Saturday, December 20, 2008

Anti-Virus Utilities Unveiled

Thomas Ross is a IT pro who's mad with his fellow security professionals. He thinks there's too much not explained to consumers so people have to rely on PC techs for every small and big issue.

I contacted him through a friend (Clairesa Clay) because my PC ran slow, the keyboard or mouse didn't respond or the machine wouldn't stay on. It took me a month to finally follow his suggestion "to call me when you have time and seated in front of your PC." Meantime I had gone to a PC tech shop that had held my PC for 5 days. I had to walk into the shop, instead of call, with my shopping cart to hear them say, "Oh, you're PC isfixed." My PC issues originated from email viruses and maybe, downloading free spyware, adware and anti-virus software. He reactivated my firewall and went behind the scenes to ensure my web history was never saved. I told him about the XOFT spyware and demonstrated it to him. The software ran through my system and found files that watched my every move. The files came from one company whose name I can't remember. Thomas says, "This is what I mean. You downloaded this free detection utility. It spots all these files but you can't delete them without paying for the utility." The point being the detection software had my PC compromised by being installed and even though the download and detection processes were free, ridding the pesky files would cost me. Why not just tell me up front?
The other gem of information was why you need to purchase the latest version of anti-virus software and not just renew when the term expires. Thomas Ross says, "They're two key components of detection: the virus definitions and the scan engine. Virus are written, detected and deactivated frequently. The scan engine has to be current to read and act on the virus definitions.

He also said it's possible that when Windows Service Pack 3 was installed, the service pack disrupted MS Outlook's usefulness. These are my words. He said something more like "broke Outlook." Imagine, in solving a host of issues, another problem develops. Why am I so loyal to Microsoft? I guess I'm a bleating lamb.

Last pearls from Thomas Ross: computer viruses don't come simply by surfing the 'Net. They come from the pass-along email that went through an infected PC or the attachment has .exe file designed to contaminate PCs but everyone thought the words and scenes were so motivational that "You gotta see it!" Viruses come from visiting an unknown site or a "dangerous site" that has statements like "We can do everything the paid version does but for FREE."

If an associate says she can't open an attachment or the email screen is blank, what probably occurred is the detection utility spotted the bug. These user results are attempts to keep the bug out of the system until it can't clean up the bug or do nothing. This is like quarantine to heal or quarantine to rid.

We have to accept that the only great free things in this world are water, air, sunlight, gravity, grass and other vegetation. Depending where you are mountains, valleys, beaches and rivers are free, too. Anything man-made usually has a price tag. Pay the money for your computer utilities and your computer--Mac, Linux, Windows, Sun etc--will work maximally.

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