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Good, but Vulnerable Software?


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#1 Shalynne

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 09:07 PM

Just brought my Windows 7 (Home) laptop home from the tech.  Apparently it was infected with malware that corrupted/deleted a number of drivers. 

 

Machine's working fine now ... but the tech recommended I delete and permanently stop using Waterfox, Scrivener, Rhapsody.  In fact, he went on to say, most of the other programs I work with regularly may be similarly dangerous -- even if I deleted them completely and reinstalled them.  I should also never bank or shop online.

 

I've been using Windows daily since 3.1.  I do lots of things, but none are weird or shady.  Admttedly, I've run into a few problems, but they are far from a common occurrence.  I'd never heard recommendations anywhere close to these before.

 

Are such recommended restrictions The New Normal?



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#2 Nikhil_CV

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 09:57 PM

Hi,
As a matter of fact, inorder to gain revenue from free software, some developers and 3rd party file hosting websites bundle them with unwanted programs like browser toolbars, popups, hijackers etc. I would like to recommend you to create a new post in Am I Infected or Virus, Trojan, Spyware and Malware removal logs subforums after reading the preparation guide pinned on those subforums.

Edited by Nikhil_CV, 27 February 2015 - 10:10 PM.

Regards : CV                                                                                                    There is no ONE TOUCH key to security!
                                                                                                                                       Be alert and vigilant....!
                                                                                                                                  Always have a Backup Plan!!! Because human idiotism doesn't have a cure! Stop highlighting!
                                                     Questions are to be asked, it helps you, me and others.  Knowledge is power, only when its shared to others.            :radioactive: signature contents © cv and Someone....... :wink:

#3 Shalynne

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 10:17 PM

I'll check out the prep guide and may post a new thread -- even though the tech says my laptop is clean (for now).  Thanks!

 

His recommendations were for any computer I use now, and in the future.  In short, I should change the way I use computers altogether, and stop engaging in at least a few normal kinds of online activity.

 

As it is, I use Kaspersky.  Malwarebytes and CCleaner are also on board (I plan to use them more often for non-registry cleanup).  I don't download from 3rd-party sites ... I download directly from the manufacturer/developer, and I also uncheck any additional software they want to add.  And I check Task Manager every now and then to make sure nothing weird's going on.

 

Frankly, I felt the tech baby-talked me rather than helping me to become a better user ... but then, perhaps, baby talk is exactly what I need!



#4 quietman7

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 11:02 PM

Older versions of popular software such as Adobe (Acrobat Reader, Flash Player, Shockwave Player), Java, Windows Media Player, Web Browsers are vulnerable to exploits and should be kept updated. There are serious security issues with older versions which can increase the risk of system infection. Infections spread by malware writers and attackers exploiting unpatched security holes or vulnerabilities in older versions. Software applications are a favored target of malware writers who continue to exploit coding and design vulnerabilities with increasing aggressiveness.
 

Exploit kits are a type of malicious toolkit used to exploit security holes found in software applications...for the purpose of spreading malware. These kits come with pre-written exploit code and target users running insecure or outdated software applications on their computers.

Tools of the Trade: Exploit Kits
 

The majority of computers get infected from visiting a specially crafted webpage that exploits one or multiple software vulnerabilities. It could be by clicking a link within an email or simply browsing the net, and it happens silently without any user interaction whatsoever.

Web Exploits

Related Resources


The only thing that Adobe Flash threatens more than your privacy is your security. Flash has been riddled with exploitable vulnerabilities.

The best defense against these exploits is to keep all vulnerable software updated.

Free Software Update Monitoring Tools:

Calendar Of Updates is an excellent resource to check on a daily basis for updates to popular programs.

 


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#5 Aura

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 11:34 PM

We can help identify outdated and/or vulnerable programs on your system and recommend you alternatives to them so you can have the most secure setup when it comes to software. quietman already linked a bunch of useful update monitoring tools which I suggest you to have at least one.

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#6 Shalynne

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 11:49 PM

Many thanks, all of you!

 

The reasoning behind the tech's recommendations actually start to make sense now (even though his "Don't DO that!  Or that!  Better stop this, too!" instructions were not workable).

 

My updating schedule hasn't been horrific, but it can still stand much (muchmuch) improvement.  I also tend to run way (wayway) too many tabs at once, but there are fairly easy workarounds for that.

 

Am reading up, and making adjustments.  Once again, thanks!



#7 Aura

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 11:55 PM

Also while we are talking about changing computer use habits, this article by Lawrence (Grinler), the Founder and Owner of BleepingComputer, is worth a read :)

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/keep-your-computer-safe-online/

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#8 Shalynne

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 01:14 AM

Great list.  I do mooost of these already.  However, I must admit, I'm not (wasn't, anyway) an avid EULA reader.  While there are many things I need to change (without giving up good software) -- that was the biggest revelation.

 

Just installed FilePuma.  It found 14 programs that require updates, or deletion due to non-use.  Many thanks!



#9 quietman7

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 07:51 AM

The link I provided above for Calendar Of Updates is no longer working. The site expired and no one has heard from the owner. Hopefully it will be back soon. Anyway, there are other news sites or the tools I provided above to help. Your instincts about the tech were right...some like to charge their customers for checking and doing the updates which you can easily do yourself for free.
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#10 pmacnayr

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 09:36 AM

I'll check out the prep guide and may post a new thread -- even though the tech says my laptop is clean (for now).  Thanks!

 

His recommendations were for any computer I use now, and in the future.  In short, I should change the way I use computers altogether, and stop engaging in at least a few normal kinds of online activity.

 

As it is, I use Kaspersky.  Malwarebytes and CCleaner are also on board (I plan to use them more often for non-registry cleanup).  I don't download from 3rd-party sites ... I download directly from the manufacturer/developer, and I also uncheck any additional software they want to add.  And I check Task Manager every now and then to make sure nothing weird's going on.

 

Frankly, I felt the tech baby-talked me rather than helping me to become a better user ... but then, perhaps, baby talk is exactly what I need!

 

Honestly, being aware of the things you're putting on your computer, and what it looks like when it's running correctly puts you ahead of the majority of computer users. Most of keeping malware from getting on to your computer is just practicing common sense.



#11 Aura

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 11:37 AM

While common sense and using your brain is probably the best layer of protection you can have while using a computer, if you only rely on it, without software protection, you will end up getting infected since there's only so much common sense can do.

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#12 quietman7

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 02:24 PM

It has been proven time and again that the user is a more substantial factor (weakest link) in security than the architecture of the operating system or installed protection software.The best defensive strategy is to make sure you are running an updated anti-malware product, use security tools capable of stopping (preventing) infection before it can cause any damage, update all vulnerable software and routinely backup your data.
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#13 Shalynne

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 02:42 PM

Aura & quietman7 -- true, true.

 

As it turns out, I was doing most of the right things, but not all of them.  Yesterday's talk with the tech would've been far more pleasant and productive had he recommended safeguards, instead of activity restrictions.

 

Glad I re-discovered this place!  (I used to lurk here on occasion, but never joined 'til now.)



#14 Aura

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 03:15 PM

Well if you ever need "safeguards" advice, security software recommendations, etc. (other than the ones that quietman already listed), you can always ask us here :)

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#15 Shalynne

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 03:26 PM

I will!  Still working my way down the lists ...






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