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It’s was back in May that I last wrote about the threat of Viruses and Malware, and this month is a reminder to: stay cautious when you’re online.

At almost every call-out, I remove some malware or spyware of some kind; if ever a customer mentions that their computer is suddenly slower or performing erratically then there is a good chance that rogue software is to blame. This rogue software can only be installed by the user and is normally done unwittingly by clicking on a rogue download link or a link in an email.

These are known as Trojan Viruses, and are named after the mythological Trojan Horse in Greek literature. They make you think that you’re installing a useful piece of software such as a toolbar, or performance boosting software, but really they install their own software with their own agenda such as spying on your web browsing or collecting personal information like passwords, email addresses or banking details.

Please do not be tempted to install any kind of software that claims to boost your performance or clean your system for you. If you have installed any of the following then I’d advise removing them straight away and visit www.malwarebytes.org to download their free anti-malware scanner. Look out for rogue software such as: Webcake, Psalm-a-day, Advanced System protector, My Search, MyWebSearch, Inbox Toolbar, MySearchDial, SearchProtect, RegCleanPro, Wajam, Conduit, Conduit Web Search, Search Assistant, Crawler Search, Inbox Ace, Simple Adblock, PC Health Boost, PCCleaner, CCCleaner, Funweb, Funmoods, and many many more.

If you’ve got extra toolbars in your web browser that you didn’t have previously, or if your home page or search page has changed to Inbox Search, MyWebSearch, Conduit Search, or is different from your normal home page then this also could indicate an infection.

One recent campaign is targeting BT and Yahoo email users; it starts by infecting a computer and watching out for the users BT or Yahoo passwords. Once it’s got this information the virus logs on to the user’s email and sends all their email friends a message asking them to download the same software onto their own PC. You may well have seen an odd email from a BT or Yahoo user that just has a single web link. And you’d be surprised by the number of people who forget themselves and click the link. Similar scams are started by a fake phone-call supposedly from BT or Microsoft claiming to be helping you, but don’t fall for it.

It can take between 60 and 90 minutes to perform a full clean on a PC, sometimes longer for very serious infections, but if you leave them unattended then you risk having your passwords or private email address stolen, or even worse you could have your identity stolen and lose money as a result, so please check your computer today

I’ve had a great response to last months ‘Wireless around the house’ article with over a dozen kits installed to help improve Wi-Fi signal in outbuildings and larger houses.

I hope you find this information useful. If you would like to see particular subjects covered then please feel free to ask at www.alfindlay.com.

Al Findlay | Freelance IT & AV Support Consultant | Website design and Hosting | www.AlFindlay.com | 01395 542500

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