Are You Infected?

BIO-Hazard Quarantine Contaminated! If you saw signs on a hospital room like this would you go in? Not until you put on mask, gown and gloves! But every day millions of folks enter the highly infected world of the Internet completely or inadequately protected from infections. I am talking about the dreaded Internet/PC Virus. In Consumer Reports' latest survey (August 2008), one in seven Americans had serious problems with viruses, costing almost $3 billion in estimated damages!

It's All About Money!
The viruses of today are unlike the first viruses. Remember the Blaster worm? Those first viruses were written by kids who wanted to cause mayhem and destruction. Today's viruses are targeted, powerful, and designed to be stealthy. They don't crash your PC deliberately; they hide on it giving the author control over your PC! Why? To make money! Hackers or Bot Herders as they are called, enslave unprotected PCs by installing a "Bot" or robot program. This "Bot" allows them to use your PC to enrich themselves. One way is to force Adware on your PC and then claim a commission from the Adware companies. A new approach baffling PC owners is Fraudware. The hackers claim to be a free scan (or Microsoft) that has detected viruses. A 3rd method uses your PC to attack a popular website along with thousands of other infected PCs. Herders are paid to start these attacks and/or demand a ransom to end them. Believe it or not, Organized Crime Syndicates are into viruses in a big way. They use hackers to infect millions of PCs then use them to send spam, steal identities, and even sell porn! Sound crazy? A story posted Jan. 21, 2009 in Computerworld states that the "Downadup" computer worm, responsible for the biggest attack in years, has infected at least one out of every 16 PCs worldwide!

And yet many Internet users don't have Anti-Virus software or have let it expire! If you are on the Internet for any reason, (E-mail, Instant Messaging, surfing, downloading music) you MUST have Anti-Virus software and it MUST update every day.

Quick Tip-Bit: I recommend Avira AntiVir PersonalEdition™. This is a Free Anti-Virus program written by a superb German company Avira GmbH. This is a terrific product that consistently wins top awards from industry experts. They give away a Personal Edition as a public service. It is a powerful program that does not slow down your PC like other commercial American AntiVirus packages. It can be downloaded from http://www.free-av.com/.

Note: you cannot run two Anti-Virus programs at the same time. You must completely uninstall an old product before installing a new, even if it has expired. Give me a call if you have questions or want help installing AntiVir. Dean Hancy at PC Bits. 763-360-2163. www.pcbitsweb.com

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