Personal Computer Security

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I’ve missed a few days posting to my blog and I’m almost ashamed to admit it but… I got a “funny” on my computer! It first manifest itself when I couldn’t actually access my blog!

I had implemented the “Create Custom Login Link” that I talked about in the post “Blog Security Tips – Lock Down Your Blog” which means that my login isn’t http://site-name/wp-admin and so that I don’t forget what I’ve changed it to and so that I don’t get locked out of my blog, I had saved the URL and the login details to Roboform (which I talk about in “Top 10 Tools of Internet Marketing“)!

I have been using that Roboform entry for ages now so I couldn’t understand why it suddenly stopped working.

I panicked!

I contacted my hosting company and they deactivated all my plugins and I was able to get back in to my blog BUT … the question remained – “Why had it gone wrong?”

I ran my website through Securi site checker – a free service you can find at https://sitecheck.sucuri.net/

It came up all clean so I stepped back to my laptop … and found the problem – I had somehow downloaded a “PUP”. No, not a lovely young dog!  A PUP is a “Potentially Undesirable Program” – one that probably came down in the payload of a program you DID want, so in a way you consented to download it. PUPs include spyware, adware, and dialers. Almost all of the malware out there is trying to spy on you, redirect your browsing(which is the one I had!), and insert more ads into pages that you’re viewing (remind me to tell you about Adblock sometime). It’s all about the money.

So that brings be to the topic in hand – Protect your Computer!

I’m sure you have an antivirus program and a firewall running – don’t you? These are basic every day “forever” tools that you set up when you got your new device and leave running forever! Today I’m going to concentrate on tasks you have to remember to do – or get someone else to!

I recommend you do these 3 steps at least once a month – preferably once a week!

Step 1- Clean up your system with CCleaner

Originally called “CrapCleaner”  but name changed to be more pc (lol) – this program inspects your system and finds everything that cold be called crap – broken keys, cookies, temporary files and so on. You have complete control over what is and isn’t identified and over what is and isn’t deleted – but once you’ve set it up, it’s is quick and easy.

Download it free from Here : CCleaner and CCleaner for Mac
Please be sure to download the FREE Version – that’s all I ever use!

Step 2 – Scan for malicious programs with Malwarebytes

This is a scanner that goes through your files, your own and the system ones, looking for all the malicious programs – including PUPs.  Depending on how much stuff you have on your hard drive(s) it can be quick or, as in my case, take hours! However it does a thorough job and after a clean scan from Malwarebytes, you can feel fairly sure you’re clear! Before running it be sure to let it update to the latest database – this is a list of most of the known baddies that Malwarebytes should look for – did you know that over 350,000 NEW malicious programs are generated each day!

Download it free from here: Malwarebytes. Be  sure to choose the FREE version for either Windows or Mac.

Adwcleaner

AdwCleaner is a free tool, with a good reputation for removing spyware and adware. It’s not as well known as MalwareBytes because it’s not all that user friendly, since it is meant for Windows experts rather than regular users. I only use it when I think I have a major problem – so not weekly! If you do use it, you need to download the latest version just before running it as, like Malwarebytes, it has a database of current malicious programs that is constantly being updated, but unlike Malwarebytes, this database is embedded in the program – hence the need for a completely new download each time

BEWARE: scammers have tried to mimic the Adwcleaner, stealing the logo, and even ripping out the icon for their fake version. You’ll know if you get the fake one because 1) it will be really user friendly and 2)it will ask you to PAY to clean your system! Don’t pay! This is FREE software.

Be sure to download from a trusted site like:
https://toolslib.net/downloads/viewdownload/1-adwcleaner/

Step 3 – Backup your system

You do backup your laptop/computer/tablet/smart phone, don’t you?

Regularly?

You may have all your files on the cloud but you have programs, software and so on on your device.  If you haven’t put everything on the cloud – then it’s even more important to backup regularly – especially if you are running an online business!

I use Acronis but there are many packages for taking an image copy of your system, writing it to an external device – a hard drive, or the cloud! Then you can sleep peacefully knowing that if you have a major problem – you will not have lost everything and can get it back with a little effort.

You do have to pay for Acronis – but I feel it is an investment well worth it for the peace of mind you get!

Get it here (not affiliate link): Acronis

(Sometimes you can get it for less at Amazon but I would rather get it “from the horse’s mouth” myself!)

Special Offer

All this and more is covered in my book “Personalize and Manage your Computer”. (For Windows operating system only.)  Please feel free to request a review copy by sending a blank  (yes, nothing but the “to” field needed!) to

ge-review@getresponse.net

The download link will be sent to the email address from which you send the request.

I’d really appreciate it if you could send me a testimonial – feel free to include your name, website and picture for posting on the salespage.  If you don’t do so within a month, I hope you won’t be offended if I get back to you to get your thoughts!

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Posted in Computer Basics, Online Marketing Journey

2 comments on “Personal Computer Security
  1. Alan Abelove says:

    I pride myself on being technically competent and over security-careful regarding my online life. Thus I am grateful to have found your article and your site in order to gain additional strategies.

    Regarding Malware and other evil creatures: What would you advise about relying only on a good antivirus like Norton, which from my experience has been excellent for me, and is also supposed to guard against all of these bad guys?

    Thanks, and best of luck.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Alan,
      I’m glad to meet a fellow security minded person!
      In my opinion, Norton is fine if you are prepared to pay for it. But once you have, you can use it across all your devices, which is a very big plus for it.

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