Posts Tagged ‘AVG Free’

Top 10 Computer Tune-Up Tips

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

1. Keep Your PC Up-To-Date.
It is recommended to have Windows update download and install updates automatically.

Access Windows Automatic Update Settings by clicking:
Start -> Control Panel -> Windows Updates

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2. Keep Your Computer Free from Viruses (and other unwanted software).
It is very highly recommended that you have an anti-virus suite installed. AVG Free Anti-Virus is a highly rated anti-virus suite and best of all it is free!

AVG Anti-Virus Suite Website -> http://free.avg.com/

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3. De-fragment Your Hard Disk Regularly.
De-fragmenting your hard drive will speed program load times and help your computer run smoother.

Access Windows Disk Defragmenter by clicking:
Start – > Programs – > Accessories – > System Tools – > Disk Defragmenter

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4. Backup Your Computer.
Whether you decide to backup your important files to an external hard drive or to an online backup provider, it is highly recommended to perform regular backups to protect your precious data.

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5. Keep Your Desktop and Hard Disk Tidy.
Windows includes a simple tool to keep your computer’s desktop and hard drive clean from unnecessary files.

Access Windows Disk Cleanup by clicking:
Start – > All Programs – > Accessories – > System Tools – > Disk Cleanup

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6. Be Cautious Opening Suspicious Links or Email Attachments.
Many viruses are spread through web links and email attachments. Always exercise caution when clicking on unknown links online or opening suspicious email attachments.

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7. Uninstall Programs That You Don’t Use.
Many programs will actually slow your computer down by loading themselves every time you turn on your computer. If you don’t use a program, uninstall it.

Access Windows Install/Uninstall Programs Tool by clicking:
Start -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs (Windows XP) OR Programs and Features (Windows Vista and Windows 7)

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8. Scan Your Hard Disk for Errors.
Your hard drive may have hidden errors that are causing you computer to crash or run slower than it should. It is recommended to scan your hard drive for errors monthly.

Access Windows Disk Check Tool by clicking:
My Computer -> C Drive (Right-Click and choose “Properties”) -> Tools -> Check Now

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9. Avoid Using Internet Explorer Whenever Possible.
Internet Explorer web browser is the most vulnerable and least efficient browser on the market. Consider using an alternative web browser for a better, more secure web browsing experience.

Use Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, or Safari instead.

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10. Use A Firewall
A firewall is a program that puts a protective barrier between your computer and the internet. Windows includes a robust firewall that can help protect your computer if it is enabled.

Access Windows Firewall by clicking:
Start -> Control Panel -> Windows Firewall

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Fake Anti-Virus Popups – This Is A Virus

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

I get a lot of experience removing computer viruses as a computer repair technician but rarely do I get to see a virus actually infect a computer “in the wild”. Two days ago my main computer, which is a fully updated Windows 7 PC with up-to-date antivirus, was infected by a drive-by virus (specifically the very nasty TDSS rootkit virus). The following is how the virus infected the computer and how I removed it.

I was downloading a file from Megaupload and another browser window popped open and started playing a video. The popup browser windows looked innocent enough but when I went to close it a warning dialog telling me to install up-to-date antivirus software immediately showed up in my system tray.

The best thing is that the warning misspelled the word Unauthorized as Unauthosrized:
fake anti-virus warning popup

Then I started getting a fake Windows Security Center window warning me that my computer had no anti-virus software installed:
fake security center popup

The virus begins with a trojan virus that installs itself into the c:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp directory. The trojan then downloads many more infected files including a rootkit that is set to install itself as soon as you reboot your computer.

Here is the actual trojan file that installed itself:
popup virus identified

I immediately ran a full scan using Malwarebyte’s Anti-Malware which detected quite a few infected files (including the persistent TDSS rootkit) that the trojan attempted to install onto the computer.

This is what Malwarebytes detected and removed:
anti-virus popup virus removed

After I ran Malwarebytes I rebooted the computer, ran Malwarebytes again (it caught a few more infected files that tried to re-install themselves) and then I ran a full scan using AVG Free Anti-virus.

If you follow the above steps immediately after an infection you should be able to remove this virus with no problems.

Good luck!