Pirated Software, Do Not Download

software_pirateIf you walked into a retail store and picked up software and put it in your pocket, it would be call stealing. But when you download software for free off the Internet, you forget that it is still stealing. Unfortunately there a big different between stealing from a store or downloading the digital version of the same product on your computer, it is still stealing.

To get legitimate software to work without paying for it and having a proper license key, hackers manipulate the software internally. Sometimes you can’t notice a hidden file or spyware program that has been planted within the software to watch your key strokes.

So even if the software works, it will be affecting your computer in some way or another. We have to consider the fact that there might be something contained in this software, maybe a virus.

Your identity can be stolen which is worth far more than free software downloaded. Hackers can sign up for credit cards and spend money like it’s going out of fashion, and all in your name.

When that happens you will never think about downloading pirated software again.

FBI. Cybercrime Division Ransomware

This morning I was using my Surface Pro tablet to surf the web and all of a sudden this screen popped up,  it was a scary sight.

fbi-cybercrime-divisionThe FBI. Cybercrime Division or International Cyber Security Protection Alliance infection is a screenlocker from the Troj/Urausy Ransomware and Reveton family of ransomware infections. When installed this infection does not allow you to access your computer or your files without a paying a ransom. When infected with this Trojan, you will be shown a ransom screen instead of your Windows desktop when you login to Windows. This ransom screen will state that the FBI has detected that your computer has been downloading or distributing copyrighted content or pornography. This infection will display different lock screens depending on what country your computer is currently located in. It is able to detect your country by using the IP address of your computer.

sandboxieIn all my computers and Surface Pro tablet I have installed Sandboxie. Sandboxie runs your programs in an isolated space which prevents them from making permanent changes to other programs and data in your computer. I was lucky this morning  all I had to do was to turn off the Surface Pro tablet and turn it back on, Sandboxie had deleted the FBI. Cybercrime Division  ransomware.

Kickstart-LogoTo get rid of  FBI. Cybercrime Division ransomware, all you need to do is boot up your system with the help of the HitmanPro.Kickstart USB flash drive. The programs on the flash drive will make sure that you boot into your own familiar Windows environment and start HitmanPro.

You need to download HitmanPro and create a  bootable  USB flash drive, the website  will show you how to create it. http://www.surfright.nl/en/kickstart

How to avoid Viruses and Malware

Viruses and Malware imageWhat is virus, malware – and how does it get on my computer? Malware is short for malicious software, and includes viruses, spyware, scareware and similar programs installed on your computer without your consent or knowledge. Most malware mimics legitimate software in an attempt to get you to purchase something and give out your credit card information. Here are some ways you can get Malware:

  • Malware can come as an e-mail attachment that you downloaded that you are not expecting to receive.
  • You can be tricked into installing free software with malware.
  • From an infected web site that you go to via a link in an e-mail.
  • Malware can be installed automatically when you visit an infected website.

How to avoid getting viruses and malware? No paid or free anti-virus software is going to protect you from all viruses and malware. Best way is to change your behavior, is your best defense:

  • If you get a pop-up window from an unknown program telling you that there are problems with your computer, immediately turn off or restart your computer do not click the red X in the upper right corner it also downloads and installs virus and malware program without you knowing it.
  • Only download or purchase software from trustworthy websites or retailers.
  • Avoid free download sites such as music and file-sharing programs, screen savers and toolbars they can install virus and malware.
  • Do not get trick into paying with credit card for fake Spyware programs that tell you your computer is infected with malware, once you pay and download the program you are now infected with malware.
  • When installing programs, don’t click “next” on each prompt without thoroughly reading and understanding each stage of the installation. Uncheck any optional search toolbars that are often bundled with legitimate software.
  • Install Windows Critical Updates and Internet Browser updates when prompted as soon as possible. Many of these patches fix security vulnerabilities that allow malicious programs onto your computer without your consent. Also install updates for other programs that are used by your web browser such as Java, Adobe Reader and Flash Player.
  • Consider switching internet browser at times to Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, there are times when one is better than the other in not getting virus or spyware through malicious websites.
  • Don’t click on links in e-mail messages unless you now who sent it.

If I have an anti-virus program installed, can I still get a virus and malware? Yes, new viruses are unleashed daily and the virus companies create fixes for the problem at different times. Anti-Virus program needs to check for virus updates daily and download new virus database files from the internet before running a scan, because old virus database won’t detect any of the newer viruses. Paid anti-virus programs need to be registered and require an annual subscription to keep your virus database files up-to-date if not you are not protected. Free anti-virus works good as the paid, unfortunately, no anti-virus program detects all viruses. The best anti-virus is practicing safe internet and computing habits.

Schedule an appointment with Philip Computer Repair today for spyware and virus removal.