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Old 08-01-2004, 12:14 PM   #1
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Virus's Trojans and Worms oh my!

It seems like I am seeing more and more posts on all the boards about virus problems, worms, trojans etc. I thought it might be nice to have a single thread where we can share our thoughts on the best ways to keep your computer safe and keep it clean.

It all starts with your network. If you have Cable, DSL or other high speed internet access you should have a firewall. Software firewalls can slow down your computer and cause other issues. Probably the best thing to use is one of the cable/dsl routers put out by D-Link/Linksys/Belkin etc. They are inexpensive and a very good first step. They also allow you to share interent access among several computers.

Anti-Virus Software- EVERYONE should have this on their computer. No exceptions unless you don't access the internet or email. Norton seems to be the most popular. Mcaffee works but a lot of people think that it slows their computer down. F-prot works and is cheaper than the others if you are on a budget.
Make sure your virus definitions are up to date. Virus software without updated definitions is entirely useless.

Anti spyware/adware programs- the 2 best ones are Adaware available in a free version from www.lavasoftusa.com and Spybot also free from http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html
The most important thing about these programs is to make sure you update them regularly!! The won't do any good if they are not up to date and both contain updaters that make it easy. A LOT of computer problems would be avoided if people would run these two programs on their computer once per week.
Be VERY VERY careful about other anti-spyware software, even stuff that you pay for. Some of them put their own spyware on!
These two have been proven clean for years now.
If they fail to clean you up there is another program, hijackthis available at http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/
This is an extremely powerful program and you MUST post your results on their forum for interpretation. Misuse of this program can render your computer unusable so I only reccomend it as a last resort before you reload anyway.

Pop up blocker- There are several out there, I like the free google toolbar. The DIS/the boards and dreams do NOT use any type of pop up ad. If you see a pop up on one of our sites it is a sign that your computer is infected.

Freeware- gator/incredimail/the thing to keep your clock synchronized etc etc etc.
Anytime anyone is offering you "free" software chances are very good they are infecting your computer with spyware! If you read the agreement carefully you are giving them permission to do that. Unless you know that something is harmless DON'T allow any free software on your computer.

What are some signs that your computer is infected?
Pop up ads where there shouldn't be any
Very slow performance
Your Internet Explorer is "hijacked" and you can't change your home page.
Frequent crashes

It is very important to check/clean your computer at the FIRST sign of a problem. The longer this stuff is allowed to exist the greater the chance that it will do damage.

Spam- NEVER EVER use the unsubscribe link to unsubscribe from spam. By using it you are telling them that this is a valid email address and you can expect to start getting a lot more spam.
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Old 08-01-2004, 01:02 PM   #2
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I believe my pc is infected and I am having trouble cleaning it. Norton comes up clean but most other programs stop halfway thru and shut down the pc. The computer works fine but runs slow. At one point adaware detected problems as did spybot but I don't think I have been able to run it all the way thru and get them removed. Once we had a small window open up on the pc showing lots of worm and trojan files moving rapidly. Is there someplace I can go on my pc to show whether I have a virus? I'm not ready to do a reinstall as it's working, just don't think it's working right. Is it possible I removed the virus but it left some damage behind and that's where the problem is?
From what I understand a worm virus alters your anti-virus programs. It can make it show no virus, or make it shut down and not finish the process.
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Old 08-01-2004, 01:11 PM   #3
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One good thing to try is to reboot in "safe mode". Tap the F8 key when starting your computer. Run your antivirus and anti-spyware programs in safe mode and they will often remove stuff they normally can't.
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Old 08-01-2004, 01:39 PM   #4
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alright I just ran symantec's w32blaster remover. It came up with a message that W32 Blaster worm has been detected on my pc. The only option it then gives me is to click ok. I do this, did it just remove the virus? It gave me no message saying this has now been removed. I'm trying to figure out if I"m getting this off my pc.
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Old 08-01-2004, 02:45 PM   #5
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http://www.microsoft.com/security/incident/blast.mspx
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Old 08-01-2004, 02:49 PM   #6
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I just installed the free version of Adaware from Lavasoftusa, but I have no help for the continuing pop-up warning of the Trojan virus on my startpage. I have AVG for Windows installed, but when I run it, the warning even pops up during that! It pops up every time I change pages. I am illiterate about these things and would appreciate any advice. Thanks.
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Old 08-01-2004, 05:23 PM   #7
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We use a cable internet connection, one desktop and one wireless laptop both connected into a cable router. We use Norton Internet Security for virus and firewall protection. Also Pest Patrol for spyware. Both are recommended by Dell, our computer manufacturer. We are pleased with the performance of both products. Dell just launched a major computer security initiative.
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Old 08-01-2004, 05:57 PM   #8
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Candace.. try Spybot, there is a link above.. both programs are complimentary and one will often remove what the other will not.

Tigeroo- run a full system scan

If you have a known virus or worm such as blaster, a good place to go is the Symantec Security Center. They have removal tools for a LOT of what might be on your computer as well as really good detailed instructions. Here is a link
http://securityresponse.symantec.com...r/vinfodb.html
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Old 08-01-2004, 06:41 PM   #9
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You can get a free anti-virus program (and one year of free updates) through an offer by Microsoft and Computer Associates
http://www.my-etrust.com/microsoft/

Microsoft also has a section on protecting your computer

http://www.microsoft.com/athome/secu...t/default.aspx
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Old 08-01-2004, 06:57 PM   #10
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Best reccomendation...STOP using Internet Explorer, it has been shown to have too many weaknesses to attack from these things.

The best browser to use is Mozilla Firefox, it blocks all pop-up ads, and doesn't get affected by a lot of the worms and viruses found put on websites these days.

Go to http://www.mozilla.com for more info
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Old 08-01-2004, 07:23 PM   #11
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Wow Lewis that is a GREAT offer!
Computer associates makes some great stuff.
And there is a movement away from Internet Explorer, it is worth considering.
Another good alternative browser is Opera
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Old 08-01-2004, 11:24 PM   #12
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I am also very computer illiterate but I know my laptop is infected with something. I have Yahoo pop-up blocker but it does not block all the ads I get from Save and When U as well as others. My question is if I download Lavasoftusa or safer-networking will I have to reinstall everything onto my computer. At this time my laptop seems to be working fine but the ads are very annoying. Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-01-2004, 11:31 PM   #13
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You should not have to reinstall everything BUT remember anytime you start screwing around with stuff ... always have a backup! things can go wrong
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Old 08-02-2004, 12:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
The best browser to use is Mozilla Firefox
However I believe you will need IE to download security patches from the microsoft site.
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Old 08-02-2004, 06:40 AM   #15
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Sadly, a lot of this is probably too complicated for the AVERGE pc user, which is why many don't bother.
None of the programs are perfect, but my use of Norton Anti-Virus, Ad-Aware, Zone Alarm Firewall, and regular "Critical" Windows updates seems to work most of the time.
I tried Pest Patrol once--it actually allowed me to remove a critical file (registry?) that completely prevented further contact via Internet. I had to get the entire hard drive wiped clean by a professional company. Would also note that if you install some spyware after a long time without having any, you may find hundreds of infections that need to be quarrentined or removed. A daunting job, especially when you haven't a clue which files, etc are involved.
Would be nice if these anti-spyware programs would just identify the contamination and simply remove it--leaving the infected files once again free and clear. But it's not that simple, unfortunately.
I am always skeptical of any program that asks ME what to do...:D
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