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Archive for the ‘Security Help’ Category

Dialer Malware

Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

A dialer is a program that dials your modem access number, you will find this component in certain software suites for various reasons, but you also see it in malware or viruses. If you have broadband then this is something you may not have to worry about but if you recently jumped on to the broadband wagon you may have your modem still hooked up. My advice on this situation… Continue reading

Viruses that Won’t Go Away

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

Some viruses just won’t go away. You try everything from running your anti-virus software to digging through the registry just to have it come back. Well, if you have Windows ME or XP the infected file might be stored as a backup file that your virus scan can’t touch.

So, what to do? Try disabling System Restore and running a virus scan.

With Windows XP:

Right-click “My Computer”… Continue reading

Firewall Hits

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

I know I promised to send you this tip last week but I felt it important to tell you about the Firefox problem (which, by the way, has been fixed so download and install the latest version).

OK, so two week’s ago we took a look at how to not only see, but to decipher your router logs. To review this info, check out the webpage…

Router Logs & Firewall Hits

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

So you got broadband—congratulations. Now there are three PCs all online in your house, and guess who the Network Administrator is? Everyone’s enjoying the connection, but now you have three people online at once and you want to make sure that you network remains securely sound. I’m going to discuss how to view your router log which, in case you’re not familiar, is a list of what’s going on out… Continue reading

Keep Files Anonymous

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

Did you know that your name and other personal information may be included in files that you send to others? That’s right. Word processors especially put in the author’s name and more automatically. If you plan on sending a file to someone else, then you should remove this info.

Right click a file and choose “Properties” (or Alt+double click). If there is

Identity Theft Myths & Facts

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

The 2005 Identity Fraud Survey Report, released by the Better Business Bureau and Javelin Strategy & Research uncovers where identity theft is coming from, who gets hit, how much is lost, and more. The most interesting finding that we want to pass on is that ID theft is more prevalent offline with paper than online. That’s right, and someone close to you is more likely to… Continue reading

Encryption File Service (EFS)

Thursday, February 17th, 2005

What is EFS?

Since we got the green light to do some XP Pro tips and tricks I have been trying to figure which of the many new security tips I should run first. I decided to go with the file encryption, which is in case you are unfamiliar with the term, is a way to lock down either files or folders. This option is only available in

Keep safe by logging off

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005

If you use an online email service (like Yahoo or MSN), log into an online store, or check your bank account, be sure to hit “Sign Out” or “Log off” when done. This way, no one can get on your computer after you and access your mail or information.

~ David… Continue reading

Fake Security Warnings

Thursday, January 27th, 2005

Beware of fake security warnings!

Sometimes you’ll be surfing the web and a window pops up that looks like a legitimate warning from Windows. Before you click, read carefully and you’ll find that it’s just a pop up ad trying to entice you to a product site by clicking “Yes”. I’ve even seen some with a shield that resembles the new SP2 Security Center logo.

Just click the X at… Continue reading

Multiple Firewalls

Thursday, January 27th, 2005

If you have recently installed a firewall, or have just started having Internet Connection problems, it’s possible you have more than one firewall running. This can cause problems of all sorts from intermittent connection problems to complete loss of connectivity depending on the firewall combination running on your system. Now, this doesn’t apply to hardware firewalls such as routers—you can run one of these and have a personal… Continue reading

Spyware/Privacy Warning Signs

Saturday, January 8th, 2005

Are there any warning signs that a download might be spyware or that my personal information will be sold?

Always read the Privacy Statement of a website before submitting personal info (that means registering software too). They won’t come out and say, “Hey, we’ll be selling your email address to spammers!” but you will find statements like…


Securely Using Hot Spots

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

A lot of service-oriented businesses provide Internet access via free public wireless networks. From airports to fast food chains, these access points, or Hot Spots as they are called, are even being implemented in government buildings such as libraries. This can be a real convenience to people on the go, someone waiting for a flight, or someone out of town that may need to get online with a good connection… Continue reading

Invasion of the Bots

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

2004 was quite a year. One thing that grabbed my attention, and may grab yours, is the skyrocketing growth in Bots (PC’s that are controlled by hackers using a worm or Trojan with a backdoor), and skyrocketing may be too subtle of a word.

According to Symantec, there has been a 450% increase in virus attacks on Windows machines this year, and the reason for this shocking… Continue reading

Phishing Scams

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

Phishing is a scam you may or may not be familiar with. We did an article on it in July of 2003, and we have been seeing some pop up in our inboxes lately. The process of phishing is actually very simple: an email is sent to you that spoofs an actual legitimate company trying to get personal information from you such as account and pin numbers. This… Continue reading

Two Windows XP Vulnerabilities

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

A Tale of Two Vulnerabilities

It was the best of browsers, it was the worst of browsers…

On November 17, a Danish security firm discovered two Windows XP vulnerabilities—one was with SP2 and the other with Internet Explorer6. Both were found on systems that were completely up-to-date (scary). These two exploits basically trick the security center and IE into thinking that the sites you may be viewing are completely safe… Continue reading

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

This is a cool analyzing tool from Microsoft. With this diagnostics program you can run a security check on your system and see where you might be lacking. The tool was made primarily for people in the IT industry who wanted to check their networks for holes, but it works on standalone systems like a champ. Sorry 9x’ers (i.e.95/98/ME) this one’s all XP and 2000 in addition to having Internet… Continue reading

Explicit Permissions

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

I think you guys are really going to enjoy this week’s security tip. It’s a really cool way to secure files using “specific rights”. This is ideal for people who share a computer with others in the house and want to keep their private information secure.

Windows XP home and Pro give you a great amount of control over your files and by logging in through Safe Mode

What kind of attachments can contain viruses?

Basically, anything that is executable (able to run). You’re generally safe with picture files, text files, and the like. However, it still pays to scan first.

Here is a (very) short list of the most common to watch out for:


Virus, Trojan, Worm

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

What is the difference between a Virus, Trojan, and Worm?

Basically, they all fall under the generally category of “viruses”. However, there are a few distinctions.

Virus – Technically, a virus infects another file (attaches or inserts itself into it). They usually infect program files or MS Office documents. From there, it can replicate, do damage, etc. Unlike a worm, these do not function as a… Continue reading

Worst Virus Ever

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

I received an e-mail from a friend describing the “worst virus ever,” but then I saw a report on the news that it was in fact a hoax. How can I tell the difference between a real and a hoax virus before I start to panic?

There are several ways to determine if a virus alert is a hoax or not.

First of all, an alert… Continue reading

Run Away Icons

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

When I try to click my icons, they seem to “run away” from my mouse. I can’t get to them and I’m having a hard time using my computer. What’s wrong?

I get this question a ton, so I finally looked into it. It’s actually a virus, the “magistr” one to be exact.

If you’ve been infected with it for more than two months, it will… Continue reading

Fake PayPal Email

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Fake PayPal Email

Do you use PayPal? If so, you need to be extremely careful. We’ve been seeing a lot of fraudulent e-mails that appear to be originating from PayPal, but are in fact from an unscrupulous 3rd party.

Oh, and for those who don’t know, PayPal is an online payment system—a really good one too (I like it :-) . They are not part of this scam, more like a… Continue reading

All the World’s Maps

Friday, November 12th, 2004

All the World’s Maps

Need a map for a report? Need a map of a country for your vacation? This is the place to get your maps. How does it work? Choose a map from the drop down box and then click the Launch Map button and ta-da you have a directory of sites to choose your map from.

Better yet you can even get maps of… Continue reading

Digging for Worms

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Digging for Worms

Like me, you probably get more infected emails than good ones. It seems like I’m getting more worms and viruses sent to me than s spam m (never thought I’d see that happen). In my case I get 400-800 infected emails everyday here at Worldstart H.Q. Fortunately I have anti-virus software that deletes the virus/worms but the emails remain with a little note telling me a virus… Continue reading

Download: Cacheman

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Download of the Week:

If you’re the type of person who’s always looking to get the most performance out of your PC I have a great program for you.

As you may know, RAM is the memory that your CPU works with directly. What happens when you have a program or number of programs running that are using more memory (RAM) than you physically have in your machine? Well, Virtual… Continue reading


Wednesday, November 10th, 2004


It’s been a while since I’ve talked about any of the viruses tearing up the Internet and there’s been some real interesting out there. In the past month and a half I’ve seen two very unique viruses in particular that I’ve wanted to write about. The “JPEG of Death” and the “Rbot-GR” are not very widespread or overly dangerous, but they are pioneers of a sort. The JPEG of… Continue reading

Web Bugs

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Web Bugs

Have you ever heard the term Web Bug? How about Web Beacon or Clear GIF? Well, don’t feel left out if you haven’t, it’s not everyday terminology. The terms I mentioned are different names for the same thing. For the sake of remaining simple I’ll stick with one name Web Bug. So what are Web Bugs and what to they do? They are small (1 by… Continue reading

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