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28Sep/10Off

Do The Right Thing Facebook and Put a Stop to This Garbage Before it is too Late!

Fox News posted an article about Facebook today alerting everyone to the fact that groups like NAMBLA are now prevalent on Facebook.   See the full article here:

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/09/28/pedophiles-find-home-social-networking-facebook/

These groups like NAMBLA and others are associated with Child Pornography and Pedophilia.      "Facebook says it has a strict policy against the posting of content that supports groups engaged in child exploitation, yet a simple, five-second search on Facebook, conducted on Sept. 23, yielded dozens of pages devoted to the infamous North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). Many of those pages featured numerous photos of unnamed boys, some of whom appeared to be too young for kindergarten. "   There were also hundreds of links to their website via Facebook.    Sickening, just plain sickening.

Facebook is of course now investigating but this is not enough and is unacceptable.   These groups need to be taken off of Facebook immediately and all references to their sites via links should also be taken down and removed.   I am all for First Amendment Rights and Free Speech but when it comes to children and the promotion of Child Porn, exceptions need to be made on Social Networks sites like Facebook.    Facebook has over 500 million users and many of these users have children.   This is ringing the dinner bell out there to all Pedophiles and the like for pictures, contacts links and who knows what else these sick and perverted people will try to do.  With so many kids on Facebook and chat features, this opens the door to something terrible happening to an innocent child without the parent even knowing what is going on.

Anybody can make up a Facebook account with Fake Information and fake pictures to try to lure somebody to friend them.  Many people do not have the correct privacy features set on their Facebook accounts and this could lead to anybody being able to see their pictures, including those of their children.    These sick perverts are always looking for new ways to trick children or entice them with something wonderful to get their attention and gain their trust.    Facebook is providing them a free and easy to use tool to facilitate this.

There are plenty of sick and demented people in the world who do terrible but those who hurt innocent children and prey on the weak and defenseless are in a whole class of SCUM by themselves.   In my opinion they should be removed from society forever.   I have no problem with people and their fetishes albeit a foot fetish, or anything else that may seem crazy but is legal.  When it comes to children and Child Porn which is illegal a line must be drawn in the sand and Facebook needs to take high road on this issue and immediately take these sites down.   Unless a further investigation will lead to arrests, how long will they wait before one of these pedophiles strikes an innocent child by using Facebook as a tool.

Do the Right Thing Facebook and Stop This Now!!

If you are using Facebook and even if you do not have children be sure to check your Privacy Settings today to make sure your Pictures and information are not on public display for all the world to see, especially the slime and scum known as NAMBLA and their associates.  Taking the time out to do this today may save your child from something abhorrent and terrible.

Thanks for reading.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

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15Sep/10Off

Why You Shouldn’t Download Internet Explorer 9 Beta

Today Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 9 Beta for Vista and Windows 7.    IE 9 Beta is not for Windows XP users.  For regular home users you do not and should not download it.   It is a beta program and may contain bugs that may not allow your Windows or Internet Explorer to operate normally.  Beta programs are put out there for people that want to test it out and find bugs so that when the final version is released it is as bug free as possible.

I have had customers who experienced downloading IE 8 beta when it was released thinking it was just a new update and to their dismay, many functions weren't working.   Betas are for techies, developers, and geeks to play with.  The average home user should wait until the official Internet Explorer 9 is released.   If you are prompted to download IE 9 Beta, don't do it unless you are prepared for the consequences.  You can always uninstall it if you want but IE 9 Beta is not designed for the average home user.

Thanks for reading.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

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13Sep/10Off

Email Viruses, Worms and Spam

Spreading of Viruses, Worms, Malware and Spam through email is one of the most effective means of infecting a PC.    Since everybody uses email it has become one of the easiest and most common ways to contract an infection for your PC.    Anything can be sent via email, whether it be a Virus, Worm, Malware or just plain old Spam.     Any title can be given to an email to trick a user into opening an attachment with the email or opening the email itself.     For example, the Subject could read Must see Pics of Brittney Spears, or Really Funny Video.   If the email was sent to you from a friend who you trust, you would probably be inclined to watch it.     What you may not know is that your friends PC has been infected with any number of infections that reside on the internet.    Sometimes it may just be a link to a website that is sent to you.   Clicking on this link can infect your computer.    Your friend may not even know that their PC is infected.

Many of these Worms, Viruses etc. can send out Blanket Emails to all of your contacts in your address book.  This is similar to what can happen on Facebook if you contract particular infections.  They will send out messages from You to all of your Facebook friends thereby spreading the virus all across Facebook and the Internet.    This allows viruses and malware to spread very quickly over the internet.   With new infections coming out everyday, your Antivirus protection may not even be aware of the latest infections for a few days.    You should always be careful of any email with an attachment or link sent to you even from a friend.    If you are not sure about it, do not take the chance.  You can always ask them about the email to make sure.   As I mentioned earlier, many times people do not realize their PC's security has been compromised and my be completely unaware that they are sending out these bogus emails.

Here is a recent news article about an email scam that did a lot of damage.   It mentions a free Adult site, but instead gives you a nasty virus.  This was spread through email.  Read the article here:

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/bizarre/12002207581227/site-promises-free-porn-delivers-virus/

This was so effective that it was actually able to infect many corporate networks.    The best way to protect yourself against these is do not click on the attachments or links within the email.    Viruses, Worms, and Malware will continue to be spread via email as it is extremely effective.

Spam is another topic associated with email.  While it is more of a nuisance and annoyance, it is designed with one thing in mind.  Getting you to click on something and purchase some fake product, medication, sexual enhancement and host of other things.    It is similar to junk mail but on a much larger scale.  Spam in heavy doses can take down a network due to the increased traffic coming into the Servers etc.   All email providers have some sort of Spam protection built in but there is plenty of Spam that still gets through.  Spam targets people's wallets and only requires a very small success rate to be profitable.  This why it will continue to be a problem for consumers.

A recent article from Spamfighter lists the United States as the biggest originator of Spam in the world.

http://www.spamfighter.com/News-15083-USA-Reported-As-Greatest-Originator-of-Spam.htm

While the US is the largest originator of Spam, China is largest country where this Spam is hosted.    With the hosting located in foreign countries, it makes it very difficult to crack down and prosecute Spammers.   The purpose of Spam is simply to trick the user into purchasing something.  It may also give out your email address to other Spam sites thereby increasing the amount of Spam you receive.    Spam is easily spread through email by Spam Bots.    A Spam Bot is a program (spider, bot, crawler) on the Internet that gathers e-mail addresses to send spam to. There are countless e-mail addresses on Web site "contact us" pages as well as on blogs and newsgroups. Since they are typically coded in the "mailto" format, which when clicked, causes the address to open an e-mail message window, they are easily located (see mailto:).

These Spam Bots do not sleep or take breaks and just work 24 hours a day sending out Spam to any email addresses it can find.    Be sure to empty your Spam folder and Junk folder on a regular basis.     Do not click on any of the Spam emails because you have no idea what could really be contained in it.  It could be a link to a virus, malware or a nasty worm.   When it comes to malicious software via email, play it safe and do not click on anything.  If you are suspicious do not click it.  Ask the sender about it.  If you do not know the sender, do not open it.  Just delete it and move on.   If it is legitimate then the sender can always resend it to you.

Email Viruses, Worms, Malware and Spam will continue to plague everyday users in an attempt to infect their PC's.  The best thing about these types of infections is they are pretty easy to stop and prevent.   Do not click on any attachments or links within the email.  If you are sure that it is from a legitimate source and the file is safe, then you are alright.   If you have any doubts at then do not take the chance.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

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6Sep/10Off

Should I turn off my PC at the end of the day/night?

This is a debate that has been going on for quite some time. Mostly I would say it is a matter of personal preference as to whether or not you want to shut it down.

Most computers will shutdown on their own and go into Sleep or a Hibernate mode to conserve power if you don't use them for a while. This can be set to any time you wish, usually around 30 minutes or so is the default. You can also set it to never go to sleep or hibernate. I use this option as sometimes I may be away from the PC but I don't want it to shutdown as something I could be doing may not like being interrupted by Sleep mode.

When there is no activity for a determined amount of time the PC will simply go to sleep/hibernate. When you wiggle the mouse or press a key on the keyboard the PC will wake up and bring you back to where you last left off. This is convenient as it saves the time of having your PC boot up and go through it's motions. This can be up to 5 minutes on some machines. Newer machines start up pretty quick but as you add more and more stuff to your PC, the start up time can take longer and longer. It also saves on electricity by not having the PC run all the time. Monitors do this quite frequently to save energy, but it is different from your PC going to sleep or hibernate. Your monitor is just shutting off, while the PC actually will go through a process and save your data and open windows. This requires a minimal amount of electricity

There are sometimes issues when PC's go to sleep and don't want to wake up. You then have to usually hold in the power button to shut the machine off completely and then restart it. If this doesn't work then you should unplug the power to the PC and wait a few minutes. Try to plug it back in and use the Power button to see if that fixes the problem.

There are some positives to shutting down your PC every night. It gives your PC a chance to reset and reconfigure things. Similar to sleeping, when you wake up you are feeling refreshed and re-energized. A fresh reboot also ensures that any Windows Updates that require a restart will be applied or any other additional configurations (hardware related) can be correctly configured. When the computer restarts it goes through it's motions of checking everything and making sure things are working properly. It checks all devices, hardware, and then goes into Windows, loads up your start up programs and finally your icons.

For me personally, I shut down my PC at the end of the day/night. It is simply a personal preference. I was taught that PC's like to be rebooted and I stick by it. From time to time I have let my PC go into Sleep mode with no problems and have no issues with people who want to do it. Again it s just a matter of personal preference. In my opinion it is healthier for the PC to be shutdown at the end of the day or night, but if you miss a night, it is certainly nothing to worry about. If the computer needs a restart due to updates etc., it will usually continually prompt you until the machine is restarted.

If you are one of those people who does not shutdown their PC at the end of the day/night, you should at least Restart it once a week (a clean Reboot) just to refresh everything and apply any updates that require a restart. If you have recently cleaned any infections off of your PC, then you can rest assured that your machine will be prompted for a reboot by your Security Software to successfully flush out any remnants of the infection that could still be there. Shutting down your PC is a choice that each person has to make but if you do it or don't do it, your PC will most likely be fine. Technology has advanced enough that this topic is really no longer an issue.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Steve
www.zolexpc.com

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1Sep/10Off

64 Bit Systems No Longer Immune From Rootkits

As 64 bit systems become the norm for PC users, it is only logical to assume that the virus creators would try to find ways to penetrate the extra security provided by a 64 bit system.    A recent article by Technibble gives the full story.  Read it here:

http://www.technibble.com/tdl3-rootkit-x64-goes-in-the-wild/comment-page-1/#comment-20496

While 64 bit systems have always been vulnerable to regular viruses and malware, this is the first instance of a rootkit being able to penetrate the security of  a 64 bit system.  Rootkits are some of the nastiest infections you can get on your PC.   For a simple definition and explanation of a Rootkit, you can read this previous blog post.

http://www.zolexpc.com/zolex/blog/?p=6

According to Technibble's research the particular rootkit does not always succeed in it's attempt to infect your PC.   While that may be a bit reassuring, what it really means is the creators are working to increase the success rate.  These early versions can be considered Beta versions of the rootkit.   There is no doubt that they will be able to increase the infection rate as they continue to test and fine tune their Rootkit.

As explained in the above articles, Rootkits fly under Windows watch by loading themselves up before Windows itself loads.  This prevents the Rootkit's removal while running Windows even in Safe Mode.    Rootkits can be designed to appear as a regular driver that loads just like any other driver on your PC.    With this new 64 bit  Rootkit it goes one step further by infecting the Master Boot Record.     The Master Boot Record is where code executes on your PC in order to launch Windows.   This means that every time your PC is powered on the Rootkit/infection will load.   By loading the Rootkit to the Master Boot Record, it bypasses the security features of a 64 bit Windows system.

This particular infection has been seen on porn sites (no surprises there) and by means of other infections/viruses/malware.    Whether you are using a 64 bit system or a 32 bit system, the way to protect yourself from these infections remains the same.     Keep your Security Software up to date and be sure download and install Windows Updates when prompted.   Be extremely careful if you are surfing on porn sites as there are many illegitimate sites laced with Viruses.    Be very careful about clicking on suspicious videos, emails, links that are sent to you via email, Facebook, and even Twitter.  If you are not sure and suspicious do not take the chance by clicking on it.   Remember it only takes one wrong click to infect your PC.

While Windows 64 bit systems are more secure than 32 bit systems they are not immune from viruses and now they are no longer immune from Rootkits either.   I am sure that Microsoft will be looking for ways to make 64 bit systems more secure but the Virus creators will be doing the same thing to find new ways to break through.     As a user it up to you to do all you can to prevent contracting an infection on your PC.  If you do get an infection on your PC and cannot remove it yourself, you can always count on ZolexPC to help you out.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

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