Posted 15 March 2010 - 12:23 PM
Hi all, I would appreciate any help anyone can give me. I've been using computers for a while, but I don't know any more about them than I did in the beginning (nothing). I know even less about Macs.
I have a big family scattered around the country, and we all like using Facebook to post messages and photos to each other and our friends. However, three of us have clicked on links that gave us viruses, and I clicked on links that gave up my password several times. I also picked up a nasty hacker. I bought a refurbished Mac (0S X version 10.5.8 PowerPC G4 laptop) after I lost two laptop PCs (one running Vista Basic and the other Windows 7) within a week to the same hacker.
I think he/she was getting through my firewall when I used Facebook's photo upload application. I was using a ZoneAlarm firewall and had AVG antivirus programs installed on both. I didn't have an anti-spyware program. He/she grabbed control of all my files (and locked them so AVG couldn't scan them) and when I tried to regain them, it looked like my hard drive was filled and my computer stopped working. System restores didn't help. One laptop is still under warranty and is in the shop. My husband has gotten the other one semi-usable.
But I decided I had better get a Mac. I've loaded it with ClamXav, MacScanner and Digital Sentry (set to give an alert if anyone changes any application files), and set the firewall to let the Mac decide if a program can get through (I think it was either that or not let any programs through). I updated it and all my programs as soon as I got them, and my account is set with a password. My browser, Firefox, uses an app that doesn't allow ads on FB and another app shows true URL addresses for links at the bottom of the window. I've changed all my passwords and if Facebook logs me out and I'm given another page to log back in on, I go back to www.facebook.com. I don't click on any links and I don't use any FB apps anymore. None of my family has ever used any chat applications.
But I'm afraid to upload photos to Facebook, or even use iTunes. Facebook has a photo uploader just like the one on this site where you can upload your avatar. Is that a peer-to-peer connection? Another method for uploading photos on FB -- not usable for Macs -- uploads a bunch of files at once, versus one at a time. I am close to positive that the hacker got into my second PC that way. Is that a different kind of connection than the other?
Is my Mac safe if I use a photo uploader with a skilled hacker apparently waiting and watching for me? What about iPhoto? Is the Filezilla ftp program safe? Is there any way I can use an ftp site to transfer photos to Facebook? I apologize if these are dumb questions. I have no idea how computers really work, I just know I'm up against a skilled hacker who would probably enjoy destroying my new Mac even more than my PCs.