Poppy Payne IS The Sexy Techie!

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Your PC May Be Under Attack

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Virus AlertThe evil-doers who write/generate computer viruses and malware have been busy little peckers. Yes, indeed. It is becoming a worrisome task every day to stay ahead of them, or at best, right on their ass. People are under the impression that if you stay away from sleazy porno sites, you’ll be safe. As an aside, yes, there are such things sleazy porno sites and non-sleazy sites. But let’s leave that for another article!

These days you are just as likely to be the victim of a cyber-attack from accessing a mainstream media outlet, a museum site or a well-known charitable site. Instead of setting up dodgy sites of their own to lure in unsuspecting surfers, these creeps are targeting wholesome, trusted outlets via technical and social hacking, compromising the site with hidden code, then sitting back and waiting for the surfers to come knocking.

MalwareHow can you defend yourself against all this? In truth, sometimes you can’t. But there are ways to minimize your risk. Most importantly, keep your anti-virus software up to date. Make sure whichever anti-virus application you have is configured to automatically download and install updates. Updates are pushed out daily and sometimes multiple times a day by the vendor. Don’t fall behind because the bad guys aren’t sitting back with their feet up on the desk!

Malware MastermindIf it isn’t on already, turn on your firewall. While it is not good practice to run more than one firewall on your PC, you should definitely have either Windows firewall active or a third party firewall installed. Then, make sure your router’s firewall is up and running as well. This provides an extra measure of protection you should not be without. If you have an older router that does not have a firewall, it is most definitely time to get a new one.

Now we come to the most critical part of the mix. The one thing that poses the most danger to your system is, quite bluntly, you. Getting an occasional evil thingy on your system will, in all likelihood, happen. But if you’re constantly getting infected time after time, and you are diligently cleaning out the infections you do get, then you’re doing something wrong. Have you ever had a box pop up that claimed a virus had been detected on your PC and to click on some button to fix it? But you don’t remember ever downloading and installing anything sounding like who they claim to be? That’s because you haven’t! It is a complete scam known as Scareware which tricks you into downloading and installing malware. If you click anywhere in the box, it will, with your now freely given permission, install software that will hijack your internet home page, block you from accessing legitimate sites that can help you, steal information and more. They will then demand you send them $49.99 to remove the crap THEY installed in the first place! Best bet if one of those appears? Save your work and re-boot your PC. If it comes back, disconnect from the internet, boot into safe mode and run a full virus scan.

ScarewareIn almost 100% of the cases, viruses and malware did not go looking for your PC on the internet and waged an attack against your defenses. You, my lamb, invited them in. Either you downloaded an application that sounded too good to be true (Get our $499.99 application free for the next 15 minutes!), or from a third party site no one has ever heard of or you clicked on a link in an unsolicited email. If an email arrives from someone you don’t know, or from a company with whom you’ve never done business, or from an official sounding quasi-governmental outfit and the English grammar would make a 3rd grader cringe, delete them. Don’t bother reading them; not that reading them poses any real risk, but you may be tempted to actually click on something in the email and THAT is where you will get into trouble.it

Malware and VirusesIn the event you do get a virus or a malware app, don’t panic! I’ll be the first to say that no one package will provide you complete protection nor is any one package likely to remove all things under the sun. Things will slip though. You need what we geeks refer to as a ‘toolkit’. After all, you wouldn’t think of trying to fix your car armed with only a screwdriver. There is an fantastic application to detect and remove Adware and Malware called Malwarebytes. It has a free downloadable version that you have to run manually as it does not allow continuous background or scheduled runs without purchasing the fully configurable version for $24.95; a onetime charge entitling you to free lifetime upgrades. You can find both the free and the Pro package at the Malwarebytes page.

Virus WarningAn unfortunate reality is that you may be forced to either restore from your most recent backup (Please tell me you have one!) or if you don’t have a backup, a complete reformat and fresh installation of your system and all of your applications.

If you do a little research you will find other packages that help protect you and clean up the mess left by evil snippets of dirty code. But in the end, you best protection is being aware they are out there and do not invite them in! Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be more than happy to help.

Till next time,

Love, Poppy xxxxx

Serbian Man Lives In Tomb

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Tomb Home 1An unemployed, 43 year old homeless Serbian man, Bratislav Stojanovic, lost his home due to unpaid (and un-payable) debts some 15 years ago. After knocking about the streets for awhile, he decided to move into a tomb in an old cemetery. He finds it safer than the streets and actually quite warm and comfortable. And not one of his neighbours complain!

As written in the UK Daily Mail, Mr Stojanovic said that living with the dead isn’t as scary as some might think. He said: “I was afraid in the beginning, but I got used to it in time. Now I am more afraid of the living than of the dead. Whenever I want to crawl out I first check if there’s someone around, otherwise I could scare a person to death.

Tomb Home 2“People are very kind to me, they sometimes bring me food or clothes. Sometimes I have to get my food from rubbish bins but it can be very nutritious. It’s amazing what people throw away,” he explained. “It doesn’t frighten me to sleep in a grave. The dead are dead. I’m more frightened of being hungry. And if I die in the night, at least I’m in the right place.” He went on to say “It is dry and it is warm. I have some lamps and my personal possessions. It isn’t a palace but it is more comfortable than the street.”

Tomb Home 3 Mr. Stojanovic forages the cemetery for candles and cigarette butts people have discarded. He searches through rubbish bins in the town for food that eateries have thrown away and from time to time, local residents bring him food and basics. The cemetery is no longer accepting traditional graveyard residents and a spokesman for the town has said that since no member of the family that is buried in Mr. Stojanovic’s dwelling is still alive, technically speaking, the tomb doesn’t belong to anyone, so Mr. Stojanovic “isn’t breaking any regulations.”

So there you have it, my luvs… Home most definitely is where the heart is and you don’t need to live on an estate to get along.

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