DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

November 22, 2016

Malware Strikes

Before I start today I will tell you that I run all the security software you normally would on a computer.  I also only run software that I recommend to you when you ask or when I write.  That way I know what you can do for free and how well it works. I have always been satisfied with this arrangement.

Now, back to the story.  I was on my desktop computer and up pops an alert from my antivirus application.  I will not mention the name of it since it is an app that I have been testing for several weeks.  BANG, I had malware!!!

I told it to take care of it by removing the offending malware files as I have done only a couple of times over the years.  Then predictably the warning went away.

After anywhere from 10 seconds to five minutes I get another warning and another and another, etc.  After a dozen or two of them I just let them go to watch what would happen.  I figured my computer was probably already ruined so why worry about it further.

After a hundred or so alerts I ran Malwarebytes to take care of the problem.  That application (which still does a good job in most areas) found them but it could not remove them either.  At this point, I am starting to perspire.

You should turn this on if you have no other antivirus softwareI then shutdown my “now proven worthless” antivirus app and uninstalled it.  I then install a more proven, reputable antivirus app.  After it finished its set up it also found the malware but could do nothing with it either.  I now shutdown this antivirus application and ran Windows Defender.  Always keep in mind that you should run only one antivirus app on your computer at a time.  Also, Windows Defender switches itself off automatically when you install a third party anti-virus app.

Windows Defender is the antivirus application that comes built into Windows 10 and has been available since Windows XP.  For the past years, most geeks say to run a third-party antivirus app in its place since Windows Defender (WD to save space) is not as good as the others.  I trusted the pros as I had never proven it to be good or bad for me.

Windows Defender on Windows 10

The second I started up WD it found the malware and asked if it should remove it.  I responded, “Heck yeah, kill it my new little friend!”  Well not exactly but you know what I mean.

About five minutes later all of the malware was apparently gone and my computer was running smoothly once again. I rebooted it, ran the “dependable” antivirus software again and it said that everything was safe.  I ran Malwarebytes again and it too reported everything as being safe and secure.

Now I have uninstalled all of the antivirus apps and let Windows Defender take over the heavy lifting.  As far as I am concerned that is all I need now along with Malwarebytes.

July 28, 2015

Emailed Questions, Part 2

Last week I mentioned Chromebooks and Antivirus software.  Today in continuing with sharing emails and answers we look at the following questions.

"How often do you run Windows Update, defrag, cleaning, and other computer maintenance?" Wow, huge question with a multitude of answers.  First I suggest for most users you should set windows updates to run automatically.  With Windows 10 your only choice may be to have it automatically update, there are varying reports.  If you now run the update manually they come out on "Patch Tuesday."  Or, the second Tuesday of each month.  So you are good to run your update any time after that.  I would recommend you do it each month for security reasons if no other.

Defragging and cleaning really depend on how often you use your computer.  I have also recommended here before that you use CCleaner (piriform.com) for cleaning/removing old files and refreshing your registry. It is an excellent program.  For defragging I recommend another Piriform product called "Defraggler," found on the same site under "Downloads." 

Piriform logo

The timing for these is really up to you since it depends on how much you use your computer.  For a heavy user like me who can spend eight hours a day at work and then an hour or two several times a week at home, I run them every week or so.  If you only go online once a day to check email and Facebook for an hour, once a month or so is fine.  Longer will not hurt you and the more often you run them the quicker they work.  Defragging takes the longest so if you have never defragged before it could take overnight or more depending on the size of your hard drive.

One word of warning about defragging.  If you have a SSD drive and not a regular "platter" drive you should not run defrag.  It will not kill it; however, I have read reports that they will not last as long if you do. 

Maintenance other than those mentioned above is as follows:  Make sure you run your antivirus software regularly.  If you have a free one, as I told you about last week, you may have to do it manually.  To do so you usually right click on the software’s icon in your notification area and click update.  Applications can vary so check yours and proceed. 

Malwarebytes logoThe other two applications I have talked about before but are quite important are, "Malwarebytes" (malwarebytes.org) Filehippo logoand "FileHippo App Manager" (filehippo.com/download_app_manager).  I have talked about them in detail before but I do not feel like mentioning them again is too much.  The new improved version of FileHippo is even better and easier to use.

See you next week.

November 6, 2012

Another Windows 8 Article…

Windows 8 BoxWindows 8 is out and according to Microsoft it is, "Vibrant and beautiful."  Well the colors are very nice and it is faster.  It will work with a computer that previously ran Windows 7 and even run better and faster with less hardware requirements which is unusual for a new Operating System.  It also boots much more quickly.  The advertised boot time is about six seconds, but I found that mine was less than 10 seconds. That is still fantastic. 

Let’s take a look at some of the new features. 

Touchscreen is the latest tech feature to come along since the first iPhone rolled and now Windows 8 has it.  This is slick – on a touchscreen enabled computer which you will most likely have to buy since until now very few computers had it.  On the desktop "Tiles" are in and "Icons" are out.  Tiles are larger and are sometimes active. The weather tile updates continuously so you can see it without opening it unless you want to.

Windows 8 has exceptional cloud integration out of the box, meaning you can immediately open and save all of your files on your Microsoft "Sky Drive" off site and not on your hard drive.  This includes all of your Office files and various other types of files.

One thing I believe Microsoft should have done in several past Windows iterations is to include an anti-virus application in the operating system.  Windows 8 now has Windows Defender included in the default installation.  This includes anti-virus, anti-malware and other good features, at no additional charge.

Speaking about the charge…at this time MS is offering a special deal if you purchase Windows 8 before January 31, 2013.  The cost is $39.99 to download it or $69.99 to order the disks.  There are basically only two versions of Windows 8.  They are Windows 8 and the Pro version. Prices quoted are for Windows 8 Pro.  If you are going to buy it I recommend that you go for the Pro and forget the standard version.

You get Internet Explorer 10 with Windows 8 which seems to be quicker and "prettier" than the previous varieties.  When you open it, as with all of the new Windows 8 enabled GUI programs it takes the entire screen and most of your menu items disappear until you right click to bring them up.  This is a good thing; however, it may take some time to get used to the difference.

So if you have heard how horrible it is…well, it really is not.  However, for all the good it has it has several, in my opinion, major problems. 

The learning curve on it is huge.  The normal user will be lost as soon as it is installed. 

Ron's Windows 8 StartThe new GUI is nice.  However, when you use a program that was not designed for that GUI (Firefox for one) you get kicked back to a regular looking Windows 7 desktop…WHAT!?  Yes, Windows 8 has the Windows 7 desktop, which you can get to fairly easily but one major thing is missing, the START button, so you have to finagle your way into programs that used to be right on the start menu.

Some Windows 8 programs can only open in the Windows 7 desktop.  For instance, if you need to use Windows Explorer to copy files from one folder to another you get kicked over to the Windows 7 desktop to open Explorer to copy your files.  Why not stay in the Windows 8 environment?  It almost looks to me as though they did not quite finish developing part of the system. 

imageI think it would make an excellent operating system for a tablet or a PC with touchscreen capabilities; however, if you are not ready to purchase a new computer I do not recommend switching.  I will not but I will run it in a virtual environment to watch for changes and to be able to answer questions from some of you brave souls who do switch.  

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