I just had a new follower this morning: “http://utraker.com/ZWvom”. As usual, I quickly went to the site to check out their content. However, the hyperlink redirects you to another site named: “http://utraker.com/ZWvom”. Very odd I thought, but where the danger is, that my laptop showed this message:-
An Anti-virus and Malware check is now running!
It’s actually more annoying than silly. For the past few months, I have been getting spam emails that advise me that my anti-virus suite has expired. It usually comes, supposedly from a well known on-line retailer on behalf of one of the large anti-virus (AV) companies. It’s not an issue to simply to click on the ‘junk mail’ button and send to offending mail to the deleted folder. No, the issue is the number of emails that are turning up every day.
Up to the current time (13:00) today, I have had 7 of these scams. All purport to come from an online supermarket, but the underlying email address is usually a random address that simply doesn’t exist. The image on the left shows the number of emails that I received in a 3 hour period, in just one address.
The thing that angers me most, is that the supposed AV company does not seem to be interested. Most other companies that I have dealt with, regarding spoof and phishing emails have (or appear to have) a dedicated address to which the offending mail can be forwarded to for investigation. This particular AV company only accepts the email if it has been added as an attachment. Not good enough. There is a huge amount of embedded information in an email that is not available if the mail is sent as an attachment.
The interesting thing (if you can call it interesting) is that I have never had a anti-virus subscription and definitely would never pay for one.
This is a little techy. I have been having a problem all week with the performance of my main laptop. Applications were slow to open and even slower to close. I scoured the internet for answers and did everything, bar re-installing Windows, that was suggested. But the problem remained, and it was getting worse. Some programs were now not even opening. Then today I had an idea. You see, I have two laptops on my home network, both with an attached printer. At the beginning of the week, I thought it would be good if I could print to both printers in an effort to save ink, as the other printer never gets used. After a couple of hours and a fair bit of stress, I got it working. I then installed the other printer on my main laptop so that it could be seen. Then all I had to do was to ensure the other laptop and printer were switched on and I could print to it. Really quite pleased with myself at that point.
I didn’t really want to have the other laptop and printer to be on all the time, so I shut both down. This was on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, I started to notice the performance issues. As Tuesday was the day when Microsoft updates Windows, I put the problems down to that. When there was a second update pushed on Wednesday, I was convinced that everything would now be okay. Not so. The performance had improved slightly, but not so as you would notice. It was getting so bad that I began to think I had a virus or something. I searched the internet for the problem and the answers were as I expected: run an anti-virus; run an anti-malware; run a disk clean-up even reformat hard drive and start again. Well I tried all except the last one, but nothing seemed to work. Then another search, came up with something. I may have a corrupt drive recently installed. Hmmm … the only driver recently installed was the printer driver for the other printer. I thought I would have a look at that. I removed the printer from the device list (an I assume that removed the driver) and did a full reboot, rather than a restart.
Now (touch wood) it seems to be back to as normal as it was before. I had a quick online chat with the printer help desk (free thankfully). It would appear, that when the other laptop and printer were switched off any software that you can print from would be looking for the printers when the software opens. As the printer was off, it was not visible and so the delays. I’m not entirely convinced, but it does seem to have been resolved.
(Written with Word 365 – blog template)
It’s taking a while to get my new machine up to something like I had on my old machine. There are a couple of issues I still need to sort out and some that I don’t think will get sorted.
Those of you who are a bit ‘techy’ will understand the next bit. My hard drive has two visible partitions. One called C: (OS) and the other is D: (Data). Both are roughly the same size, but all new programs and documents and files etc are using the ‘C’ partition and nothing seems to be using the other partition. I had the idea that programs would go to ‘C’ and documents and other files would go to ‘D’. I had a similar issue on R***’s laptop and solved it by using a partition manager that I downloaded from the internet to shrink one and stretch the other. I thought I could do the same on this machine, but it is proving a little more difficult. I’m probably going to have to ask on one of the help websites for some advice.
Another big issue that raised its head this morning was with my anti-virus software. For years I have used AVG as my anti-virus and it has served me well. I therefore thought I would stick with what I know and duly installed AVG. All was fine until I needed to do a restart of my machine. The system that informed me that AVG could run because a certain file was missing. I had probably been deleted when I uninstalled some pre-installed software that I did not need. Trying to reinstall AVG gave me the same error message. I tried the AVG forums, but there was so many ‘answers’ that it was impossible to decipher which route to take. I did the usual Googling for the best (free) program, and it came up with Avast free at the top, with AVG languishing in third place. Well I’ve done a couple of ‘bullet biting’ exercises this week, so I thought one more wouldn’t go amiss. So now I have to get used to using Avast
I’m having a bit of an issue with the car also. A couple or more weeks ago, I noticed that there was a banging noise as I was driving. Couldn’t work out where the noise was coming from, but I only really notice it when driving on road surfaces that are not well maintained. I have a slight suspicion that it could be the shock absorbers or something to do with the suspension that’s the problem, which could be expensive. It is going to the garage on Wednesday so all will be revealed then.
On a final note. Anyone have an idea why, the word count at the bottom of my writing in Word 2016 says one thing and and the proper word count says something different? It is only accurate after the document has been saved!
I’m pretty keen, when it comes to my online security and tend to delete any emails that offer any type of security/antivirus service, often without even reading them. On this occasion though, I thought I would share it with you, as a number of people I know have received this email and at least one of them has been fooled and responded to it. I have copied the text below (all links have been removed).
Dear Sir or Madame
We at VirtureScan are an industry renowned internet security company. We have been contacted by your Government as your ISP is alarmed at the volume of emails originating from your computer’s IP address. We have scanned some of these emails using our VitrureScan software and believe your computer has been contaminated with the Zeta321 virus. Currently there is no current AV software that is able to detect this virus. However we at VirtureScan have developed an online scanner that is able to hunt down this and remove it from your equipment.
There is a charge for this service, and the cost will be automatically deducted from your Paypal account. We understand that your ISP are willing to re-imbuse you for your cost.
We are currently offering a large discount of 68%, if you undertake the service by the end of today. After this the charge will reverse back to its original charge of $360.00.
If you our a responsible person, then you will take up this offer now. Click on the likn below to be taken to our site.
As you can see, there are a number of spelling and grammatical errors, and this type of thing should ring alarm bells. The link takes you to a website which I understand automatically installs a key logger type of virus. These capture every word you type and are used by hackers to break into any online banking you have. The name of the company changes often so it may not be the same if you receive the email. Just be aware.
Who uses free or freeware antivirus software, and which do you use.
For many years I have used AVG in it’s many free versions. I have never used a paid service, and have never felt the need to do so. Yesterday, I foolishly clicked a link on Facebook. I was trying to hide the post (or so I say) but hit the link instead. Almost immediately, AVG warned me of the threat, and dealt with it. As a precaution, I decided to do a full scan. Lo and behold, a trojan and a number of variations were found. These, unusually found in the uninstall files. As expected AVG dealt with the problem. A quick Google told me a little about the trojan, but also alerted me to the fact that AVG was reporting the infections, but that they were false positives. I then had problems removing the so called ‘infections’, but AVG would not let me access them. The only way round was to disable AVG, restore the ‘infected’ files, unistall the software and download the latest versions. This done, I restarted AVG, only to be told that the files we still infected. Arghhhhhhhh.
I then decided that AVG was the problem, and it had to go.
I am now using Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), and was just interested what others use.
(btw MSE did not find any of the trojans that AVG found – is this a worry?)
It’s been a long time since my last post (or so it seems). Quite a few late nights over the past few days. The play is coming along nicely, but after the rehearsal, S**** like to nip along to the local for a pint or three. Of course, like a good father, I like to go along too. Just to keep an eye on him (that is my excuse and I’m sticking to it !!!)
I’m still trying to convince myself, that Englands demise was not due to me wearing an England shirt !!! No really, I’m a little ashamed to be an England supporter at the moment. It really was not good. I have this theory though. When you look at all the other teams in this competition, most of the top players do not play in their home country. A lot of them play in the English Premier league. I think that gives the other teams a slight advantage.
I’m struggling to find time to post these days. What with the youngest wanting the internet and the ‘after drama drinks’. R*** does not have internet access on his PC. We thought it would mean, that he would never be off, and that his PC would end up full of rubbish. He has a habit of cancelling any programs running that he does not want. this means, that my scheduled anti-virus scan and the daily updates often do not happen. However, I am looking into resizing the partitions on his hard disk, to free up some space, and then possibly get him Wi-Fi access. It could be a long job though. Thought I would defrag his computer first, and that has been running for nearly an hour now. Windows defrag has never been very fast
Work is going well at the moment. Although, the stress of the past few weeks, has led to a number of trips to the snack machine for ‘comfort’ food. This of course, together with the after drama drinks, has led to an increase in weight. I must get back on track. S**** and me may be going out on our cycles for an hour or so today. Saying that, the wind is picking up, so it may not happen. Anyway, could struggle to prise him out of bed. We shall see.
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