Monday, November 18, 2013

Warning - W A R N I N G - Warning

On October 23rd 2013 I wrote about a really, really bad new virus called CryptoLocker.

Back then, only three and a half weeks ago, CryptoLocker was an acute danger mainly in the UK, parts of continental Europe and in some Asian countries.

This has changed dramatically. Computer users in the USA get hit with this virus increasingly often. Since a few days I receive about five emails every day that offer me "free money" or pre approved credit cards "ready to be shipped" my way. Would I ever click on a link in such an email? Would I ever be tempted to open one of the attachments? You bet not!

A free(!) protection method is available but it will interfere to some degree with normal computer operation. When this happens the computer user needs a certain amount of technical know-how to correctly diagnose the reason for the interruption and the to create an exception; this has to happen every time when it happens. If you can do that you should look at CryptoPrevent.

For everybody else I shout as loud as I can:
Disconnect your external backup drive when the backup is done!
If you don't disconnect the backup drive your backup files will be encrypted as well! They are totally useless once encrypted.

As usual I welcome suggestions and comments right here in the blog.

Click here for a categorized Table Of Contents.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Updating to Windows 8.1?

Updating from Windows 8 to 8.1?

The update process is quite daunting and time consuming as I described in this article about the tricks Microsoft uses.

So far at least this update is not mandatory. It brings IMHO only minor cosmetic changes and contains nothing that my customers don't already have; point in question here is a Start button and a decent desktop.

Additionally I have read quite a few reports of sometimes major problems with this update. These problems do not only pop up on older computers that do not have features in their processor that only recently became common.

I have read as well of problems on brand new computers that were bought with Windows 8 installed by the manufacturer.

My conclusion: There is no technical need to upgrade. For the time being I recommend to hold off.

As usual I welcome suggestions and comments right here in the blog.

Click here for a categorized Table Of Contents.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

2013 11 04 WTKM Talking Points (Nov 4th 2013)

An epidemic of a new kind of malware; see:
       PuPs - No Virus But just as Nasty  and
       How Malware Gets Installed

Many more scam phone calls claiming computer infections.
Microsoft (and MS affiliates) do not know about us!
Do not let them work on your computer!
Do not give them any credit card information!

Six customers in three weeks; two "fell" for the scam!

Windows 8.1 rolled out Oct 17. So far NOT via Automatic Update!

New Windows 8 computer? 
Don't use Microsoft account! (privacy vs. convenience)
More info: What Exactly is a Microsoft Account
Either way MS tracks all searches, local & internet. (NO to Bing)
Turn off Smart Search
Use Classic Shell (free) or Start8 ($5) to start into desktop.
Install VLC media player (MS removed Media Player!)
Updating from 8 to 8.1:
BIG download (> 311MB)
More details here (Oct. 2013)
Too big for standard DSL connections

Win XP? Your risk of virus infection is SIX times higher that of Win 8 - NOW. 

Facebook is reportedly testing to track cursor movement (silently track a user's actions); tracks how individual visitors respond to ads for better targeting advertising!

India: Named ransomware capital of Asia Pacific; online crime costs the country (estimate)
$4bn in 2012, according to Symantec.
Average cost per victim $207; below worldwide average of $298.
See my blog about Crypto Locker.

Adobe's servers hacked. 38 million usernames and passwords plus source code stolen.

Please listen to WTKM on 104.9FM, Monday, Nov. 4th from 10:00AM to 11:00AM.