Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tips and Tricks for Safe Internet Usage (and a Rant)

My spouse spent nearly four hours at the neighbor’s house on Sunday because the guy downloads software without thought that it might carry malicious software. About once a year he gunks up his operating system. This one is so egregious that SO is back over there this morning because the problems persist.

(meanwhile, I can’t get SO to put out a clean water bowl for the cats)

I urge you not to accept ‘free’ software from just any source. And run scans on your computer on a regular basis. This household recommends SpywareBlaster, Malwarebytes, AVG AntiVirus, Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer, and CCleaner, all of which offer lower grade versions without a subscription fee.
Partial Screen Shot of My Machine's Desktop
Notice the all important Scrivener and MS Word at top left. Upper and bottom most right icons link to inspirational photos. Thats how I spend most of my research time. ~grin~ And keeping the protective software icons nearby makes sure I dont forget about them.

Each scan takes some time, but at least once a month I try to check for software updates and run them. Perhaps if we paid for upgrading one or two of these systems we wouldn’t need all of them, but our limited income makes the extra effort worthwhile. So I follow my in-house expert’s frugal advice.

Be aware that CCleaner will delete all your remembered sign-ons and passwords. Since that creates an extra hassle, I run that one least of all. And one thing I dislike about Malwarebytes is that the latest update upgraded me to an unsolicited ‘free trial’ which I can opt to purchase in a few weeks.

Guess what
is not going to happen?

New pop up notifications from Malwarebytes are the biggest drawback, a distraction this writer does not appreciate. It was too time intensive trying to figure out how to revert to the original version and I didn’t want to bother SO (unlike our freeloading neighbor). Again, I would rather write.

But I fixed that irritant. This morning I turned off notifications in the Malwarebytes settings just as I had done with every other one of these products. The software creators don’t like that and will try to pretend you’re lowering the effectiveness. Don’t believe them.

Have you ever gotten a nasty computer virus?

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16 comments:

  1. I've had one and have no idea how. I'm very careful, but it got me. My computer guy cleaned it up nicely.

    I'm running my malware-bytes program right now. Thanks for the reminder.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

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    1. So glad you didn't lose anything! I'm glad to be of help. Be well, my dear.

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  2. Yep and thanks to a friend he cleaned it up. Crazy stuff for sure. Hoping all is well with you, SO and cats!

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    1. Scary, too, isn't it? Hope you are well as possible, my dear!

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  3. Not nasty ones, but I guess the few could have been worse had I not noticed. The last time I texted my son in the next room and he came running out and yanked the cord out of the wall! Not sure if that was necessary, but he did get the computer and all back fine! I have to remember to back-up my photos as I put them on the computer. Too many of my photos are trapped digitally now, instead of being printed out. I miss having them all printed...

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    1. Oh, I know what you mean. I went to a photo lab with a bunch of digital vacation pictures one year but don't normally want to take the time or spend the money. Be well, my dear!

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  4. There is a check box in CCleaner that saves passwords. I think. I know I unchecked a box, and while CCleaner will log me out of everything, my passwords are still stored so I don't have to remember them.

    Good tips. Thanks.

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    1. Oh, thank you for that! I miss so many details, it seems.

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  5. I have gotten a computer virus and I recall it costing a small fortune to remove.

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    1. Oh, dear! To bad you don't have a neighbor or friend like my SO. Take care!

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  6. Oy. Yes, so many aren't safe with their internet usage. It's terrible that we even have to worry about things like that isn't it?

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    1. It is! I once got a nasty virus because an email included my name. I thought I sent myself something from the office! ~sigh~ Be well, my dear.

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  7. ugh! Keeping secure online is a lot of work. I have used malwarebytes and I used to do spybot too and AVG, sometimes I get lax.

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    1. It's easy to lose track of time. ~shrugs~ Right now Malwarebytes and AVG are both driving me nuts with constant notifications. Thought I'd turned them off. It's annoying. Grrr... Be well!

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  8. I laughed out loud when I read your comment about your SO and putting water down for the cats :-) Does he read your blog {grin}

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    1. I'm tickled to have amused you! My husband refuses to read anything I write, saying it's getting too deep into my head. Weird, huh? I envy those who can share their art, but I do tell him some of what goes online about us.

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Thank you for taking time to share your opinion. Hearing from readers adds immensely to my joy of writing!