We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Harry Potter star Emma Watson is the favourite celebrity bait for cyber criminals trying to lure internet users, it has emerged. Internet security firm McAfee said today that the English actress is the 'most dangerous' celebrity to search for online.
That's because many sites use Miss Watson to trick users into downloading malicious software or to steal personal information. When searching for the 22-year-old, there's a one-in-eight chance of landing on a malicious site.
I'd add that the odds increase exponentially when the words "nude" or "topless" are included.
Others on the top ten list include Jessica Biel, Eva Mendes, Selena Gomez, Halle Berry, Megan Fox, Salma Hayek, Sofia Vergara and Cameron Diaz, so kudos to the bandits for exhibiting exquisite taste. On the other hand, I've already initiated a law suit against them because Mila Kunis, my latest fave, was left off such a prestigious list.
Nearly two-thirds of search results on Bing were found to have links that spread malware or spam, compared to 30 percent for Google, said Sophos Security in a recent study.
"Search engine poisoning," as it's called, affects all search engines; it might turn up the link you see first, or high up in results, for example, when you search for a popular celeb like Jessica Biel or Justin Bieber. Clicking on the link can take you to a spam site or, worse, one filled with malware aimed at infecting your computer.
And remember the cold, hard truth in all of this; that you don't deserve one tiny shred of sympathy should you get infected and not be able to immediately remedy the situation. And this cold, hard truth is because:
1. With free programs such as Windows Restore at the ready, which make a great big 'image file' of your entire system, you would normally just fire up the boot-up disc, load last week's image file and you're back in business within minutes.
2. You shouldn't have been infected in the first place. A careful investigation after the fact will reveal that the free anti-malware program being used wasn't protecting the browser in real-time, allowing the infection to sneak through. This is known as you get what you pay for. It's a lesson that should have been learned long ago.
While Windows Restore does an adequate job, I prefer a commercial backup program called True Image. More info on both programs here. For an anti-malware program with real-time browser protection, I use ZoneAlarm.
As a small side note, image file backup programs aren't just for catastrophes. The other day I was curious if the Chrome browser had made any improvements since I last tried it a year ago, so I first made a backup file of the system, installed Chrome, played around with it for a while, was aghast that absolutely none of its major shortcomings had been addressed — then restored the original system via the backup file and it was as if the whole sordid event had never taken place. No muss, no fuss, no extra clutter of files on the system clogging things up.
You can also have a serious computer with big hdd for boring work, and a carousing computer with smaller hdd for titillation, so to speak (unless you're confined by something like a small boat). Of course, both should be imaged and the images updated regularly. While you're making your frequent restores of the carousing computer, you can continue using the serious computer for boring things.
That's what a good buddy of mine does. He has two towers that share the monitor, keyboard and mouse via a switchover box. (he hits the 'Scroll Lock' key twice on the keyboard and it flips over) The big machine is for projects, like rendering videos. The other rig is basically just an Internet/download machine. This way the CPU-hogging rendering doesn't bog down the Internet machine, and if anything gets infected on the 'Net machine, it won't propagate to the other, especially boot-block viruses.
He downloads directly to the 'Net machine (breaking Backup Image Rule #1), but he immediately transfers them to the big machine via ethernet cable after they're down, unzipped and inspected. Pretty slick little setup, with the added value that he rarely has to run his room heater during the winter.
Thanks for the concern. Doing 'okay', basically concentrating on not overdoing anything. I'm taking about five naps a day, which is weird. Otherwise, I'm definitely on the mend. I have a big web project headed my way next week, so it'll be good to get back in the swing of things.
I usually hate naps with a passion. I always have a bitch of a time going to sleep that night. Normally, I carefully time it so the caffeine-laced psychotropic drugs wear off just as the bottle of Jack Daniels empties, but these naps are playing havoc with my drinking schedule. For example, I had a whole two inches left in the bottle this morning when I got up, so there wasn't anything else to do except use it for my cereal instead of milk. (hic!) Waste not, want not!
ZoneAlarm doesn't run on Macs. Got any suggestions?
I use eset, but if there are better firewalls available I would like to know.
Dr. Everett V. Scott
Sorry, nothing to suggest on this end. Try a Google search for a 'top ten' review page, like "apple malware prevention top ten review". The key word you're looking for on the company's home site is "browser", as in "real-time browser protection". Programs that only examine files after the download simply aren't good enough anymore.
1. I use VMWARE Fusuion on my mac so I can run windows. All you need to do is create a quick snapshot and if something happens to you PC just spin up the saved image. Takes seconds.
2. Create a bootable Linux (I prefer Ubuntu) OS on a USB Drive. Boot your PC to the linux system do what ever you want because your running off the usb and not the windows system. If something goes wrong create another bootable usb. Also a great way to recover data from a corrupted windows OS.