July 22, 2011 by wcobserver
Tip 1 - Speed up PC: Ads are appearing on TV that offer a program to speed up your PC (Windows Operating System). They claim to “clean-up” your computer so that it will run like a new computer. They even offer a “free” scan so you can see the bad stuff that needs to be removed. Art Hughes, a certified Microsoft Technician, told me he decided to try out a highly advertised program. He had a new computer that had no programs installed on it and had not been used on the internet. He had the speed up program do a “free” scan. The program reported that there were 223 infections on the computer. For only $49 they would remove the infections with the program. He said no! They replied that they would reduce the fee to $29 as a special favor. If you check on the internet you will find that the program had a very poor reputation.
These speed-up offers are from a class of vendors who often infect your computer with a virus that causes weird stuff to pop up and then a message appears, “Warning — your computer is infected! System detected virus activities. They may cause critical system failure. Click here to get available software.” These speed-up programs are considered untrustworthy by users: speedypc.com, finallyfast.com and speedupmypc.com. These Web sites are known sources of malware, viruses or spam. Visiting these sites will put you at risk and may compromise your identity or privacy. Go to www.mywot.com to check user ratings for most web sites.
Tip 2 - Fake Facebook security team “phishes” passwords from users: Users of Facebook have received urgent messages from the “Facebook Security Team” that their accounts have been suspended. The spam messages are false. They go on to say you have violated one of the terms of service. The scam continues to instruct how you can correct the problem if you think this is a mistake. If you click on the offered link you will be going to a “phishing” webpage that asks for personal information.
Tip 3 - Facebook to start charging this summer? It’s a hoax.
Tip 4 - PCMAG.com reports “google+ closed field trial” scams appear on Facebook: Scammers promise a “Google+ Invite” if you click the “Like” button on their Facebook Page. If you do click, you are added to the spammer’s list for sending marketing posts to your Facebook time line.
In the last Tips of the Week I told you about the phone call from a friend. Her computer had gone crazy. All kinds of stuff kept appearing. She could not stop it. She ran an anti-malware program. It did not work. The problem was still there. I told her to turn off the computer and take it to a local certified Microsoft Technician I recommend. What did he find and how did he fix the problems? A virus had taken control of her computer. He booted up the computer in the “safe” mode and the virus program was shut down. The computer was restarted in the regular mode and the virus was removed with an anti-malware program. The virus was one of the speed up PC programs discussed in Tip 1!
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Column is written by Wes Eckles, Jr., President of the NWA Personal Computer User Group that meets monthly at the Jones Center at 1 p.m. every third Saturday. Go to pcgroup.nwark.com (no www. in front). for information about the group.