Friday, March 6, 2009

Hello Again fellow Fraggers

Well, it appears that I have been the victim of an annoying E-mail virus. It has mailed out a message to my personal address book, twice now. I thought I had gotten this problem taken care of, but apparently not. So for that reason, I took down the Game Server and all of my computers, for some maintenance. I ran a myriad of virus programs and spy-ware programs to route out the problem. The arsenal, I choose to run, consists of two virus programs. Both are excellent in my opinion. AVG Free is of course free to the individual user. The other is Kaspersky Anti-virus.

In the way of spy-ware programs, I use several. All of these are free to the individual user.
Spybots Search and Destroy.
Ad-Aware by Lavasoft
Malwarebytes, Anti-Malware by Malwarebytes Corp, found at Malwarebytes.org.
Another excelent program is Mail Washer by Webroot, although not free. It clears all the hidden caches and active memory. It is a, one click, clear all program.

Firewalls. There are several firewall programs out there. And I am sure that they try to do an ample job of it. But, only one I use is 100% free and has all the features that most users need. That is ZoneAlarm. Unfortunately, two of my new computers are running Windows XP PRO 64 and ZoneAlarm only has a "beta" for these. I had not installed them of late, and will be researching that very soon.

There are a great many, "Look A Likes", out there that pretend to be each of these programs, I just listed. So, be sure to get the originals only. The others will run a free program and then ask you for money to fix the problems they find. When, in fact, they actually put the problem in your computer to find. And, they later start bugging you to purchase a program, that you can otherwise get free.

I have since determined that the source of my infection is posibly two of my regular E-mail buddies. I have deviated in my routines and relaxed a bit. I will be more diligent, in the future, to route out that source. I never send out or forward SPAM mail. You all get them from someone you know and love. They are those funny and sometimes very sad little stories about some unfortunate individual or animal with a problem. More lately, they are coming in the form of political messages about the economy. You don't even have to click on any links in the mail these days. Just opening them, to see what they are, is enough to launch an attack.

I am sure that this will spir many a discussion on how to prevent attacks and they are all welcome. It is only through awareness that we can stay ahead of the game. If only by a small portition of caution.

DA

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