The Conficker Worm Virus Scare, How to Protect your computers


It’s not an April Fools scam, it’s the real thing– malicious adware, worms, and viruses are rampant out there in the world wide web like STDs, MRSA, HIV for humans. Relatively healthy individuals don’t appear to be carriers of infectious diseases, just like harmless-looking attachments, websites, and downloads don’t look like they can destroy your computer.

What you should do is prevent and treat. Prevent if you don’t suspect infection and treat if there is an infection. Prevention includes keeping your anti-virus software up to date and constantly scanning for new threats. I suggest free AVG software for viruses and free lava-soft ad-aware for adware and malware. Also, keep Microsoft updates UP-to-date. Zone-alarm firewall also helps keeping intruders out. Again, Zone Alarm, AVG, and Ad-aware are all free– google them to download.

Prevention also includes staying away from pornographic sites, shameless downloads (megaupload, pirating sites, hacker sites, etc…, unless you have a MAC/APPLE, because most viruses attack PCs, then again, why are you illegally downloading stuff anyway? Hmm?)

Another preventative measure is to be aware of phishing sites and scams. Phishing sites and emails disguise themselves as trusted sites, like Myspace, Facebook, Paypal, Ebay, etc…, asking you to update your password and private information. Once you put in all that information, you’re out of luck because all that information now belongs to someone else, who can use your account now to spread malware and spam or perform identity theft on your sorry behind. Be sure that the site you’re accessing is the legit site itself, by checking the URL. If it looks fake/funny, it probably is fake/funny.

Also, do not store and save your passwords online and do not have a listing of all your passwords and private information online. It’s also not wise to use easy to guess passwords or the same passwords across your many internet accounts.

If you are infected with the Conficker, sources state that by turning off your router/web, readjusting the time, or just not turning the computer/laptop on will not help. If unfortunately you are infected (You recently or a few months back, installed a program that led to nothing, or downloaded something suspicious) the tell-tale signs are that you now can not access sites like Microsoft, Norton, Symantec, AVG, etc… If that’s the case, it’s suggested you have a friend with an anti-virus program email you the free anti-virus software, granted that friend’s computer isn’t infected. Or to do a total reboot of your computer after backing up all your files– then again, the Conficker can spread through USBs, so a DVD backup is suggested.

What bugs me is why are there so many viruses and worms on the PC and little to none for the Mac? It’s starting to feel like a scam to me, just so anti-virus companies can survive. Same as how there may already be an HIV cure out there, but because drug companies are making so much money with HIV cocktails… That’s something to think about, no?

Well, hope this little article helps and that you don’t have to resort to total reboots. Be safe on the net. It’s a scary, scary place. Hey, just like the real world.

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