Virus Removal

Delete Internet Junk From Your Browsers

The data that accumulates in our Web browser’s history, such as cookies and temp files, is one of the biggest contributors to the “junk” files that slow down our computers. Fortunately, there are easy ways to lean out the browsing history in today’s Web browsers, and we’ll show you how.

Internet Explorer

In Internet Explorer 9, select the Tools button (it looks like a gear and is located next to the Home and favorites buttons) and click Internet Options. Click the Delete button under Browsing History and you’ll see a list of items that IE9 automatically saves, such as Temporary Internet Files, History, and Passwords. If you’re looking to save space, ensure that check marks are placed in the Temporary Internet Files, Cookies, and History checkboxes. Categories such as Form Data and Passwords save information that you’ve entered into previously visited websites, so they are designed to speed up your Web experience and may best be left unchecked. Similarly, IE9 also features a Preserve Favorites option that allows IE9 to retain the cookies and temporary files for those websites in your Favorites list to help those Web pages load faster. Consider checking this box to speed up your overall Web experience. Once you’ve made your checkbox selections, click the Delete button and IE9 will remove the files and information. Note that the temporary Internet Files folder may contain a large amount of data, so it could take a few minutes to finish the task.

Firefox

To clear out Firefox 9, select the Tools menu (you may need to press the ALT button to temporarily bring up the Menu Bar) and click Clear Recent History. At the top of the resulting window, Firefox provides a Time Range To Clear drop-down box, where you can choose from Everything, Last Hour, Last Two Hours, Last Four Hours, and Today. Under Details, you’ll find checkboxes for the various types of data that Firefox saves. The key space hog categories in Firefox are the Cookies and Cache items, so you’ll want to ensure they are checked. Items such as Active Logins and Site Preferences help Firefox to expedite the loading of your most often-visited websites, so you may want to remove the checkboxes from those options. To delete the data, click the Clear Now button.

Google Chrome

With Google Chrome 16, you clear data by clicking the Wrench icon, which is located next to the Address bar on the browser toolbar. Click Tools and select Clear Browsing Data. The pop-up window offers you an Obliterate The Following Items From dropdown menu where you can delete data from the past hour, day, week, month, or all Chrome files. By default, Chrome places checkboxes in the Clear Browsing History, Clear Download History, Empty The Cache, and Delete Cookies And Other Site And Plug-in Data, which are wise choices for those who want to free up storage. The Clear Saved Passwords and Clear Saved Autofill Form Data are unchecked, and you may want to keep the data, because it helps to quicken the load times of your most commonly accessed websites. Click the Clear Browsing Data button to remove the files you selected.

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Troubleshoot Your Security Software

When your security software malfunctions, you’re putting everything on the line until it’s fixed. Read on for solutions to a few problems you may encounter with your security software.

Your Antivirus Software Appears Not To Be Functioning Or Dramatically Slows Your PC’s Performance
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much protection. Running more than one antivirus program on your PC at once can lead to conflicts, severe reduction in performance, and other problems. If you are running more than one, uninstall the extra program(s). Although not every slow PC or malfunctioning antivirus software is due to multiple instances of antivirus, it is common. Antivirus software requires low-level access to your system, and if it detects another application that has access to the same sensitive areas of your system, it will flag that as malware. Both Microsoft and third-party antivirus software developers agree, one is all you need. If for some reason you do want to keep two installed, make sure only one is active at a time. Usually, an icon in the system tray is a good indicator that an antivirus application is running. Right-click the extra program(s) and exit or disable them.

You Suspect That Your PC Is Infected, But Antivirus & Antispyware Scans Find Nothing
The first thing you want to do is make sure your antivirus and antispyware software is fully updated. Typically, these programs check for updates prior to running, but a failed connection to the Internet can prevent the updates from downloading. Another tactic is to try running an alternative antispyware scanner. While we recommend running only one antivirus program at once, you can run several antispyware applications without experiencing any system-crippling side effects (only let them scan one at a time). Often, a virus or malware program can keep your antivirus and antispyware applications from running, and can prevent you from installing alternatives or browsing the Web for answers. If this is the case, you need help. If you can get access to another PC, you can install the infected hard drive as a secondary drive and use the other computer to run a virus scan on it. If you have Internet access and you can install applications, you can try the Microsoft Safety Scanner.

Avoid Rogue Antivirus Software
Rogue antivirus software tends to first notify you of problems while you’re browsing an infected Web page. Because these applications are modeled after actual antivirus applications, they can look very convincing. The best way to avoid being duped is to get to know your current antivirus and antispyware software. If the alerts you’re seeing say something to the effect of “your system is infected, scan now” but they aren’t coming from your trusted software, it’s likely a spoof. Don’t click anything. Press ALT-F4 to close the popup and Web page, then run your current antivirus software; then scan with your trusted antispyware application to determine if there really is an infection. Beware, if you click a button to scan or even to dismiss the message, the rogue software may download and install on your PC, commonly disabling your existing antivirus applications in the process. If you suspect that you have rogue antivirus software installed on your system and are unable to run your current antivirus and antispyware applications, then install the infected hard drive as a secondary drive and run a virus scan using the other computer.

Keep It Safe
Security software is your first and last defense against malware, phishing sites, and hackers. Take good care of your antivirus and antispyware software and it will take good care of you.

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Microsoft Security Essentials

In September 2009, Microsoft announced the official release of MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials), its free security software. Fast-forward nearly two years, and MSE is still cruising along, protecting millions of Windows XP/Vista/7 computers (more than 31 million as of September 2010, per Microsoft). MSE has been independently certified for desktop and server virus detection and for desktop virus cleaning by virus testing firm ICSA Labs (Windows XP/Vista/7). It received the Checkmark Certification from West Coast Labs, scored very well with AV-comparatives.org, and was recently awarded the VB100 award by Virus Bulletin. So, is it a product you can rely on as your primary antimalware application? How does it stack up to the top-tier security suites? We recently gave it a test drive to see.

What MSE Offers

Microsoft Security Essentials offers straightforward, real-time protection against viruses and other malware, including rootkits, Trojans, spyware, and keyloggers. It also scans everything on your hard drive or your external drives, if you turn that feature on), from executable (program) files to email messages and multimedia files. It protects against malware that arrives via instant message or syncing with another device (it scans files locally, not on the device you are syncing with). It doesn’t protect against malicious invaders such as hackers (it leaves that task to your firewall). Nor does it defend against spam or phishing attacks, which can be handled by your email client and browser, respectively. Finally, it offers no protection against identity theft, which is generally a consequence of malicious invasion or bad Internet habits-two activities it doesn’t scrutinize. In other words, it is not a comprehensive security suite and does not pretend to be. Rather, it fills the security gaps not covered by Microsoft’s related, free Windows add-ons-Windows Firewall, Internet Explorer, and Windows Mail or Windows Live Mail, depending on your operating system. So, no matter what security solutions you are already using, MSE can be a final step to achieving end-to-end security at no cost. Virus Removal Las Vegas!

How It Works

Las Vegas virus removal – Like many current anti-malware products, MSE has a cloud (Internet-based) component, although it continually updates and uses locally stored virus definitions to protect your machine as well. The cloud component for MSE includes Microsoft SpyNet, a community of individuals who have agreed to let MSE harvest varying degrees of information about the suspect files it encounters on their systems. By using SpyNet, Microsoft is able to compile and access an extensive library of information about how viruses and malware are continually evolving and posing new threats. Microsoft will automatically enroll you in this group at the basic level by default, but you can change your settings if you wish from the Settings tab. In action, Microsoft maintains a rewardingly small footprint on your machine, working quietly in the background with little to no performance drain. Users generally despise security products that are resource hogs, to the point where some will disable them periodically to speed things up. We feel confident you’ll never resort to such a drastic measure while using MSE. System scanning is reasonably quick, depending on your settings. Quick Scan examines the most likely locations for malicious files to be hiding, but leaves the remainder of your drive unexamined until a later scheduled scan. In our test, MSE scanned approximately 19,000 items in seven minutes. Full Scan will analyze all your files, as well as your Registry, for signs of trouble. This will take much longer (hours as opposed to minutes). All MSE scans take place in the background, and we felt no overall slowdown of operations while they were running. MSE also lets you customize your scans-not only when they take place and what they scan, but also the resources they use. (This setting only affects scheduled scans, not those you request on demand.) The fewer resources you allow scans to consume, the longer they can take (the default is 50% of CPU usage). Should you decide to use MSE, visit the Settings tab on the main interface and click Scheduled Scan to establish your personal parameters.

Installation

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Dealing With Malware and Scareware

Scareware is a scam that often occurs as a browser pop-up window that resembles a legitimate security utility. The program often features a realistic title. Typical scareware appears to scan your computer and look for malicious programs or problems. When it finishes the scan, it tells you that there are numerous threats on your computer, and you should click the pop-up to install a program that will rid the PC of its issues. Clicking the pop-up allows the scareware to install viruses, spyware, and/or alter the security settings of your PC. Alternatively,the scareware may instruct you to buy the full version, touting the (likely fake) list of malicious software on your system as proof that the scareware is worth your money. Here, we’ll show you how to spot and remove scareware from your computer Las Vegas virus removal.

Detecting Scareware

Jamz Yaneza, research manager at Trend Micro (us.trendmicro.com), says, “Scareware can take many forms. The first cybercriminals used tactics that warned users of infections with things like fake antivirus that would attempt to steal credit card numbers by saying you needed to pay for the software to fix the problems. Cybercriminals have become more devious and cunning. Now, you’ll see fake diagnostic tools or search engine optimization tactics that mimic the manner that real-time antivirus products protect your system. Others will imitate codecs, saying that you’ll need to download something if you want to watch a Web video.” You should be skeptical of Web browser pop-ups, because pop-ups are one of the ways cybercriminals can break into your PC. “Whether you’re at home or at work, you should know anti-malware software is running on your computer or network. For example, if you know that your PC is running Trend Micro, you can be assured that when FakeAV-or whatever program-pops up, that it’s not the program responsible for monitoring the security of your computer,” says Yaneza. If the pop-up window is a program that doesn’t look familiar to you, it’s best to close it immediately. (We’ll cover how to properly close scareware pop-ups later.) Just know that whatever the scareware message says (such as that it has detected a hard drive failure), your computer will not be crippled if you close the pop-up. Scareware may also take the form of a spoof email that indicates you’ll need to take some kind of immediate action that requires clicking a link in the email. Due to an abundance of these spoof emails, UPS recently outlined the signs you should look for when reading unsolicited emails. We found this advice would be helpful for anyone trying to identify any scareware email. The list of items UPS does not request-in an unsolicited manner-includes payments, personal information, financial information, account numbers, IDs, passwords, and copies of invoices. Common indicators of scareware, according to UPS, include poor grammar (such as errors, misspellings, and excessive use of exclamation points), unexpected requests, and a lack of alternative ways to provide the requested information, such as a phone number, mailing address, or a physical location. Because the goal is to try to scare you into taking action, many types of scareware typically include some type of trick that pushes you to make an immediate response. Las Vegas computer repair – For example,the pop-up may indicate that “your computer has several critical errors and needs to be fixed immediately” or “your account will be suspended within 24 hours.”

Closing Scareware

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Why Protect Your Network?

Our example is just one (albeit, a worst-case) scenario that demonstrates why you need to protect your network, whether it’s your home or business, but
there are plenty of other reasons, as well. “Users expose themselves to significant risk when a network is left open,” says Zak Wood, director of global marketing for networking solutions provider TRENDnet (www.trendnet .com). “More common, however, is the use of open wireless networks by neighbors to access all kinds of Internet sites, leaving not only the owner but his/her entire network and digital data at risk. Aside from the black marks you could get by someone using your network for less-than-appropriate purposes, you’re also at risk of losing data. It doesn’t take a very experienced cybercriminal to easily gain access to your data through an open network and steal passwords, personal information, and more. For an individual, that can be calamitous— your identity could be stolen and your financial, email, and social networking accounts compromised— but it can destroy an entire business. Not only is the personal information of all the employees at risk, so is the company’s financial information. Further, if someone can gain access to your network, your company’s intellectual property and corporate secrets could be exposed; thus, even if you can recover from a financial hit, the foundation that you built your business on could effectively be gone. As an aside, if you’re traveling for business, it’s also prudent to either avoid using public Wi-Fi networks (which are, by nature, open) for anything involving sensitive data or rely on a VPN (virtual private network) connection to safely connect back to your corporate network. A VPN uses encryption and authentication to provide a sort of secure “tunnel” to your home or business network through which you can safely work, even when using public Wi-Fi.
Smart Computing | June 2011 p.47

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Neon Computers
Phone: (702) 240-6366
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