Keep Safe

 How to Keep Your PC Safe

Always Update these when needed..

1. Java  (old versions can allow bad guys in…) Go to http://www.java.com/en/ and click on “Do I have Java” then “Verify Java Version”. If not current, then click “Free Java Download” then “Agree and Start Free Download” (these are buttons and the names may change as they update the Java page) Now click Run then Run again and Install. While installing close all browser (Internet) windows so Java can complete its update. 2. Flash  (small part runs all the time and can be hacked if not up to date) Go to http://www.adobe.com/downloads.html and hover on “Downloads” & click “Adobe Flash Player”   *Note: Google’s browser Chrome handles Flash updates automatically. Uncheck the toolbar Google offer or whatever and hit Agree and install now, next locate the cream/yellow colored bar and click to  allow. Now click Install. Be sure to close all browser windows immediately when the horizontal black window appears, otherwise Flash will not install correctly. When complete click Close/Finish. You now have the latest Flash Player. 3. Adobe Reader  (a small part is always running..yada yada.) Open Adobe Reader and click on Help and then Check for Updates if it displays No Updates Available then you are up to date. If not follow the prompts to run the updates. Always uncheck the box offering a toolbar or security scan If it is not installed go to http://www.adobe.com/downloads.html  Look in “Downloads” and click “Adobe Reader” and follow the prompts. Uncheck toolbar or whatever they offer extra. 4. iTunes  (same as above..yada yada – Jerry Seinfeld would be proud) When iTunes offers an update uncheck Safari and MobileMe unless you already have the software installed. Apple is trying to trick you into installing their products. You only need iTunes and Quicktime which comes together. To manually install go to http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/ and install by clicking “Free Download” (for iTunes) (note: if you untick the “email me..” and the “keep me informed..” boxes, you may download without entering personal info here. As with all installs, be sure to close everything but the iTunes installation, to assure a good installation. 5. Windows Updates and Internet Explorer  (Keep up to date for your security) even if you use another web browser such as Firefox or Chrome. Internet Explorer (or background elements of) supply the precious Windows Updates to keep Windows safe. Windows updates may happen automatically (usually around 3AM) if you allowed that default configuration. To manually invoke go to Control Panel then System & Security and Windows Update. 6. I prefer AVAST (free all the way up to Premier version) The program is very aware of the latest bad guys and has customizable “buttons” for easy use of a Updater (for all of these “dangerous programs listed on this page), a browser bad plug-in detector/remover, a home network security scanner, and a AVAST Scan button! ESET is also good but not loaded with the features AVAST has. ESET (should be automatic be keep an eye on this…) This program automatically updates and scans for bad guys. Just be sure to allow it to clean or delete when it asks you. If you refuse ESET’s advice you can get infected. 7. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) www.malwarebytes.org  has updates available as many as 10 times a day. Be sure to click “Update Now” before every scan to get the latest protection from those bad guys. Note: Trial is computer-talk for “I will run out and demand you now pay”. You have the option to untick the Trial and keep a free version with these. When your trial runs out you may either buy a paid version or simply click “End Trial” once and MBAM coverts back to a free version that does not expire. Tip: Here’s a great site for safe downloads: www.majorgeeks.com You should be very familiar with the look and feel of all of these programs’ icons so you will know when a new one mysteriously appears! Also notice changes that may mean something needs your attention. For example if the ESET tray icon suddenly looks different open it and see what it needs. Bad List: Use Alt-F4 and Alt-Tab to try to stop these. Any interaction (clicking) could silently install malware! A very clever bad guy could trick you into a silent install with just a mouse over. This means simply moving the mouse a few pixels could trigger an event that would install an unwanted bad guy! Alt-Tab can select the focus onto each open window and Alt-F4 can close most of them. If it can’t be closed the malware is likely already installed to some degree. At that point I suggest you contact me (or another anti-malware tech) as attempted removal by unqualified users can damage your system or at the least make removal much harder and therefore more costly.

Watch out for these sophisticated bad guys:

a. FBI warnings that you can pay your way out of are always FAKE! b. Hard drive failure warnings that offer a paid solution are always FAKE! c. Friends on a trip that are mugged & need you to wire cash are FAKE! d. An app that scans and finds many infections & offers a paid fix… FAKE! e. UPS, FedEx, USPS package alerts that include an attachment… FAKE! f.  Any unsolicited financial email with an attachment is FAKE! g. If you ever win a lottery or contest your bank account info is never required! h. No foreign Prince, Dictator, Magnate wants their money laundered.. FAKE! Never will a legitimate program EVER pop up announcing a problem and offer a web link to fix it! Also never give your:

  1. Social Security number
  2. Birthdate
  3. Current or past address
  4. Any bank account numbers, PINs, or passwords

to anyone on the phone that you did not call. Just because they say they are from your bank does not mean it’s the case! Also never reply to emails with this very private information. Only two of the above could get your identity stolen. I was saved from a false credit card app because they did not have my current address. If your computer suddenly shows one of the attacks I listed above, you may not be infected until you click on the Alert window. Do not click on the X in the top right corner to close the window. Do not click OK or Cancel or any offered buttons. Remember bad guys wrote this window and they can make it silently install their bad programs with any click and in some cases just any mouse movement within the borders of their window! If you get one of these scary fake alert windows do not even roll your mouse! Use ALT-F4 and ALT-Tab then ALT-F4 over and over until the Alert window is gone. Sometimes several extra Alt-Tabs are needed then an Alt-F4 or two. Then run CCleaner and when complete REBOOT! Fake Alerts are happening in Epidemic proportions currently. The more intense and energetic the more you can be sure it is FALSE. It wants you to freak out and click in its window so it can infect you. DON’T do that. Remember: ALT-F4, ALT-Tab and ALT-F4 again and again until gone! Also try to reboot. It is not a good sign if it survives a reboot. That would be a good time to contact me. Just click “Contact me” on the banner menu atop this page. Just remember the more you do these updates, the safer you will be.

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