Mindless Chatter

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Ron, what about forwarded email ?

I got a question today about forwarded email, you know the ones that say please forward this to 10 friends or you get bad luck or some such other foolishness. The question was do these forwarded emails track who gets them and report the email back to the spammer ?

Never heard of an forwarded email doing this…. unless your system is infected with something that does this or the email that you are forwarding has an attachment that is infected. If there are no attachments being forwarded I think you are safe.

Now let’s talk about what can happen, if at some point you opened an .exe .gif .jpg or other file attached to an email and it played some music or some other silly stuff, you might have gotten a little gift that you did not expect. These are call Trojans some can be real nasty, they can phone home all of you key strokes (bank accounts, passwords, anything you type), they can scan your hard drive for your personal information (SSN’s, tax returns and the like) and phone this home. They can get into your email and forward the Trojan to other computers. They can take over you computer free cycles, to be under command of the person who wrote it, turning your computer into a bod. There are some bot networks that numbers in the 100’s of thousands. The person in control of the bod network sells time on this network to other dubious persons. Some of these Trojans will install what is called a root kit, which normal virus program may not detect.  So the virus program cleans the Trojan but the root kit is left behind to do it nasty stuff. A couple of years ago, a large recording company, added a root kit to their CD’s. A person who bought the CD and they ripped it so that they could enjoy the music on their MP3 player, unknowingly installed a root kit on their Hard Drive. There was quite an uproar when this hit the news.

It is a good practice to remove other peoples address before you forward, a lot of spammers have access to servers that relay emails. They can strip active addresses from these servers.  In the world of spammers its all about active email accounts they  can sell.

Anyway, the best defense is to install a good virus checker, install a firewall and use a web based email and never download attachments unless you know who its from and that it is safe. Always run a scan on something you downloaded, every time….

Ron

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dawn of a new day

With the dawn of today, new hope comes to America. We have spent far too long in the dark night. There is a coming light and it will shine brightly. The future is here.

Enjoy the day.

January 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to remove a virus

First, see my other note a bout how to protect your PC….

If you have an infection, computer running slow or strange things happening to your home page you more than likely have an infection of some sort. What to do ? If have found the following to work in most cases:

Down load and install a product called ‘crap cleaner” I know the name sounds funny but it is a solid application.

http://www.ccleaner.com/update/

run crap cleaner to clean all the junk off your pc, you should do this every week.
run crap cleaner to check and fix errors, you should also do this every week.

If your problem is an infection this will not do anything for it, so read on:

Turn off System Restore

http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-us/help/f0688925-5abe-4caf-b49a-018f8cfcaf4d1033.mspx#E3

or

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310405

Download and install spybot

http://www.download.com/Spybot-Search-amp-Destroy/3000-8022_4-10122137.html

Run spybot to clean your system…. Run it twice if on the second time you have a virus still listed.

You will need to download and run SuperAntiSpyware

http://www.majorgeeks.com/SUPERAntiSpyware_d5116.html

This should clean most everything.

Turn System Restore back on (same instructions as above)

Run a virus scan again, if the infection is still there you can get help and more information at the MajorGeeks webpage

http://forums.majorgeeks.com/showthread.php?t=35407

If after stepping through all of this you still have problems, you can get help at the Major Geeks forum

http://forums.majorgeeks.com/index.php?

Good Luck, It’s better to prevent this in the first place with my first note and by following safe surfing habits. Stay away from .exe files sent in emails, surf with firefox with noscripts enabled, keep away from porn sites (most malware comes from them), install Web of Trust.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I have a dream – Martin Luther King, Jr.

In Remembrance: 

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification,” one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low; the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A little help to protect your cyber world…

I get a lot of questions about how to secure a PC or Network. As most know there is a lot of bad stuff on the internet, so if you want to make yourself a little more secure or protect some young ones from a lot of bad stuff, read on.

1. Virus Protection – you don’t have to pay for good virus protection but you need a virus program http://free.avg.com/ or http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html

2. Firewall – if you use a router, make sure you enable the firewall on it. On your pc a good free one is http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/zonealarm-pc-security-free-firewall.htm or http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/download_firewall.html

3. Opendns – This is about the best thing you can do to protect young ones from going where they should not. It is a simple as changing your router dns to point to opendns servers. The site has full instructions. If you don’t have a router, you can change the dns on the pc, again the site has instructions. Its free. http://www.opendns.com/ A good commercial program is NetNanny

4. WOT – Web of Trust, this is an addon for firefox or IE. It will give you a warning for sites that you should not trust. http://www.mywot.com/

5. Network Magic –  if you have a young one who has their own pc you can purchase and install Network Magic and configure that to send you a report of all their web activity. 

http://www.purenetworks.com/

6. Don’t forget to check your security settings on all your sites like facebook and myspace as most default setting will expose way too much information. Also be real careful who you accept as friends. Pay attention to 3rd party apps make sure they are safe before you allow them.

Be Safe
Ron

January 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment