Security Corner

Aug 20 2012   2:54AM GMT

We must be careful about what we do on the internet: Part 1

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

As a network admin at Antonelli College, one of my duties is making sure that the students are fully briefed on safe browsing practice. It’s always nice when one of their peers gives us a hand. Hunter Mitchell, a student worker at the Hattiesburg, Mississippi campus came up with a very good summary and was gracious enough to give me permission to post it here.

Hey everybody, Hunter here and I am the IT work-study guy.  I’ve noticed a pattern with some of the computers that I have been working on, here and off campus.  Many are infected with fake programs being pitched as antiviruses or computer optimizers.  One example I’ve recently run into is the PC Optimizer Pro virus/malware.
PC Optimizer Pro is software written by hackers and played off as a legitimate computer program that cleans your registry and makes your PC more efficient.  However, this is not the case, and once the software is installed it flashes fake warnings about infections on your computer.  It then asks you to pay a certain fee for their special antivirus to clear the infections for you.  For those that do pay, it opens up their computer to more malware and spyware to infect the computer.
Once your computer is compromised, it is almost impossible to know exactly what has been modified, which makes it that much harder to actually remove the virus.  In most cases, your computer will need to have Windows reloaded onto it.  The Tech Squad here fixes these kinds of problems for a $25 dollar flat fee.  (However, if we have to order any parts for your computer, we will have to charge you for the parts.)  This is really cheap compared to Best Buy and any other computer repair medium as most of them charge $50 to $100 just to look at your computer.
I would also like to add that PC Optimizer Pro is not the only fake program out there that can compromise your computer’s security.  There are many different types of programs and websites that are not safe.
We must be careful about what we do on the internet!!!
I know we all like to believe that everyone on the internet has the best intentions.  Sadly, this is not the case at all.  There are many people out there trying to steal identities and financial information. The easiest way to do this is through the internet.   I wanted to find out what a word meant one time, googled it, and chose one of the first sites I saw.  Turns out, the second I clicked an “Encyclopedia” site, a fake antivirus popup started searching my computer.  Even by the time I had stopped it, it had already disabled my internet and my antivirus.  FUN!!  I wasn’t even downloading anything  and my computer pretty much became an expensive paperweight, all because I didn’t double check exactly where I was getting my information.
We also have friends or family that like to use our computers as well.  It is good to keep an eye from time to time as you never know what they are adding to your computer.

Coming in Part 2: “FrostWire/LimeWire/Share bear etc. are not safe ways to download free stuff!!!”

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