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1st Computer Technologies, Inc.

Complete and Comprehensive Services for your Business or Residential Computer Systems

Serving Zephyrhills FL and the surrounding communities since 1999

News Flash

Viruses, Trojan Horses, Worms, Spyware, Identify Theft, Malicious Software . . . these are words that UNNECESSARILY strike terror in the hearts of many users. The bad guys depend on the panic effect to get you to do something before you have had a chance to think. My goal today is to give you that little bit of insight that will help keep you safe.

 Be A Proactive User

  • All the security programs in the world won't keep you safe if the bad guys can convince you to disable them. Foolishness you say? You would never do that you say? Yes you would! I know, because I make a living recovering system from that kind of mistake.




  • In today's lesson, we will discuss some of the more common requests that pop up and what to do about them:

             1.    Java will pop up a balloon from the clock tray – this is a legitimate update for an Internet Explorer accessory. Accept it, but watch every window as it installs as it may want to offer you something for "free", which will be pre-selected.  Unselect it and proceed with the update.


     2.    Adobe Flash Player and/or Adobe Reader will open a window in the middle of the screen notifying you of an available update. This is a legitimate update for an Internet Explorer accessory and you should accept it. Just be aware that, as with Java updates, it may offer you something for free, which will be pre-selected. Unselect it and proceed with the update.


     3.    Malwarebytes Antimalware Premium is a legitimate security program intended to be a supplement to your primary security application. It has an icon in the Clock Tray that looks like a blue butterfly and when it needs attention it will display a small red triangle in the lower right corner of its icon.  Double-click on the icon and in the window that opens you will see a button in the upper right corner that says "FIX IT". Simply click on the button and the program will take the proper correction.

It will also pop up a rectangular box above the Clock Tray to notify you is your computer is trying to go to a known bad web site or if a PUP (Possible Unwanted Program) is attempting to enter your computer. In either case, simply click on the name of the web site or the PUP and it will display a window where you can see more detailed information and decide on what the appropriate action should be. If in doubt as to what an appropriate action would be, simply call me while the window is still open and I will be glad to advise you.



     4.    Microsoft Security Essentials (Windows Vista and Windows 7) will change the color of its icon in the clock tray from Green (safe) to Orange (needs your attention on something) or Red (critical need for your attention). If the icon changes to yellow or red, click on it and the program will open

There will be a large button the same color as the icon that will say Clean, Upgrade, Update, or Scan. Click on this button and the the problem will be resolved automatically. Also, it may slip up a small window from behind the clock tray if it finds a virus attempting to become active. Click on the Clean button and it will automatically remove the threat.

Windows Defender (Windows 8 and following) does not present an icon in the Clock Tray, but will automatically open if it needs your attention. Simply follow the instructions in the above paragraph.

5.    The Microsoft
operating system will create a yellow shield (Windows XP) or a small blue rectangle with a gold loop around it (Windows Vista and Windows 7) in your clock tray while it checks for and downloads needed updates. It will open a balloon to notify you when it is ready to install these updates. Click on the shield and accept the default setting to install these updates. Expect that it will probably want to reboot your system when it is finished, so be prepared.

The above list is not intended to be an all-inclusive list, as your installed software may differ, but it is intended to give you an idea of the concept of WHAT IS NORMAL ON YOUR COMPUTER.

PRESUME THAT ANY OTHER NOTIFICATION OF ANY KIND IS A DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN AND DO NOT CLICK ON ANYTHING IN THE WINDOW. IF POSSIBLE, DON’T ALLOW YOUR MOUSE TO PASS OVER ANY SELECTABLE ITEM IN THE WINDOW! At this point, you must presume that everything that is selectable in the suspicious window is a booby trap . . . because it probably is!

Remember, they are trying to get you to panic!

1.  Remove your hand from the Mouse and take a deep breath. You are under attack, but the solution is quick and simple.

2.  Locate the cursor and if it is in the suspect window, carefully remove it without passing over any item that might activate a response if at all possible.

3.  Right-click on the Status Bar (the bar on the bottom of the screen) and select Task Manager.

4.  Click on the Applications tab, select the suspect program and click on the End Task button in the bottom right corner of the Task Manager window. This will safely exit the attack without unknowingly activating anything you will wish you hadn’t activated.

That's all there is to it! Now lets practice. Open NOTEPAD and pretend that it is a false security pop-up. Practice closing it with the four steps listed above.

Congratulations! You are now an expert in avoiding the most common form of attack, the False Security Warning con.

Once again, if in doubt, you are welcome to give me a call during normal business hours (M_F, 8 AM to 5 PM) and I will be more than glad to advise you on an appropriate response.