Archive for July, 2010

Spyware can cause you financial ruin …

Posted on July 30th, 2010 in Spyware | No Comments »

When it comes to the internet, there are many threats that you have to worry about. But some threats are worse than others. While some of the online threats may ruin your computer, others may ruin your life. A big part of who we are is tied up in our financial well being. If anything happens to that, then it can really mess our status up. And if we have kids or a spouse, then the stakes get even bigger. There are some online scams that try to copy your financial identity and make it theirs. They have no idea of the true damage that a stunt like that can cause. They believe that it will be all cleared up by the credit card company and that the person will be reimbursed. Sometimes life is not that easy. In this article we will let you how spyware can take over your life and ruin it. 

There are many types of spyware

When you are talking about spyware, you are talking about one of the many different types of vulnerabilities that are out there. The definition of spyware is any software that stays on your computer and monitors what you do on it. There is a wide range of software that acts like this. But the spyware that can really hurt you is the type that will stay on your computer and read the keys as you are pushing them. This is known as a keylogger and it is one of the worse types of spyware that you can have on your system. It will take a record of the keys that you push on the computer for a set amount of time. After the time has expired, it will then connect to a server the next time that you are on the internet and deliver the information to that server. Once the server has that information, someone will go through and try to see if they can find anything valuable in it.

After the value is found

Once the crooks are able to discover something of value in the data that they have stolen, they will either use it themselves or they will sell it. In most cases they will sell the information to the highest bidder. That is when you can start to see trouble. If they have found credit card numbers in the data, they can use that data and create fake cards and use it to purchase items. They will then sell these items and collect the money for themselves. They do not even need to find credit card numbers to be able to hurt you. If they find enough information about you in the data that they shifted through, they can then use that information to open up accounts in your name. There have been many cases where people have opened up entire home loans in someone else’s name. Once that happens then you know that your financial situation can be ruined for some time to come.

If you want to make sure that spyware is not able to infect your computer then you should make sure that you have the right tools installed on your system. The right antivirus plus antispyware software will make sure that your computer stays clean.

Can your computer become infected with a virus by data from your moblie phone?

Posted on July 28th, 2010 in Security | No Comments »

I think that most people who have a smart phone are enjoying the power that it gives them when they are mobile. Just a few years ago, if you wanted to do some of the things that you can now do on a smart phone then you would have to drag a laptop around with you. With the new smart phones that are on the market, that is no longer the case. The devices are like mini computers. But some people wonder if that can have a negative effect as well. Are the fact that the phone are like mini computers lead to them infecting the normal computers that you have in the household? We will take a look at it and see if there is anything that you have to worry about. 

Do you have to worry?

The short answer is No; you do not have to worry about a virus infecting both your smart phone and your computer. The two devices run on different kind of hardware and making software that could affect both would be very hard. You would have to target both platforms. And the software would have to have a custom compiler that compiled into both platforms as well. Most phones CPU’s are based on the ARM model while most computers are based on the intel x86 model. When you are creating a program to use on a smart phone on your computer, you have to run an emulator to see how it works. The program will not run natively on the machine. A virus is nothing more than a piece of bad software program so if a normal program cannot run on the machine then a virus can’t either. 
A more extensive answer is that even though a piece of malware cannot run on both machines, it does not mean that your computer cannot pick one up from the phone. Most smart phones are able to hold data in a storage area. This data can be transferred to both a computer and other smart phones. For example, an MP3 or an Excel spreadsheet is data that is usually shared between the two. While a compiled program cannot run on both machines, the data can be shared. So if you transfer a file that has a virus that was made for a computer onto your system, then there is a chance that you will become infected. 

Scan your data

This is why you should scan all of the data that you get from your smart phone before you run it on your computer. You never know what can be hiding on the files. Just like you would scan new data from an email or some that was downloaded from the internet, you must do the same for data that is on your smart phone.

Three signs that your computer may have some form of malware in it

Posted on July 26th, 2010 in Malware, Spyware | No Comments »

Some people will be able to escape having their system infected with a piece of malware of some kind. But for the majority of the people who have a computer, some type of malware on it is a way of life at some point in your computing experience. No one is protected forever. There are so many layers of software on the computer that it is almost impossible to protect each one completely. If you protect the operating system layer, then you are going to miss holes in the application layer. If you protect the holes that are in the application layer, then you are going to miss the holes that are in the web layer. This is why you must keep software on your computer that will help fight these threats. Antivirus as well as anti spyware products will try their best to keep the threats from coming through. But most of the protection that these tools offer is reactionary. That means that the threat is created and then passed around first. After it is passed and has infected several thousands of people then the antivirus vendor finds a way to stop it. This is why you must keep your antivirus software updated at all times. But what happens if your system is one of the unlucky few that get hit by a new piece of malware before anyone knows that it is a threat? How can you tell that it is on there? We hope to answer that in this article. 

Your normal operations seem off somehow

The first step in being able to tell if your computer may have been hit by a virus is by the way that the system runs. If you are person that uses their computer a lot then you most likely can tell when something is off. Even though a computer is a very fast machine, you get used to the speed quickly and you can normally tell if something is not quite right. This is usually a sign that something is running in the background. If you know that you have not turned on any programs that could cause a slowdown, especially if you do not see anything running, then you might have a problem. Turn off the computer so that you can reboot and see if the results are the same. If you still a feel a certain slow down on the system, then the best advice is to run an updated antivirus scan quickly.  

The internet activity is a lot more than normal

If you do not feel a slow down on your computer, there are still other ways that you can tell if your computer has something running that shouldn’t be. Another way to tell is if your internet light on the router is going crazy. Before you become paranoid, you should know that there is always activity between your computer, the router, and the ISP where you get your internet even when you are not using a browser. And you might have other applications open besides the browser that use the internet. This includes applications such as your Instant Messenger client. So turn all of these off and if you still see a high amount of activity then do a scan with your antivirus.  

Last sign

If any of your online accounts have been compromised, such as email, then there is a good chance that someone got that information off of your computer. Do a scan to check and make sure everything is OK. 
Keep aware of the operations on your computer to make sure that everything is running smoothly.