100 lb. Club - OT: computer virus

View Full Version : OT: computer virus

10-28-2005, 01:32 AM

10-28-2005, 02:39 AM
Well, knock on wood, Howie and I have never had a computer virus. We've had to help people get rid of them, though, and they can be real boogers - as you saw!

If you are on the broadband, be sure to get yourself a router. It acts as a firewall, to prevent outside intrusions. Or at the least, be certain to have a software firewall like ZoneAlarm, available for free at http://zonelabs.com . Windows XP has its own firewall program built in, and if you don't have another firewall program like ZoneAlarm running, be sure to have XP's on.

There's so much more to it, though...Check out these links for more info:


One of the biggest things Howie and I recommend is for people to abandon Microsoft Outlook/Outlook Express and Internet Explorer. Those programs, partly due to their popularity and partly due to their security vulnerabilities, are targets for hackers and virus writers. We suggest the excellent Firefox browser and Thunderbird e-mail programs, available free at http://www.mozilla.org . This Wall Street Journal article sums it up: http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20041230.html

Please note that you can't completely get rid of Internet Explorer because it is needed for you to run Windows Update, something every Windows user should be doing regularly. Outlook and Outlook Express, however, can be uninstalled if you don't use them.

10-28-2005, 03:19 AM
I've had a few bad bad virii on this computer, we definitely run a few risky programs (limewire being the worst). We have cable internet, a router, run pest patrol and AVG, which we run every day. We haven't gotten that specific virus, but we had one that took nearly TWO weeks to get rid of, it was so new no virus scanners were able to detect it. *Knocks on wood* They are nasty eh? I don't understand why someone would DO that!!


10-28-2005, 01:27 PM
Ugh, that's pretty sick, Pookie. :(

Fortunately, I run a Mac so I've never been infected, but I don't know how much time I've spent with SIL's PC cleaning it up. :rolleyes: P2P and other file-sharing proggies seem to be the main culprits, along with "free" downloadable icons.

I heartily second Gardenwife's advice to ditch M$ IE and OE. :yes: Running these programmes with all the malicious software that's about is akin to walking in the rain and expecting to stay dry.

Just for information, I've had success in the past using Ad-Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy to rid her 'puter of, and defend against, adware and spyware.

Whatever you use, you must keep updated to ensure you have the very latest protection.

10-28-2005, 02:59 PM
That is a FANTASTIC new avatar pic! :)

You are looking gorgeous!


10-28-2005, 04:14 PM
I run Norton it's a system Hog but well worth since my kids get on the computers. Norton and some other have popup blockers. I use that plus others. I use pest patrol and adware. I've been trying different programs for adware and popups. The main thing I do is Norton Update it's software every Wed and Friday so I make sure to update twice a week. I put McAfee on my son's computer I took it off. The updates are a pain to get. I'm going to get the 2006 soon and give that a try. I've read mixed reviews. With some viruses it's best to just reinstall your OS. That is why I always stress make that System Recovery Disk as soon as you set up your computer!!! Now days they don't send those OS disk or driver disk but put it in another drive on you computer. Which if that gets infected your out of luck!

10-28-2005, 05:18 PM
If you have limited system resources, Firefox is an extra boon for you. It automatically blocks pop-ups and there are extensions (add-on programs) easily added which block other kinds of ad content, such as those annoying Flash animation ads.

I haven't used Norton for years. While it is a well-known and reputable company, Norton really is a huge resource hog and because of how it mucks about with the system it can really complicate what should be a simple experience. Plus, there's no need to buy something like it when there are so many excellent open source and free programs available now.

An excellent couple of free antivirus products which do not hog resources include these:

AVG Antivirus (http://free.grisoft.com/doc/1)
Avast Antivirus (http://www.avast.com)

As mentioned earlier, the two programs AdAware (http://www.lavasoft.com/software/adaware/) and Spybot Search & Destroy (http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html) are both excellent, free spyware scanners/fixers.

One thing we always tell people is to do one simple thing before downloading or installing any software. Go to Google and search for the program's name and the word spyware. For example:

Gator spyware (http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGGL,GGGL:2005-09,GGGL:en&q=gator+spyware)
hotbar spyware (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=lang_en&rls=GGGL%2CGGGL%3A2005-09%2CGGGL%3Aen&q=hotbar+spyware&btnG=Search)

Usually, if the program is associated with bad stuff, the first page of hits will net you the scoop.

10-28-2005, 09:26 PM
Thanks, Linda! :)

It's for a limited time only--I think I look rather shifty. :s:

10-29-2005, 01:42 AM
You're welcome -- computers are both Howie's and my passion. Strong geek vibes emanate from this household. :cool: (pretend those are taped-up geek glasses in the avatar).

Be sure to virus scan your backup drive, too, for it can carry a virus-infected file just as your main hard drive can.

10-29-2005, 03:50 PM
Thanks so much for the advice. I am so not a tech type person. I'm going to get DH to read all of this and fix us up.

10-29-2005, 07:26 PM
Man, I feel completely overwhelmed just reading all this :?: -- and I work for a technology services provider! This stuff just makes me feel like such an idiot -- but then I remind myself that it's not at all my passion. I know an awful lot about assorted lettuces, if that's any help! :D

I get so overwhelmed, I don't even know how to explain what I need or am having an issue with -- I just don't even have the language. Amazingly, I'm a very effective and productive IT recruiter for my company!! :lol: I know, know -- hard to believe -- but true.

Anyone need any info on radicchio? :lol3:

10-30-2005, 11:56 AM
Sarah your crack me up!!! Love the lettuces comment!!! ROFL

10-30-2005, 12:06 PM
Pookie there are many great backup programs. Do you have Norton Internet Security or Norton Systems works? I have both Norton System Works has a program called Norton Go Back. If not here's a URL to Cnet it has reviews of software. I also have other URL if you want for reviews. http://www.download.com/ Read up and find what is right for you. Also Tread Micro has a wonderfu free virus scan service. http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ I double check my computer a couple online sites. The tech is right there is no way to be 100% protected but by updateing and being careful about links you can lessen your chances. You can also setup your brower for extra security. I personally use Netscape. I feel I have more control over what is going on. But I have been using Netscape for years back when one had to pay for it. I was never a big Intenet Explorer fan. One thing I do yearly is reinstall my os just because it helps clear the clutter. IMO