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Check out this video!Check out this video: this week I've added a section on "Drive-By" malware to the "AA 12-Step Rehabilitation Plan" on our CompuNerds.Net website. What is a "Drive-By" malware attack? It's another sneaky, nefarious way that cyber-crooks have devised to steal your passwords, credit card or bank account numbers, or turn your PC into a zombie in a "botnet" sending out spam.

It could be a "Zero-Day" infection of a reputable website, or any rogue infected website that pops up a little window looking almost like a Windows system message and asks for your admin password, or a warning from your anti-virus program saying your computer is infected and asking for your credit card number to download a program that will supposedly remove the infection. Usually the English is poorly written, indicating some Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Russian, etc. cyber-crooks wrote the program: that's a good clue it's malware.

"Drive-By" malware often exploits security flaws in other programs you have installed on your computer, but sometimes it simply uses "social engineering" - a "Click here to exit" or "Click here to continue" message. DO NOT even move your mouse pointer into this popup window, or click on anything in this popup! HTML can interpret merely moving your mouse pointer over a window or clicking the red "X" in the popup as your agreement to perform any action, such as installing something on your PC.

Instead, close your web browser immediately, by carefully moving your mouse pointer away from the popup to the red "X" in the upper-right corner of your browser and clicking on it. But if the unexpected browser window takes up your whole screen, or if your browser won't close, shut down or reboot your PC. If by mistake your computer does get infected, contact us and we can tell you how to remove the malware.

About the time we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends. - Herbert Hoover

My stimulus for writing this was a phone call I got this week asking what to do about an infected computer. The person - a smart fellow with a PhD - didn't know how his PC got infected, so it must have been a "Drive-By" attack. What can you do proactively to avoid Drive-By malware infections? First, apply all Windows and web browser updates A.S.A.P.! Then set your browser's security setting to "high." Finally, be sure to use good firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. See our "AA 12-Step Rehabilitation Plan" for recommendations. If your PC gets infected, use SpyBot, available at www.PortableApps.com to remove the malware.

Which reminds me to tell you that PortableApps.com has a new platform that not only displays a Windows-like Start menu of your portable apps, but also checks for any updates for your PortableApps programs. If there are updates, it downloads and installs them. After I installed the new platform, it found 7 or 8 of my apps were out of date, then downloaded and installed them. Now I only have to make sure that all my other programs are up-to-date....

Click on Online PC Support for our worldwide help   &   Offsite Backup Services for securing your files!

The Security Blurb:
In our last issue we wrote about Carrier IQ, a "rootkit"-like program that can track all your activity on your smartphone. Now there's an article - How to Delete Carrier IQ From Your Android Phone or iPhone - that will help you remove that program.

Another article, Could the U.S. Government Start Reading Your Emails?, tells us about new software that can sift through massive amounts of data to read people's email, SMS messages, etc. It's beginning to look like the only way to keep your information private is to store it on a device that's completely disconnected from the Internet!

The goal of our CN.Net-News is to share information that we think you'll find helpful as you wrestle with that little monster on your desk or at your side, your computer. And we aim to present this information from a Christian worldview. Thanks for your time!

Best regards,

"Dr. Bob the CompuNerd"

Robert D hoskEN
See the "nerd" in my name? (It helps if you're a little dyslexic!)
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