Clever Tactics Against Clever Spyware

Clever Tactics Against Clever Spyware

Malware continues to grow in both complexity and subtlety, and you’ve got to keep a constant vigil against viruses & spyware to protect your computer and tech gadgets. Virus and spyware detection tools (like our own StopSign Internet Security software) are great, but real computer security starts with you. Knowing what malware comes to us as (i.e. in what form it lands on our computer) is a key to recognizing what to click and what to avoid.

Pictures and software downloads have long been associated with malware. This isn’t to say that all pics and downloads are bad, but it’s best to keep an eye on them before you open them up. Especially if you receive them out of the blue or from an unknown source. Listed below are some different PC security tactics you can use when it comes to attempting to weed out any bad software or files from hopping onto your computer. None of them are foolproof, but they can be a big help in getting rid of potential problems.

  • The Browser Shuffle:

    If you maintain 2 or more different browsers (Internet Explorer and Firefox, for example), you can keep one of them locked down for secure usage (no cookies, no JavaScript, no proxies, etc.) and the other for general surfing. If you find yourself needing to browse to new or unfamiliar sites, just switch over to your secured browser. With fewer parts for potential malware to play with, you’ll help yourself by decreasing your chances of getting a computer infection.

  • Cache/Trash Control:

    I always recommend checking the option (if available) to automatically clear our your browser cache when closing the browser. This makes it a easy way to keep any potential snags away from the browser. It also clears up room for newer bits and pieces of the pages you surf.

  • Dropbox Downloads:

    Using a service like Dropbox will help keep your Inbox cleaned up, and it will also limit who you serve your files to, or who you are served files from. For example, if you know your friend Billy is going to send you a file, have him use Dropbox to keep it clean. This way you’ll know that any new files from Billy in your Inbox might be suspect. (Or it could just mean Billy forgot to use Dropbox)

  • Just Say No:

    Maybe you don’t want to download Billy’s latest funny picture or whatever he’s sending you today. Dropbox or no, just don’t click it. The less you bring into your computer, the less likely you’ll be hit by anything nasty like malware. We’ve all got a friend like Billy who likes to send us lots of junk, don’t we? 🙂

It’s all about being smart about who’s files you choose to open up and/or download, as well as what you keep around. Steering clear of unexpected files is a big first step, but there are plenty of ways to still get the ones you want.

If you're looking for great anti-virus software that won't break the bank, try StopSign. You don't pay extra for tech support for difficult malware, and our web protection software just works. Download & install StopSign to find out why our members choose us over the other options.

StopSign – Virus Removal Made Easy

StopSign – Virus Removal Made Easy

If you’ve ever been hit with a computer virus, you know that the actual act of the virus removal isn’t always the easiest part of the process. In fact, it can be the longest, most time-consuming portion of dealing with the removal of an infection, depending on your security software and the nature of the malware that takes up residence in your PC.

Any decent antivirus product will clean you out pretty well, but every now and again a particularly nasty infection rears it’s ugly head and there are leftovers that, at best, clutter up your PC and at worst re-infect your computer. It’s enough to make your head explode.

Why Virus Removal is Important

That’s why the actual virus removal is such an integral part of the antivirus process. Making sure that the threat is identified is only one aspect; an entirely different, and equally important, part is cleanly, efficiently, and quickly removing all traces of the infection. The last thing you want happening is to have any remaining bits of malware cluttering up your computer once its been removed.

The StopSign Difference

At StopSign we pride ourselves on making sure that we not only find the infections, but that we clean and remove the viruses and other infections from your PC as well as possible. StopSign makes virus removal easy with 3 simple steps that anyone, and I mean anyone can follow:

  1. Install StopSign:Download the StopSign threat scanner and install it on your computer.
  2. Run StopSign:Once installed, run StopSign. At the end of your scan you’ll get a set of Scan Results that will tell you if any viruses or other infections were found. If you need help getting up and running you can check out our StopSign support and contact the StopSign support staff.
  3. Check Your Results:Review your Scan Results and see if you have any issues. If nothing was found, great; you’ve got a clean computer. But if something was found and you’re a StopSign member, it was most likely taken care of automatically, and if it wasn’t, then removal of the infection is a simple matter of clicking a button requesting a Custom Cure® which is a free service for active StopSign members where we remove persistent and/or “zero day” infections at no additional charge. Most other Internet security companies charge $80 or more per incident to remove those infections.

    If you’re not a StopSign member, visit our shopping cart and choose the best option for you. You’ll not only get all updates for free during the course of your active membership, but you’ll also be eligible for free Custom Cures any time you need them.

Find out why you should skip the status quo and give StopSign a try. We’re different, and that difference makes us better.

If you're looking for great anti-virus software that won't break the bank, try StopSign. You don't pay extra for tech support for difficult malware, and our web protection software just works. Download & install StopSign to find out why our members choose us over the other options.

Is That Picture Worth Downloading?

Is That Picture Worth Downloading?

It’s a well known fact that downloading certain kinds of material is more dangerous than others. Outside of any possible moral, philosophical, or comfort factors, there are security reasons that make the PG-13 (and higher) side of the Internet a hotbed of potential problems for your PC.

But adult sites aren’t the only ones that get targeted. Celebrity/gossip sites, thumbnail/graphic sites, video sharing sites, and even Harry Potter related sites are all targets; often without the knowledge of the site owner.

Once installed on your machine, spyware and Trojans can track your every move. Any link you click, site you visit, or text you read. There have even been cases of spyware creators blackmailing victims they’ve been spying on in an attempt to get cash from them.

Titillating, popular, and/or well-trafficked content on the Internet is big business, and the malware developers of the world know it. Because it’s content that get a lot of eyes looking and clicks happening, the malware folks take advantage of that fact and spread their wares on sites that cater to looky-loo’s. As such, every bikini-wearing beauty, her less-clothed sisters, and other video/picture/movie websites are a possible suspect for computer infection.

So before you head to that site, click that video, or download that picture, think about what you (or rather, your PC) could catch if you do.

If you're looking for great anti-virus software that won't break the bank, try StopSign. You don't pay extra for tech support for difficult malware, and our web protection software just works. Download & install StopSign to find out why our members choose us over the other options.

Stop Attracting Viruses and Malware.

Stop Attracting Viruses and Malware.

Keeping your computer virus-free shouldn’t be difficult, but it is. There’s so much to do and see on the Internet that it’s easy to get complacent about Internet security and open yourself up to computer viruses and malware. And nobody wants that.

But the good news is that you can avoid the hassle of viruses, malware, etc. by changing some bad habits. Take the tips we’ve come up with to heart and you’ll be on the road to keeping your PC free from the threat of viruses and malware.

  1. Stop checking out those sites:

    You know which ones I’m talking about. The ones you don’t want Grandma seeing in your browser history (as if granny looks at that anyhow). I’m not going to name any names, but if there’s anyone who has access to your computer who’s visiting those sites on a regular basis, limiting access to those sites will go a long way in keeping your PC virus-free. Those sites are usually full of malware, drive-by downloads, and popups galore; a virtual malware minefield.

  2. Stop opening those attachments:

    If you’re not expecting a picture or a PDF, be wary of any that find their way to your email inbox. Hackers love to slip their viruses and malware into email attachments because they know they’re going to get clicked. And if they’re clicked, they’re getting their bad stuff installed. Scrutinize every email attachment and don’t click on it, download it, or even preview it until you’re sure it’s from a reliable source.

  3. Stop sharing passwords:

    Err on the side of caution and treat your passwords like they’re your Social Security number. (And why would you give that out to just anybody?) Keep your passwords as safe as you would your Social Security number and you’ll instantly decrease the chances of anyone else getting onto your computer or accounts and accidentally putting spyware or other nastiness on your machine.

  4. Stop surfing without protection:

    There’s a reason that the Internet security industry is around: Because anti-virus and anti-malware products help keep (or get) your computer clear of infections. Using a computer without some kind of protection is just a bad idea, and naturally we hope you’ll download StopSign Internet Security software to see what we can do to help keep you safe from viruses and malware.

If you can keep those tips in mind and make them your new habits, you’ll be well ahead of the pack when it comes to keeping your computer virus and malware-free.

If you're looking for great anti-virus software that won't break the bank, try StopSign. You don't pay extra for tech support for difficult malware, and our web protection software just works. Download & install StopSign to find out why our members choose us over the other options.

What’s a “botnet”?

What’s a “botnet”?

botnet (bot·net) noun A collection of software robots that’s normally associated with malicious software. Botnets are notorious for being platforms for spam distribution.

The term botnet can refer to any group of software “robots” and normally consists of a collection of compromised (“zombie”) computers running the botnet software. In most cases the PCs running the botnet software are turned into zombie computers unknowingly, usually through drive-by downloads (software that is downloaded and automatically installed through exploited browser vulnerabilities, or by software worms, Trojan horses, or other malware). Botnets are usually controlled remotely by a botmaster using a central command-and-control interface on his or her computer.

A really good botnet can be installed on a user’s machine and never arouse any suspicion to the user through normal means of detection such as computer performance slowdowns, increased bandwidth usage, pop-ups, etc. It’s possible that a PC can be the unknowing accomplice to a number of blackhat operations, including:

  • Spam:

    By utilizing it’s network of zombie computers, a botnet can be a powerful spam distribution platform. Millions of spam emails are sent out by botnets every day.

  • DDoS:

    With enough infected computers, issuing a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (flooding a website with enough bogus traffic to bring it down) can easily be done with a botnet.

  • Spreading malware:

    A zombie PC in a botnet can also be set up to not only self-propagate onto other unsuspecting computers, but it can also be a delivery system for other forms of malware, too. (viruses, spyware, Trojans, etc.)

  • Information collection:

    Sometimes the only job of the zombies in a botnet is to collect information about the human host: what they click on, who they email, their passwords, etc.

If you're looking for great anti-virus software that won't break the bank, try StopSign. You don't pay extra for tech support for difficult malware, and our web protection software just works. Download & install StopSign to find out why our members choose us over the other options.