Viruses, Parasites, Phishing & More

“Open the important attachment !!”

Isn’t that enough enticement to make you click that advertisement or open the email or download the program that’s going to help you to get rich quick ??? Unfortunately, for most people, it is. Very knowledgeable, intelligent people will click the button or download the program—and there isn’t any amount of education, online warnings, or policies and procedures that will stop it. It’s human nature.

Maybe it’s the get rich quick thing—maybe it’s thinking that you will miss something important. With a little common logic, a few inexpensive tools, and following simple rules that our mothers gave us, we can protect ourselves. BUT—we have to take the initiative to do it. Ironic, isn’t it, that WE are our own worst enemy??

Don’t open the door.
Don’t take candy from a stranger.
Don’t cross the road until you’ve looked both ways.
Wear your coat—and your rubbers (those things you put on your feet) – when you go out into the cold.

We can help you to help yourself to protect yourself and your system from unauthorized access. The steps that you take can also help you to ensure stability of your system, as well as protection of your data. Help yourself …


Get a firewall. There are several solutions available—a hardware solution is best because it doesn’t load anything else on your computer. If you can’t afford or use a hardware solution, there are several software solutions that do the job.
Get an Anti-Virus Scanner. The most popular are McAfee®, Norton Anti-virus®, and Panda® (we like Panda).
Get a parasite blocker. Again, there are several to choose from; we like SPYBOT (see our Q&A section for more information).
Set your browser to block 3rd party cookies.
Test for vulnerabilities. Logon to Gibson Research and look for SHIELDS UP! To check your system for open ports.
If you have a network with multiple users, establish an end user security policy and ensure your users are trained & understand it.
If you have a wireless network, disable all external points of access.

All of the latest versions of the Windows® Operating System include a “Windows Update” option. Use it to keep your operating system updated.
Several new viruses are released every day; make sure your anti-virus software is configured for daily updates. Don’t let your anti-virus subscription expire. Anti-virus software is typically sold via subscription and needs to be updated annually.

DON’T open email from anyone that you don’t know.
DON’T open an email that tells you it has a fix for the latest virus—the anti-virus manufacturers don’t send fixes via email – neither does Microsoft.
DON’T reply to spam.
DON’T unsubscribe from something you never subscribed to.
DON’T send a MS-Office® document via email. They all store information that you might not want someone else to see. Send a plain text file instead.
NEVER NEVER NEVER give your credit card or social security number to anyone who solicits you.
DON”T Click on those pop-ups! The good guys don’t use pop-ups—and there really isn’t anything FREE.
Consider using something besides Internet Explorer & Outlook Express.