Tag Archives: security

Control of your personal data online (infographic)

INFOGRAPHIC: Control of your personal data online

I’M not usually a fan of these ‘shocking’ infographics as it’s quite difficult to check their sources and verify the information contained within. But as someone who receives scam emails via Gmail on a regular basis, this one seems more or less accurate (or at least believable).

Continue reading

Easy PC 3: Virus Scans

AVAST! Free virus scanner that will serve your PC well

IF your PC is connected to the Internet, having a good virus checker is of the utmost importance. There are many virus scans available and the more expensive ones are generally better, however there are some free ones available for download that will serve your PC just fine.

Avast! is one particularly good virus scan that is both free to download and easy to use. You can download it by doing a Google search for “avast free download.” As with most free software there may be a few features that are unavailable to you, but Avast! will still be sufficient at protecting your PC from spyware and viruses.

It is also important to update your virus checker periodically to keep your PC protected from new threats. Almost all virus scanners will notify you when updates are available for download. Avast! will give you voice notifications when your virus signatures have been updated. You can also configure it to download these updates automatically, which is highly recommended.

Lastly, have your virus checker scan your PC and a regular basis (once a month is a good window to go by). You can set your virus software to perform such scans automatically too.

That’s all for this issue! Until next time.

Kind regards,
That Tech Guy

The home PC has evolved into what is now considered a modern-day home entertainment system. Capable of behaving like a television, home cinema, game station, work station, music player and much more, the home PC is far more capable than it has ever been before. But with all these capabilities come complexities, and there are several things to consider when investing in any form of home entertainment. This is what Easy PC plans to simplify.

Download Avast! Free Anti-virus

Viruses and why they’re so profitable

PROFITABLE VIRUSES: Spyware, adware and computer worms

ORGANISED crime online has become rife over the last few years with more and more computer and Internet users falling victim to phishing and different forms of viruses and spyware. Gone are the days of hackers creating viruses for sport; we are now entering a new era where viruses are being deliberately developed and spread for potential profit – huge profit.

Image: techtips.comAntivirus software is becoming big business, not only because new viruses are constantly being created or ‘improved’ that can bypass existing antivirus software, but also because people are living in fear of getting a nasty infection and losing all their valuable data.

Many people are also scammed into purchasing antivirus or anti-spyware software by being made to believe that their pc is infected. There are many ways that any computer connected to the Internet can become infected or accessed by viruses and spyware. These are outlined below along with some easy-to-apply suggestions for protecting your digital self.

Malicious Software: Spyware & Adware

Tracking software, such as spyware and adware, work by gathering information from a computer or Internet user without their knowledge. This information is often relayed to advertisers or other interested parties, which will then spam you with adverts and false security warnings. Spyware can get on your computer as a software virus or as a result of installing a new program off the Internet.

antivirus software alertSpyware is often installed without a user’s consent – usually as a result of clicking on a dodgy pop-up window. Spyware that is specifically designed to serve advertising is known as adware, and is becoming rife in the online world. Any software that gathers information about you without your consent is an infringement of your privacy and is considered as malicious. Spyware actually forms part of an overall public concern over privacy on the Internet.

The image alongside is an example of spyware that looks like an active anti-virus solution. Such windows will often direct you to the anti-virus website in an attempt to make a sale.

The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user and can be difficult to detect. Such software can slowly collect and leak various types of personal information, such as Internet surfing habits, most frequently-visited websites and even credit card information. Spyware is also known to change a computer’s settings, often resulting in slower connection speeds, failure to run certain programs and having your web browser’s activity redirected for potential profit.

“Unlike viruses and worms, spyware does not usually self-replicate. Like many recent viruses, however, spyware – by design – exploits infected computers for commercial gain. Typical tactics include delivery of unsolicited pop-up advertisements, theft of personal information (including financial information), monitoring of web-browsing activity for marketing purposes, and routing of HTTP requests to advertising sites.” – Wikipedia.

Computer Worms

Worms are nasty business as they can independently reproduce and spread across network connections. They can spread via email, instant messaging and file-sharing.

The spreading of worms is most prominent via infected email messages. Any form of attachment or link in an email may contain a link to an infected website. If the user clicks on the link or opens the attachment in an infected email, the worm can quickly infect your PC without you knowing.

Microsoft Outlook is renowned for spreading such emails and users should be wary of any unexpected emails they receive. Email worms are also known to harvest email addresses from an infected computer and can also construct new sender addresses, making it difficult to determine the original source of the worm.

Internet worms work by scanning the Internet for vulnerable machines (i.e. ones that are not properly protected against viruses and malicious software). An attempt will be made to connect to these machines and gain full access to them.

Chat channels are the main target for Internet worms whereby the same method of infection and spreading occurs (i.e. the sending of infected files or links to infected websites). If such links are clicked on, the worm will copy itself into a shared folder – usually under a harmless name.

Protecting your PC

At this point I could probably sell my own antivirus software to any reader that fears their computer may be at risk. This is often how antivirus companies sell their products. Some are even known to have created viruses and spyware of their own in order to justify the need for their product.

Avast logoThere is a copious amount of anti-virus and anti-spyware software available – some for free and some for a price. Generally speaking, the pricier and most popular products are better, such as Norton, NOD32 and AVG. However, there are free and equally safe options too.

Avast and Kaspersky Internet Security have both become hugely popular as they are both free and efficient. I personally use Avast5 for easy-to-use purposes. Once downloaded and installed, Avast will automatically update itself on a regular basis and keep your PC protected from new threats. However, it is also important to always be cautious when surfing in unfamiliar territory and never open an attachment which appears strange.

Related Article:
The Nasty & Profitable World of Viruses & AntiVirus Software

Latest tech news and web developments

Witness This

Copy Compass: Best WordPress plugin

If you have minimal SEO experience, using Copy Compass essentially allows you to teach yourself SEO by learning to understand how search engines treat content on the web […] Continue Reading… 

MeetYourFriends: Anti-social networking

MEETYOURFRIENDS: The real deal or complete scam? There have already been over a hundred comments regarding MeetYourFriends — most of which were not favourable … Continue Reading…

When photo terrorists attack

PHOTO BOMBED: A collection of funny photo terrorist moments. Photo bombing is the art of ruining someone’s photograph by either jumping in at the last minute or by pulling a funny pose just at the right time. These artists are also known as photo terrorists and help to add that humorous touch to your picture perfect moment … Continue Reading…

Viruses and why they’re so profitable

PROFITABLE VIRUSES: Spyware, adware and computer worms: Antivirus software is becoming big business, not only because new viruses are constantly being created or ‘improved’ that can bypass existing antivirus software, but also because people are living in fear of getting a nasty infection and losing all their valuable data … Continue Reading…

Something Fishy 2 — A beginner’s guide to keeping tropical fish

A beginner’s guide to keeping tropical fish: Glass Catfish, Pearl Gourami, Black Ghost Knife, Pleco (Algae Eater), Black Moor Goldfish, Fire Eel, Angelfish, Clown Loach, Julii Corydora, Red Tail Shark, Fancy Goldfish, Dwarf Gourami, Bronze Corydora, Banded Kuhli Loach, Blue Ramirezi (Blue Ram) …
Continue Reading…

Edgar Mueller amazing 3D street art

3D CHALK ART: The great Edgar Mueller is a master 3D street artist that uses chalk and the street as his canvas to create the most amazing 3D artworks …
Continue Reading…

Feel Good Photos

LOVE: 8 reasons to feel good about the world and all it’s people. Feel good knowing that sometimes laughter can be the best cure … Continue Reading…

Farcical extremes

GREEN DAM: Latest Internet screening programme takes
its duties to farcical extremes – but China is adopting it

Green Dam uses colour and form recognition to zoom in on potential expanses of naked flesh.

BEIJING — What do Johnny Depp, Garfield, Paris Hilton and roast pork have in common? In China, the answer is that a new government-mandated Internet filter rates some pictures of all four of them as bad for your moral health.

Beijing has ordered all personal computers sold in China since the beginning of July to be preinstalled with the Green Dam software, which it says is designed to block pornographic and violent images, and which critics fear will be used to extend censorship in the country.

But a trial of the programme, which is available online for free download at www.skycn.com/soft/46657.html, suggested its filters may be of limited use to worried parents.

When the software is installed, and an image scanner activated, it blocks even harmless images of a film poster for cartoon cat Garfield, dishes of flesh-coloured cooked pork and, on one search engine, a close-up of Johnny Depp’s face.

With the image filter off, while searches with words like “nude” are blocked, a hunt for adult websites throws up links to soft- and hardcore pornography sites, including one with a video of full penetrative sex on its front page.

Green Dam has not detailed how it scans images for obscene content, but computer experts have said it likely uses colour and form recognition to zoom in on potential expanses of naked flesh.

Programme settings allow users to choose how tightly they want images scanned. When too much skin is detected, Green Dam closes all Internet browsers with no warning, sometimes flashing up a notice that the viewer is looking at “harmful” content.

But the interpretation of obscene is apparently generous enough to include the orange hue of Garfield’s fur and, on the highest security settings, prevent viewers clicking through to any illustrated story on one English news site.

The software also allows users to choose what they want to filter for, and besides adult websites and violence, categories include “gay” and “illegal activities”.

Another setting allows Green Dam to take regular snapshots of a user’s screen and store them for up to two weeks — ostensibly so parents can monitor computer use by minors.

But it could also potentially leave security officials a track of computer use by a suspected dissident, or be a gift to fraudsters who are on the hunt for online bank details and private information.

Western governments and trade groups have asked China to reconsi­der implementing Green Dam software based on concerns ranging from cyber-security and performance of the software to Internet freedoms.

— Sapa-AP

Related post: Porn to be a teen

Online shopping tips for the festive season

IF you’re tired of mad dashes to the shops for that last forgotten item, manic searches for parking, tussles with strangers over the last turkey, and queues longer than the Nile, then shopping online is the way to overcome your festive season shopping nightmare.

Online shopping is fast and convenient, making it incredibly easy to shop around for a better deal. You can find almost anything online, from groceries to discounted flight tickets, and best of all, Internet shops are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Here are a few tips from Mweb to ensure that your online shopping experience is safe and hassle-free this festive season:

Secure your computer
Your computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software installed. Security software must be updated regularly to provide protection against the latest threats. A good Internet security package is vital, but can be expensive.

Mweb subscribers can download Mweb Total Protection from McAfee online for free. This is a state-of-the-art package specifically designed to protect your computer against malicious software and hackers, and will automatically remind you to perform any updates.

Software such as this will also give you warnings when the site you’re working with may be insecure.

Check if the site is safe
When buying online, look for signs that the website is secure before entering your personal and financial information. This is indicated by a closed padlock on the browser’s status bar or by an “s” at the end of http (e.g., https://www.onlineshop/bargains.com).

Shopping @ homeOnly buy from trusted merchants
Only shop at companies that you have heard of or that have been recommended by a trusted source. If you have not heard of the company before, but are keen on its merchandise, why not look for its contact details and give its people a call.

Know what you are paying for
Always read the seller’s descriptions carefully and note that name-brand items at greatly reduced prices could be counterfeit. Ask for proof of authenticity if necessary as you can’t scrutinise items like you would if you were in a store when shopping online.

Online Payments
Online payments are usually made with a credit card. When given a choice, rather use a credit card instead of a debit card because credit card companies such as Visa and MasterCard protect you against unauthorised purchases.

Remember to keep your passwords safe and don’t save them on your computer, even as a separate file, just as you wouldn’t keep your credit card’s PIN number in your wallet.

Log off from your web browser after shopping
When you’ve finished shopping online, log off from the website and close your web browser. This will end your session safely, and will keep your personal information protected. Also, be wary of entering personal financial information at an Internet café or public access spot.

The cyber-world is not that different from the real world and similar rules apply. Trust your instincts and be street-wise. Happy shopping, and may you receive many happy feelings this festive season 🙂

A great place to start a safe and secure shopping experience online is Take2

Related post: Your online shopping guide  The Simple Life (online)