not completely accurate.
Remember, Man makeable is Man breakable.
security experts agree that although Windows computers are more likely to experience an
attack than Macs, They are not
This is essentially a market
share issue. It makes economic sense for cybercriminals to use a
piece of malware to attack the greatest number of machines
possible; if you’re an entrepreneur
(criminal or legitimate), you want to get the most bang for your buck. Attacking
machines is more lucrative because there are so many more of them. (Granted, older and
machines are easy targets regardless of market share, but that’s beside
In other words, the reason your Mac has never been infected with anything has less to do with
your operating system
and much, much more to do with the fact that most criminals simply
haven’t bothered to create very many malware
attacks for Macs. But, as you can see, this is no
longer the case.
The Attack of Flashback
The Flashback Trojan is the biggest infection experienced by Mac users to date. Malware
programs are designed to
harvest user information that can be sold to third parties, or used for
fraudulent activities. Flashback was initially
detected by Russian Antivirus firm Dr Webb (and
confirmed by security giant Kaspersky on April 9, 2012) to be quietly
running on upwards of
700,000 Macs. Users are lured to infected Web pages that send a malware downloader to their
computers as soon as they land on the page. Once the Trojan is installed it sends a message to
the intruder's control
server with a unique ID to identify the infected machine. By introducing the
code criminals are potentially able to control
the machine. To see if your infected you can
Download FlashbackChekcer from Github .
Interestingly, Flashback Trojan is a Java vulnerability, and the actual exploit is OS independent,
writers) don't have to know how to write an OS X exploit. The result is that 98% of
infected systems are Macs. Infections
are not just resident to operating systems, the mitigating
issue is increasingly the ‘browser’. Browsers
do not care what OS you’re using.
The Macs have outpaced the PC industry for 23 straight quarters. As more people buy Macs we
will see more Mac OS
X targeting (malware). The weak point In this particular instance; the
malware writers were targeting Java (a runtime
which is used for anything from enterprise
applications to popular 3D games). HTML5--a Web standard in progress that
and other browser makers are helping to build--holds the same type of threat for future attacks.
How To Stay Safe
Today, the argument about which OS (operating system) is better is more or less moot. This is
because although viruses
and other “classic” types of malware still exist and are threats, you’re
more likely to be hit with
a social engineering attacks such as phishing which depend on tricking
users into giving up personal information, visiting
a poisonous Web site, or clicking a bad link. If
you don’t fall for the traps, you’ll significantly reduce
your chances of a malicious attack.
Additionally, many attacks come through vulnerabilities in Web browsers and software,
has nothing significant to do with which operating system they’re running on.
To protect our computers from threats, we have to be wise about the places we visit, how we act
there, and where
things come from. Be aware of clicking suspicious links or downloading
suspect software. Always keep your security (virus)
signatures, applications and operating
system patched and up-to-date.
Time For Security Software
yet appear to be a general consensus on which security application you should
use to keep your Mac safe (if any). Mac
OS X has some security measures built in, such as a
firewall and timely security updates, but those are minimal measures
at best. There are several
third-party options available, including products from Kaspersky, ESET, Panda, Trend Micro
No matter what security measures you take, the best ones will always include you being smart
about your computing
habits. In computing as in the real world, using common sense and good
judgement is the best way to stay safe.
Eradicating Windows Cleaning Tools
04/09/12 - Windows Cleaning Tools is a rogue antispyware program that
spreads on computer
3:13 pm edt
systems through Trojan viruses and infiltrates computers without permission of the users. It
pretends to be an antispyware program but in fact is an infection itself that must be removed as
soon as detected.
Windows Cleaning Tools can block most of reputable antivirus tools and regular computer
programs to render your
system to become unprotected. The program displays numerous
security notifications stating that your system is infected.
Once you try to launch any program
you will be asked to activate Windows Cleaning Tool.
For the most part, Windows Cleaning Tools blocks your Internet Explorer and every time you try
to visit any website,
it generates a warning claiming that the website is infected and it may harm
your computer. These security alerts (and
any additionsl alerts) by Windows Cleaning Tools
must be ignored as it is a malicious program only seeking to make you
purchase its license and
usurp your money. Here's how they look like to make it easier for you to recognize them:
Firewall has blocked a
program from accessing the Internet
C:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe
is suspected to have infected
your PC. This type of virus intercepts entered
data and transmits them to a remote server.
Warning! Identity theft attempt Detected
Target: Your passwords for sites
Trojan activity detected. System data security is at risk.
It is recommended to
activate protection and run a full system scan.
will pretend to run its scanner and operate a trial version that can detect infections. Then
Tools makes a list of supposedly infected files and asks the user to purchase
its full version in order to remove infections.
Be advised, it doesn't detect any real threats and
only displays a fake infection list to make you purchase its license.
We strongly advise removing Windows Cleaning Tools right
after noticing it running on your
system. You have to scan your system with a reputable antispyware program. Please use
of the automatic removal tools listed below to eradicate this parasite from your system.
Flashback Attacks The MAC
9:30 pm edt
04/08/12 - The Trojan Flashback is a fake Adobe Flash Player
installer designed to infect Mac
systems. Displaying a fake Adobe logo and looking like a legitimate program, Its primary
function is to steal passwords and usernames on the Macs it infects. After Flashback infiltrates
a Mac, it generates
a list of control servers and transmits the data at multiple control server
addresses. It can then receive and run any
executables it gets from a control server.
Infiltration typically comes from downloads and drive
by’s received from compromised websites,
such as dlink.com (but there are more). Systems infected of note are OS
X Lion 2012-001, OS X
10.6 and OS X 10.7. The Security Company Dr Web estimates about 600,000 Macs have been
with this Trojan with about 57% of all infections listed on stateside systems and 20% in
Canada and the rest of the world.
Apple has done well with securing this vulnerability and Mac
users can also look to the third party automatic solutions
listed below to eradicate this parasite.
Running Ubuntu with VMware Player
4:16 pm edt
04/08/12 - BOOTING FROM CD
an Ubuntu CD, I get to the Introductory Page and when I choose to start ubuntu I
get the following intermittent crash
Int 14: Cr2 f8000000 err 00000000 EIP c020c384 cs 00000060 flags 00010003
Stack: c00f7d40 c03f129b c0371d8c
00000002 c00f7d49 000f7d40 00000000 00000000
I have problems booting a LiveCD on a PC (This happens with a lot of newer systems) I
install the LiveCD as a virtual
machine. My virtual player of choice is VMware Player which is
available for download (for free) at http://www.vmware.com/products/player . There are other third
party virtual players like VirtualBox ( http://www.virtualbox.org ).
Go to the VMware
site and download the VMware player. The VMware Player can play virtual
machine files (in this case) allowing me to run
Ubuntu Linux on a Windows desktop. In order to
create a virtual machine of the Linux LiveCD, you make a new directory
on the Windows system
and name it what you like (LinuxLiveCD). Inside the directory you created, create a text file
named ‘livecd.vmx and insert the following script:
.encoding = "UTF-8"
config.version = "8"
virtualHW.version = "6"
scsi0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"
memsize = "512"
ide1:0.present = "TRUE"
ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-raw"
floppy0.startConnected = "FALSE"
ethernet0.present = "TRUE"
ethernet0.connectionType = "nat"
ethernet0.addressType = "generated"
usb.present = "TRUE"
ehci.present = "TRUE"
sound.present = "TRUE"
sound.autodetect = "TRUE"
svga.autodetect = "TRUE"
displayName = "livecd"
guestOS = "ubuntu"
virtualHW.productCompatibility = "hosted"
Place your Ubuntu disk in your CD drive and start your VMware player. You will then need to
create a new VMware library
after you launch the player. Inside the VMware player, start Ubuntu
Linux as you would on a physical computer. When you
are done and the operating system boots
up, click ‘I Finished Installing’. So remember; after you have inserted
the livecd, opened the
livecd.vmx file with VMware Player, and started the virtual machine, there is a user interface
will let you adjust the configuration further once you have a base virtual machine running.
your CD drive is not located at the D: drive, you will need to tweak your system by
changing ‘ide 1:0.fileName
to the correct drive. You can also adjust the ‘memsize’ to be greater
that ‘512 Mb’s’ if
you want more memory for your Virtual Machine. Good Luck!
Remove Advanced Antispyware Solution
1:43 pm edt
04/07/12 - Advanced Antispyware Solution is a dangerous application
with a primary goal of
stealing users money. This rogue anti-spyware reports hundreds of invented infections and
offers users the right to purchase its licensed version. It is recommended you ignore
such messages (similar to alerts
displayed by Best Virus Protection, Antimalware PC Safety
and AV Security Essentials) which come from the same scareware
group of programs. Please
eradicate all elements of these parasites as soon as possible.
Advanced Antispyware Solution’s propagation methods are based on trojans which infiltrate a
the backdoors. This intrusion goes unnoticed as it runs in the background. The
malware makes configuration changes to
system settings in order to start once the PC is
rebooted. It will be configured to start as soon as you turn on your
workstation and it will display
numerous alerts and scanners (designed to alarm users). Typical alerts
Advanced Antispyware Solution has detected pontentially harmful software in your system. It is
recommended that you register Advanced Antispyware Solution to remove all found
Warning! Access conflict detected!
An unidentified program is trying to access system process address
Process Name: AllowedForm
Warning! Virus detected
Threat Detected: Trojan-PSW.VBS.Half
This is a VBScript-virus. It steals user’s passwords.
Your PC may still be infected with dangerous viruses. Malware Protection Center protection is
needed to prevent data loss and avoid theft of your personal data and credit card details. Click
here to activate protection.
Warning! Virus Detected
Threat Detected: Trojan-Spy.HTML.BankFraud.ra
Recommended: Please click “Remove All” button to erase all infected files and protect your PC.
All of these positives are false and report a phoney security status of your
Antispyware Solution’s activity is deceptive, so you should have no thoughts about purchasing
its license. It is highly recommended you clean your computer using a reputable antimalware
program (like those listed
below). Please eradicate this parasite as soon as possible.
Fake System Optimizer: Smart HDD
12:33 pm edt
04/07/12 - Smart HDD (also known as Smart Repair) is another
version of fake system
optimizers. It’s primary focus is simulating hardware failures (while it implements malware
attacks or registry issues). A clone of HDD Rescue, Smart Defragmenter, and many other disk
defragmenters, this malware
was released only days after the last one. The internals of Smart
HDD are not that different from its predecessors and
the way it behaves is about the same.
Smart HDD enters systems through various browser vulnerabilities, trojans and exploits. Once it
enters the system,
it creates several files, typically in ‘Temp’ directory and primes them to
launch on start. These executables
are responsible for various Pop-ups and Alerts.
HDD pop-ups state, that your PC is malfunctioning. Typically, ‘hard drive’ failure is blamed,
but it can
be “bad RAM” or problems in the ‘registry’. The following are examples of the pop-ups:
Fix issues reported during the in-depth of S.M.A.R.T. attributes
Hard drives diagnostic report
Your computer is in critical state.
Hard disk error detected.
As a result it can lead to hard disk failure and potential loss of data.
highly recommended to repair all found errors to prevent loss of files, applications and
documents stored on your computer.
Windows detected a hard drive problem.
A hard drive error occurred while starting the application.
Windows cannot find notepad. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To
a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.
Requested registry access is not allowed. Registry defragmentation required
All of the pop-ups are fake, and the main window of Smart HDD will prompt you to start a system
This is not a real system scan and it will detect a multitude of problems. Smart HDD will
offer to fix each of these
problems for the price of 60-80 USD. Beware – it is a scam and the
system will not be fixed if you pay. They will
likely resell your credit card details and proceed to
scam other users.
To eradicate Smart HDD from your system, you can press ‘Help’
and ‘Support’ then register the
program with this code ‘0973467457475070215340537432225 or
… this will stop the pop-ups. Finally scan the system
with a reputable automatic removal tool (like those listed
below). Remove all traces of this rogue
as soon as possible.
2:50 pm edt
04/06/12 - This dangerous trojan usually sneaks into the target system via various Internet
resources (such as
peer-to-peer networks) and starts performing its destructive activities. These
activities usually lead to unwanted effects,
such as system reboot or shutdown, and may cause
some serious losses of important data. Please use one of the automatic
removal tools listed
below to eradicate this parasite from your system.
Sexu Trojan properties:
• Hides from the user
• Stays resident in background
Q. How do I avoid rogue antispyware and antivirus software?
A. Make sure you 'Choose Industry Certified "Security Program"
If your PC is connected to
the internet, uses e-mail, has software of an unknown
installed and comes into contact with recordable media (jump drives, dvd's,
cd's, etc) Antispyware and Antivirus protection is a requirement. They help prevent
attacks through e-mail (and/or attachments sent with e-mail) and surfing the web.
They also help you eradicate infections which are the result
of security holes and
bugs in software. (The e-mail, web surfing
and software holes and bugs result in
the most serious internet
way to know you're purchasing a trustworthy application is to confirm that
you choose has earned certification from the leading labs.
from ICSA Labs, Virus Bulletin, West Coast Labs, the National
of Specialist Computer Retailers, and others all require antispyware/
antivirus programs to meet stringent requirements to receive certification.
Smartphone and Tablet
Tips to create a safe passcode.
Smartphones and tablets open the
door to your Work, friends, family, bank details, etc... No matter which device you use, follow these tips to keep your data secure.
1. Always use a passcode. If someone gets hold of your device, the person has immediate access to your apps and
2. Make your passcode difficult to guess. Codes such as 1234 or 2580 can be cracked in seconds. Go for something that’s
unique but easy for you to remember.
3. Longer is stronger. The longer the passcode, the harder it is to crack. Make yours a minimum of six
4. Mix numbers and letters. If your device allows, use a passcode that combines numbers, letters and punctuation. Avoid dictionary words and
choose a memorable combination.
5. Make it unique. Don’t use the same passcode for anything else, including other devices,
bank cards or online accounts. That way, if one passcode gets hacked the rest stay secure.
6. Be discreet. Look around and make sure no one is watching you enter your passcode, just as
you would protect your PIN at the ATM machine.
Q. What steps need to be taken to secure
mobile devices (smartphones) for
personal/work phones and
A. Follow these steps to secure your mobile
1. Secure your device
Always lock it
b. Apply a complex passcode
c. Shield your passcode
d. Apply the latest patches
Prevent Malware Infections
Don't click on unsolicited links
b. Think before downloading apps
c. Don't "jailbreak" or "root" your mobile
Be data aware
Be careful what you share
b. Encrypt sensitive data
4. Stay compliant
a. Know and follow your organizations
Q. Do you have an example of an Organizational 'Mobile Device Security Policy'
A. Here is EZMobilePC's policy.
Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, are important tools for the
organization and their use
is supported to achieve business goals.
However, mobile devices
also represent a significant risk to information security and
data security as, if the
appropriate security applications and procedures are not applied,
they can be a conduit for
unauthorized access to the organization’s data and IT
This can subsequently lead to data leakage and system infection.
EZMoblePC has a requirement to protect its information assets in order to safeguard
its customers, intellectual property and reputation. This document outlines a set of
practices and requirements for the safe use of mobile devices.
1. All mobile devices, whether owned by EZMoblePC or owned by employees, that have
access to corporate networks, data and systems, not including corporate IT-managed
laptops. This includes smartphones and
2. Exemptions: Where there is a business need to be exempted from this
(too costly, too complex, adversely impacting other business requirements) a risk
must be conducted being authorized by security management.
3. Policy - Technical Requirements
Devices must use the following Operating Systems: Android 2.2 or later,
iOS 4.x or later.
2. Devices must store all user-saved passwords in an encrypted password store.
3. Devices must be configured with a secure password that complies with EZMoblePC's
password policy. This password must not be the same as any other credentials used
within the organization.
With the exception of those devices managed by IT, devices are not allowed to be
connected directly to the internal corporate network.
3.1 User Requirements
Users must only load data essential to their role onto
their mobile device(s).
Users must report all lost or stolen devices to EZMoblePC
If a user suspects that unauthorized access to company
data has taken place
via a mobile device, they must report the incident in alignment
incident handling process.
4. Devices must not be “jailbroken”* or have any software/firmware installed
is designed to gain access to functionality not intended to be
exposed to the user.
Users must not load pirated software or illegal content
onto their devices.
Applications must only be installed from official platform-owner
Installation of code from un-trusted sources is forbidden.
If you are unsure if an
application is from an approved source contact EZMoblePC IT.
7. Devices must be kept up to date with manufacturer or network provided patches.
As a minimum patches should be checked for weekly
and applied at least once a month.
Devices must not be connected to a PC which does not
have up to date and enabled
anti-malware protection and which does not comply with corporate
Devices must be encrypted in line with EZMoblePC’s
Users may must be cautious about the merging of personal
and work email accounts on
their devices. They must take particular care
to ensure that company data is only sent
through the corporate email
system. If a user suspects that company data has been sent
from a personal email account, either in body text or as an attachment, they must notify
EZMoblePC IT immediately.
(If applicable to your organization) Users must not
use corporate workstations to backup
or synchronize device content such as media files, unless such content is required
legitimate business purposes.
*To jailbreak a mobile device is to remove the limitations imposed by the manufacturer.
This gives access to the operating system, thereby unlocking all its features and enabling
the installation of unauthorized software.
Q. What is the first thing I should
do when I turn on my computer.
A. Back up important files
If you follow these tips, you're more likely to be free of interference from
and spammers. But no system is completely secure. If you have important
files stored on your computer, copy them onto a removable disc or
drive, and store it in a safe place.
Q. How do I protect my password?
A. Protect your passwords
Keep your passwords in a secure place, and out of plain sight. Don't share them
on the Internet, over email, or on the phone. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
should never ask for your password. In addition, hackers
may try to figure out your
passwords to gain access to your computer. To make it tougher for
Use passwords that have at least eight characters and include numbers or symbols.
The longer the password,
the tougher it is to crack. A 12-character password is
stronger than one with eight characters.
Avoid common word: some hackers
use programs that can try every word in the
Don't use your personal information, your login name, or adjacent keys on the
keyboard as passwords.
Change your passwords regularly (at a minimum, every 90 days).
Don't use the same password for each online account you access.
Q. What steps need to be taken when
setting up Wireless Home Network Security.
1) Change Default Administrator Passwords (and Usernames)
Changing the default password is important because everyone
that purchases the same
Wireless access device, knows your password.
2) Turn on (Compatible) WPA / WEP Encryption
By default, your Wireless device comes
without the encryption enables. WPA / WEP are
security programs that forced your computer to provide
an encrypted password before
you are allowed access
to the wireless access point.
3) Change the Default SSID
SSID is the network name of your wireless network;
most people leave the default name,
such as, Linksys or NetGear. By changing the name, intruders have a more difficult time
identifying your system and use known vulnerabilities. (And
of course, use the unchanged
default password.) One
mistake people make is naming their home network their family
name and or address. When cruising a neighborhood of wireless devices, its always
scary to see Bobsnet444.
4) Disable SSID Broadcast
In Wi-Fi networking, the access point or router typically broadcasts
the network name
(SSID) over the air at
regular intervals. This feature was designed for businesses and
mobile hotspots where Wi-Fi clients may come and go. In the home, this feature is
it increases the likelihood an unwelcome neighbor or hacker will try
log in to your home network.
5) Assign Static IP Addresses to Devices
Most home networkers gravitate toward using dynamic IP addresses.
This means that
the IP Address, (the IP
Address is needed to participate on a network.) is typically
assigned automatically. A dynamic IP address on an unsecure system can also supply
a hacker with a IP Address.
6) Enable MAC Address Filtering
Each piece of Wi-Fi gear possesses a unique identifier called the "physical address"
or "MAC address." Access points and routers keep
track of the MAC addresses of all
devices that connect to them. Many such products offer the owner an option to key in the
MAC addresses of
their home equipment that restricts the network to only allow
connections from those devices. Do this, but also know that the feature is not so powerful
as it may seem. Hacker software programs
can fake MAC addresses easily.
7) Turn Off the Network During Extended Periods of Non-Use
The ultimate in security measures for any wireless network
is to shut down, or turn office
your wireless access point
when you are not using. You are the most vulnerable at work
or asleep, and mischief minded people know it.
8) Position the Router or Access Point Safely
Wi-Fi signals normally reach to the exterior of a home. A small amount
outdoors is not a problem,
but the further this signal reaches, the easier it is for others
to detect and exploit. Wi-Fi signals often reach across streets and through neighboring
homes. When installing a wireless home network, the position
of the access point or
router determines it's reach. Try to position these devices near the center of the home
rather than near windows to minimize
Q: What are the first security steps I should take before I connect my computer to the internet?
A: Practices Before You Connect a New Computer to the Internet
We advise home users to download and install software patches
as soon as possible after connecting a
new computer to the
Internet. However, since the background intruder scanning activity
is constant, it may not be possible for the user to complete the
download and installation of software
patches before the vulner-
abilities they are trying to fix are exploited. We recommend the
following actions 'before' connecting computers to the Internet
users can complete the patching process without incident.
Q. Where do I report
Hacking or Malware activity?
A. Here is where to report:
Hacking or a Computer Virus
Alert the appropriate authorities by contacting:
Your ISP and the hacker's ISP (if you can tell what it is). You can
usually find an ISP's email
address on its website. Include information on the
incident from your firewall's log file. By alerting the ISP to the
problem on its system,
you can help it prevent similar problems in the future. The FBI at www.ic3.gov. To
fight computer criminals, they need to hear from you.
Fraud If a scammer takes advantage of you through an
when you're shopping
online, or in any other way, report it to the Federal Trade
Commission, at ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, identity theft, and other fraud-related
complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds
of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Spam If you get deceptive spam, including email phishing
information, forward it
to email@example.com. Be sure to include the full header of the
email, including all routing information. You also may report phishing email to
of ISPs, security vendors, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies,
uses these reports to fight phishing.
Personal Information If you believe you have mistakenly
personal information to
a fraudster, file a complaint at ftc.gov, and then visit the Federal Trade
Commission's Identity Theft website at ftc.gov/idtheft to learn how
to minimize your risk
of damage from a potential theft of your identity.
Parents Parents sometimes can feel outpaced by their technologically savvy
kids. Technology aside, there are lessons that parents can teach to help kids
stay safer as they socialize online. Most ISPs provide parental
controls, or you
can buy separate
software. But no software can substitute for parental supervision.
Talk to your kids about safe computing practices, as well as the things they're
seeing and doing online.
Sites Many adults, teens, and tweens use social networking
sites to exchange information about themselves, share pictures and
use blogs and private
messaging to communicate with friends, others who share
interests, and sometimes even the world-at-large. Here are some tips for parents
who want their kids to use these sites safely:
Use privacy settings to restrict who can access and post on your
child's website. Some social networking sites have strong privacy
your child how to
use these settings to limit who can view their online profile, and
explain to them why this is important.
Encourage your child to think about the language used in a blog,
and to think before posting pictures and videos. Employers, college
officers, team coaches,
and teachers may view your child's postings. Even a kid's
screen name could make a difference. Encourage teens to think about the
impression that screen names could make.
Remind your kids that once they post information online, they can't
take it back. Even if they delete the information from a site, older
exist on other people's
computers and be circulated online.
Talk to your kids about bullying. Online bullying can take many forms,
from spreading rumors online and posting or forwarding private messages
the sender's OK, to sending
threatening messages. Tell your kids that the words
they type and the images they post can have real-world consequences. They can
make the target of the bullying feel bad, make the sender look bad
— and, some-
times, can bring
on punishment from the authorities. Encourage your kids to talk to
you if they feel targeted by a bully.
Talk to your kids about avoiding sex talk online. Recent research
shows that teens who don't talk about sex with strangers online
are less likely to
come in contact
with a predator.
Tell your kids to trust their instincts if they have suspicions. If they feel threatened by
someone or uncomfortable because of something online, encourage
them to tell you.
You can then help
them report concerns to the police and to the social networking
site. Most sites have links where users can immediately report abusive, suspicious,
or inappropriate activity.
Q. What is the best way to keep malware
Try to minimize the threat.
the Effects of Malware on Your Computer
Malware is short for “malicious software;” it includes viruses —
programs that copy
themselves without your permission — and spyware, programs installed without
your consent to monitor or control your
computer activity. Criminals are hard at work
thinking up creative ways to get malware on your computer. They create appealing
web sites, desirable downloads, and compelling
stories to lure you to links that will
download malware, especially on computers that don’t use adequate security
software. Then, they use the malware to
steal personal information, send spam,
and commit fraud.It doesn’t have to be that way.
So says a website with tips from
the federal government and the technology industry that is helping consumers be on
guard against Internet fraud, secure their
computers, and protect their personal
malware can wreak, and reclaim their computers and their electronic information.
Computers may be infected with malware if they:
slow down, malfunction, or display repeated error messages;
- wont shut down or restart;
serve up a lot of pop-up ads, or display them when youre not surfing
display web pages or programs you didnt intend to use, or send emails
If you suspect malware
is on your computer
If you suspect malware is lurking on your computer, stop shopping, banking, and
other online activities that involve user names, passwords, or other
Malware on your computer could be sending your personal information to
Then, confirm that your security software is active and current:
at a minimum, your
should have anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a firewall. You can
buy stand-alone programs for each element or a security suite that
from a variety of sources, including commercial vendors or from your
Internet Service Provider. Security software that comes pre-installed on a computer
for a short time unless you pay a subscription fee to keep it in effect.
In any case, security software protects against the newest threats
only if it is up-to-
Thats why it is critical to set your security software and operating system (like
Windows or Apples OS) to update automatically.
Some scam artists distribute malware disguised as anti-spyware software. Resist
buying software in response to unexpected pop-up messages or emails,
that claim to have scanned your computer and detected malware. Thats a tactic
scammers have used to spread malware, and that has attracted the attention
Trade Commission, the nations consumer protection agency, as well as a
security tools from legitimate security vendors selected by GetNetWise, a project
Once you confirm that
your security software is up-to-date, run it to scan your compu-
ter for viruses and spyware. Delete everything the program identifies as a problem.
may have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.If you suspect
that your computer still is infected, you may want to run a second anti-spyware
program. Some computer security experts recommend installing one
program for real-time protection, and another for periodic scans of your machine
way to stop malware that might have slipped past the first program.
Finally, if the problem persists after you exhaust your own ability to diagnose and
treat it, you might want to call for professional
help. If your computer is covered by a
warranty that offers free tech support, contact the manufacturer. Before you call,
write down the model and serial number of
your computer, the name of any software
you’ve installed, and a short description of the problem. Your notes will help you give
an accurate description to the technician.If you need professional help, if your
machine isn’t covered by a warranty, or if your security software isn’t
doing the job
properly, you may need to pay for technical support. Many companies — including
some affiliated with retail stores —
offer tech support via the phone, online, at their
store, or in your home. Telephone or online help generally are the least expensive
to access support services — especially if there’s a toll-free helpline — but you
may have to do some of the work yourself.
Taking your computer to a store usually is
less expensive than hiring a technician or repair person to come into your home.
Once your computer is back
up and running, think about how malware could have
been downloaded to your machine, and what you could do to avoid it in the future. If
your security software or operating system was
out-of-date, download the newest
version and set it to update automatically. Use the opportunity to back up important
files by copying them onto a removable disc. Other
ways to minimize the chances
of a malware download in the future:
Don’t click on a link in an email or open an attachment unless you
know who sent it and what it is. Links in email can send you to sites
that automatically download malware to your machine. Opening
attachments — even those that appear to come from a friend or
co-worker — also can install malware on your computer.
Download and install software only from websites you know and trust.
Downloading free games, file-sharing programs, and customized
toolbars may sound appealing, but free software can come with
Talk about safe computing. Tell your kids that some online activity
put a computer at risk: clicking on pop-ups, downloading free games or
programs, or posting personal information.
Finally, monitor your computer
for unusual behavior. If you suspect your machine
has been exposed to malware, take action immediately. Report problems with
malware to your ISP so it can try to prevent similar problems and
Q. What Should Parents know about Social
A. Social Networking
"It's 10 p.m. Do you know where your
"Remember that phrase from your own childhood? It's still a valid question, but now, it comes with a twist:
"Do you know where your kids are — and who they're chatting with online?
"Social networking sites have morphed into
a mainstream medium for teens and adults. These sites
encourage and enable people to exchange information
about themselves, share pictures and videos,
use blogs and private messaging to communicate with friends,
others who share interests, and
even the world-at-large. And that's why it's important
to be aware of the possible pitfalls that
with networking online.
Some social networking
sites attract pre-teens – even kids as young as 5 or 6. These younger-focused
sites don't allow the same kinds of communication
that teens and adults have, but there are still things
that parents can do to help young kids socialize
safely online. In fact, when it comes to young kids, the
law provides some protections – and gives parents some control over the type of information that
children can disclose online. For sites directed to children under age 13, and for general audience sites
they're dealing with kids younger than 13, there's the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
(COPPA). It requires
these sites to get parental consent before they collect, maintain, or use kids'
Information. COPPA also allows parents to review their child's online profiles and blog pages.
Parents sometimes can feel outpaced by their technologically savvy kids.
Technology aside, there are
lessons that parents
can teach to help kids stay safer as they socialize online.
Help Kids Socialize Safely OnlineOnGuard Online shares these tips for safe social networking:
your kids understand what information should be private. Tell them why it's important to
keep some things – about themselves, family members and friends
– to themselves.
Information like their full name, Social Security number, street address, phone number,
family financial information — like bank or credit card Account numbers
— is private and
should stay that way. Tell them not to choose a screen name that gives away too
Use privacy settings to restrict who can access and post on your child's website. Some
social networking sites have strong privacy settings.
Show your child how to use these settings to limit who can view their online profile,
explain to them why this is important.
Explain that kids should post only information that you — and they — are comfortable
with others seeing. Even If privacy settings are turned on, some — or even all
— of your
child's profile may be seen by a broader audience Than you're comfortable with.
Encourage your child to think about the language used in a blog, and to think before
Posting pictures and videos. Employers, college admissions officers, team coaches,
and teachers may view your child's postings.
Even a kid's screen name could make a difference. Encourage teens to think about the
impression that screen names could make.
Remind your kids that once they post information online, they can't take it back.
Even if they delete the Information from a site, older versions may exist on other
people's computers and be circulated online.
Know how your kids are getting online. More and more, kids are accessing the Internet
through their cell phones.
Find out about what limits you can place on your child's cell phone. Some cellular
companies have plans that limit downloads, Internet access, and texting; other plans
allow kids to use those features only at certain times of day.
Talk to your kids about bullying. Online bullying can take many forms, from spreading
rumors online and posting or forwarding private messages without the sender's
sending threatening messages. Tell your kids that the words they type and the
they post can have real-world consequences. They can make the target of the
bullying feel bad, make the sender look bad – and, sometimes, can bring on
punishment from the authorities.
Encourage your kids to talk to you if they feel targeted by a bully.
Talk to your kids about avoiding sex talk online. Recent research shows that teens who
don't talk about sex with strangers online are less likely to come in contact with
predator.If you're concerned that your child is engaging in risky online behavior,
search the blog sites they visit to see whatinformation they're posting. Try searching
by their name, nickname, school, hobbies, grade, or area where you live.
Tell your kids to trust their gut if they have suspicions. If they feel threatened by someone
or uncomfortable because of something online, encourage them to tell you. You
help them report concerns to the police and to the social networking site. Most
links where users can immediately report abusive, suspicious, or inappropriate
parent sections to Understand its features and privacy controls. The site should
your rights as a parent to review and delete your child's profile if your child
A Few More Tips to Protect Pre-TeensMany of the tips above apply for pre-teens, but
parents of younger children also can:
extra steps to protect younger kids. Keep the computer in an open area like the
kitchen or family room, so you can keep an eye on what your kids are doing online.
Use the Internet with them to help develop safe surfing habits.
Consider taking advantage of parental control features on some operating systems
that let you manage your kids' computer use, including what sites they can visit,
whether they can download items, or what time of day they can be online.
Go where your kids go online. Sign up for – and use – the social networking spaces
that your kids visit. Let them know that you're there, and help teach them how to act
as they socialize online.
Review your child's friends list. You may want to limit your child's online “friends” to
people your child actually knows and is friendly with in real life.
Understand sites' privacy policies. Sites should spell out your rights as a parent to
review and delete your child's profile if your child is younger than 13.
For More InformationTo learn more about staying safe online, visit the websites of the following organizations:
Federal Trade Commission — www.OnGuardOnline.gov The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business
practices in the marketplace and toprovide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them.
To file a complaint or to get free information onconsumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP
(1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.The FTC manages OnGuardOnline.gov, which provides practical tips
from the federal government and the technologyindustry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud,
secure your computer, and protect your personal information. ConnectSafely — www.connectsafely.org ConnectSafely is a forum for parents, teens, educators, and advocates designed
to give teens and parents a voice in thepublic discussion about youth online safety, and has tips, as
well as other resources, for safe blogging and socialnetworking. Along with NetFamilyNews.org, it is
a project of the non- profit Tech Parenting Group. Cyberbully411 — www.cyberbully411.org Cyberbully411 provides resources and opportunities for discussion and sharing
for youth - and their parents - who havequestions about or may have been targeted by online harassment.
The website was created by the non-profit Internet Solutions for Kids, Inc., with funding from the Community
Technology Foundation of California. GetNetWise — www.getnetwise.org
GetNetWise is a public service sponsored by Internet industry corporations and
public interest organizations to helpensure that Internet users have safe, constructive, and educational
or entertaining online experiences. The GetNetWise coalition works to provide Internet users with the
resources they need to make informed decisions about their and theirfamily's use of the Internet.
iKeepSafe.org is a coalition of 49 governors/first spouses, law enforcement,
the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other associations dedicated
to helping parents, educators, and caregivers byproviding tools and guidelines to promote safe Internet
and technology use among children.
NCMEC is a private, non-profit organization that helps prevent child abduction
and sexual exploitation; helps find missingchildren; and assists victims of child abduction and sexual
exploitation, their families, and the professionals who serve them. staysafe —
staysafe.org is an educational site intended to help
consumers understand both the positive aspects of the Internet aswell as how to manage a variety of
safety and security issues that exist online.
WiredSafety.org is an Internet safety and help group. WiredSafety.org provides
education, assistance, and awareness on cybercrime and abuse, privacy, security, and responsible technology
use. It is also the parent group of Teenangels.org, FBI-trained teens and preteens who promote Internet
safety. See also: Social Networking Sites: Safety Tips for Tweens and Teens
What to Do if There's a ProblemTrust your gut if you have
suspicions. If you feel threatened by someone or uncomfortable because of something online,Tell an adult
you trust, and report it to the police and the social networking site.The Children's Online Privacy
Protection Act (COPPA) requires websites to obtain parental consent before collecting, using,or disclosing
personal information from children under age 13.
Q. What are
Nigerian con-men or internet scams?
Phony Lotteries, Nigerian 419s, Advanced Fee Fraud, and Scams
While you're online:
Know who you're
In any electronic transaction, independently confirm the other party's name, street
address, and telephone number.
Resist the urge to enter foreign lotteries. These solicitations are phony
Delete requests that claim to be from foreign nationals
asking you to help transfer their money through your bank account. They're fraudulent.
emails that request your money, credit card or account numbers, or other personal information.
If you are selling something over the Internet, don't accept a potential buyer's offer to send you a check
for more than the purchase price, no matter how tempting the plea or convincing the story. End the transaction immediately
if someone insists that you wire back funds.The Internet gives buyers access to a world of goods and services, and gives sellers access to a world of customers.
Unfortunately, the Internet also gives con artists the very same access. But being on guard online can help you maximize the
global benefits of electronic commerce and minimize your chance of being defrauded. OnGuard Online wants you to know how to
spot some cross-border scams — including foreign lotteries, money offers, and check overpayment schemes — and
report them to the appropriate authorities.
For years, scam operators have used the telephone and direct mail to entice U.S. consumers into buying chances in supposedly
high-stakes foreign lotteries. Now they're using email, too — either to sell tickets or suggest that a large cash prize
has your name on it. No matter what country's name is used to promote a lottery, the pitch follows a pattern: you should send
money to pay for taxes, insurance, or processing or customs fees. The amount may seem small at first, but as long as you keep
paying, the requests for funds will keep coming — for higher and higher amounts. Some victims have lost thousands of
dollars.Most scam operators never buy the lottery tickets on your behalf. Others buy some tickets, but keep the "winnings"
for themselves. In any case, lottery hustlers generally try to get you to share your bank account or credit card numbers,
so they can make unauthorized withdrawals.If you're thinking about responding to a foreign lottery, OnGuard Online wants you to remember:
a foreign lottery is against the law.
There are no secret systems for winning foreign lotteries. Your chances of getting any money back are
slim to none.
If you buy even one foreign lottery ticket, you can expect many more bogus offers
for lottery or investment "opportunities." Your name will be placed on "sucker lists" that fraudsters
buy and sell.
credit card and bank account numbers to yourself. Scam artists often ask for them during an unsolicited sales pitch. Once
they get your account numbers, they may use them to commit identity theft.Resist solicitations for foreign lottery promotions. Report them to the appropriate government officials, then hit delete.View a sample fraudulent foreign lottery solicitation.
"Nigerian" Foreign Money Offers
The "Nigerian" scam got its name from emails that supposedly came
from Nigerian "officials" who needed your help getting at their money — which was tied up due to strife in
their country. Today, people claiming to be officials, businesspeople, or the surviving relatives of former government honchos
in countries around the world send countless offers via email to transfer thousands of dollars into your bank account if you
will just pay a fee or "taxes" to help them access their money. If you respond to the initial offer, you may receive
documents that look "official." But then, you will get more email asking you to send more money to cover transaction
and transfer costs, attorney's fees, blank letterhead, and your bank account numbers, among other information. Subsequent
emails will encourage you to travel to another country to complete the transaction. Some fraudsters have even produced trunks
of dyed or stamped money to verify their claims.The emails are from crooks trying to steal your money or commit identity
theft. Victims of this scam report that emergencies arise that require more money and delay the "transfer" of funds;
in the end, you lose your money, and the scam artist vanishes. According to the U.S. State Department, people who have responded
to these solicitations have been beaten, subjected to threats and extortion, and in some cases, murdered.If you receive an
email from someone claiming to need your help getting money out of another country, don't respond. After all, why would a stranger from another country pick you out at random to share thousands of
dollars? Report the solicitation to the appropriate government officials, and then hit delete.View a sample fraudulent foreign money offer.
Check Overpayment Schemes
no to a check for more than your selling price, no matter how tempting the plea or convincing the story. Check overpayment
schemes generally target people who have posted an item for sale online. The con artist, posing as a potential buyer from
a foreign country (or a distant part of the U.S.), emails the seller and offers to buy the item with a cashier's check, money
order, personal check, or corporate check. Or the scammer may pretend to be a business owner from a foreign country, needing
"financial agents" to process payments for their U.S. orders; in exchange, they promise a commission.Regardless of the cover, here's what happens:
The scammer sends you a check that looks authentic — complete with watermarks — made payable for more money than
you expected. They ask you to deposit it in your bank account, and then wire-transfer some portion of the funds to a foreign
account. They provide convincing reasons why the check is for more than the necessary amount, and why the funds must be transferred
quickly. Sometimes, the counterfeit checks fool a bank teller, but be aware that the check still can bounce. The scammer vanishes
with the money you wired from your own account and you are on the hook for the entire amount of the worthless check. In addition,
a scammer who has your bank account number is likely to use it to withdraw more money from your account.
Reporting a Cross-Border Scam
If you think you may have responded to a cross-border scam, file a complaint at www.econsumer.gov, a project of 20 countries of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement
Network. Then visit the FTC's identity theft website at www.ftc.gov/idtheft. While you can't completely control whether you will become a victim
of identity theft, you can take some steps to minimize your risk.If you've responded to a "Nigerian" scheme, contact your
local Secret Service field office using contact information from the Blue Pages of your telephone directory, or from www.secretservice.gov/field_offices.shtml.In addition, report telemarketing fraud and check overpayment scams to your state
Attorney General, using contact information at www.naag.org.Report unsolicited email offers to firstname.lastname@example.org — including offers inviting you to participate in a foreign
lottery, looking for help getting money out of a foreign country, or asking you to wire back extra funds from a check you
received.If you receive what looks like lottery material from a foreign country through the postal mail, give it to your local
For More InformationForeign Lottery Scams
U.S. Federal Trade Commission — The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive,
and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them.
To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.
The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure,
online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.Competition Bureau in Canada — The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency
in Canada that investigates anti-competitive practices and promotes compliance with the
laws under its jurisdiction. To file a complaint or to get free information, visit www.competitionbureau.gc.ca or call toll-free, 1-800-348-5358. The Bureau has the ability to refer criminal matters to the Attorney General of Canada,
who then decides whether to prosecute before the courts.United Kingdom's Office of Fair Trading — The United Kingdom's
Office of Fair Trading is responsible for making markets work well for consumers. They protect and promote consumer interests
throughout the United Kingdom, while ensuring that businesses are fair and competitive. To file a complaint or to get free information,
visit www.oft.gov.uk or send an email to email@example.com.Australian Competition and Consumer Commission — The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission encourages vigorous
competition in the marketplace and enforces consumer protection and fair trading laws. To file a complaint or to get more
information, visit www.accc.gov.au. The ACCC advocates consultation and negotiation as the first and
best option to settle disputes, but once the ACCC pursues legal action any sort of mediation becomes less likely.
"Nigerian" Advance-Fee Scams
U.S. Secret Service — The Secret Service investigates violations of laws relating to financial
crimes, including access device fraud, financial institution fraud, identity theft, and computer fraud. To file a complaint
or to get free information, visit www.secretservice.gov or call 202-406-5708.U.S. Department of State — The Department of State's mission is to create a more secure, democratic,
and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community. As part of that mission, the
Department of State seeks to minimize the impact of international crime, including cross-border internet scams, on the United States and its citizens. To get free information, visit www.state.gov.
Q. What should I do prior to disposing of an old computer?
A. Computer Disposal
Once you have a “clean” computer,
consider recycling, donating, or reselling it – and keep the environment in mind when
disposing of your computer.If you want to get rid of your old computer, options include recycling,
reselling, and donating.
you log off for thelast time, there are important
things to do to prepare it for disposal. Computers
personal and financial
information, including passwords, account numbers, license keys or registration numbers for software
programs, addresses and phone numbers, medical and prescription information, tax returns, and other personal documents.
Before getting rid of your old computer, it’s a good idea to use software to “wipe”the hard drive clean. If you don’t, consider
your old hard drive a 21st century treasure chest for identity thieves
and information pirates. The Federal Trade Commission
(FTC), the nation’s consumer
protection agency, says you can deter identity theft and information piracy by taking a few
Understanding Hard Drives
A computer’s hard
drive stores data, and maintains an index of files. When you save a file, especially a large one, it is
scattered around the hard drive in bits and
pieces. Files also are automatically created by browsers
systems. When you open a file, the hard drive checks the index, then gathers
the bits and pieces and reconstructs them.
delete a file, the links between the index and the file disappear, signaling to your system that the file isn’t needed
any longer and that hard drive space
can be overwritten. But the bits and pieces of the deleted file stay on your computer
until they’re overwritten, and they can be retrieved with a data recovery program.
To remove data from your hard drive
it needs to be wiped clean.
Cleaning Hard Dives
Before you clean your hard
drive, save the files that are important to you on an external storage device – for example,
a USB drive, a CDRom, or an external
hard drive – or transfer them to a new computer. Check your owner’s manual, the
manufacturer’s website, or its customer support line for information on how to
save data and transfer it to a new
computer. Utility programs to wipe your hard drive are available both online and in stores where computers are
They’re generally inexpensive; some are available on the Internet for free. Wipe utility
programs vary in their capabilities:
erase the entire disk, while others allow you
to select files or folders to erase. They also vary in their effectiveness:
programs that overwrite
or wipe the hard drive many times are very effective; those that overwrite or wipe the drive only once
may not prevent information being wiped from being recovered later.
If your old computer contains sensitive information
that would be valuable to an identity
thief, consider using a program that overwrites or wipes the hard drive many times. Or,
remove the hard
drive, and physically destroy it. One more thing to keep in mind: If you use your home or personal
for business purposes, check with your employer about how to manage information on your computer that’s business-related.
The law requires businesses to follow
data security and disposal requirements for certain information that’s related to
Once you have a “clean”
computer, here’s how to dispose of it:
Recycle it. Many computer manufacturers have programs to recycle computers
and components. Check their
websites or call their toll-free numbers
for more information. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has
information on electronic product recycling
program. Check with your county or local government,
including the local landfill office for regulations.
Donate it. Many organizations collect old computers and donate them to charities.
Resell it. Some people and organizations buy old computers.
Check online. Keep
the environment in mind when disposing of your computer.
Most computer equipment contains hazardous materialsthat don’t belong in a landfill.
For example, many computers have heavy metals that can contaminate the earth.
The EPA recommends that you check with your local health and sanitation agencies for ways to dispose
of electronics safely.