GOING AFTER PUP DOGS

Running a malware (bad stuff) program on our test computer picked up over 950 “PUP” files. “PUP,” is short for “Potentially Unwanted Programs.” This triggered the computer to go wild, filling out web addresses with bizarre characters and slowing everything to a crawl.

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ANTI-VIRUS UPDATE

We recently wrote about the free programs, Avast and Bitdefender, just days before the new Avast 2014 came out. The new version is free and instructs you to burn a boot-disk on a CD or DVD. After all, it’s all well and good to have anti-virus protection, but what if your computer won’t start at all? Then you better have a boot disk ready. If you Google “create boot disk,” you can get instructions to burn one to CD or flash drive, but it’s nice that Avast prompts you to do it.

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IDENTITY THEFT AND ALL THAT

Every day for two weeks we’ve gotten at least one call purporting to be from Citibank regarding our credit card. It’s one of those robot calls, with no one on the other end of the line, but providing a toll-free number to call about our account. Immediately, if not sooner…

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THE SLUGGISH COMPUTER

A sluggish computer is often sluggish because it doesn’t have enough RAM (random access memory). Go to your local computer repair shop and buy more, it’s cheap now.  If you want to save the installation cost and add the RAM modules yourself, do a YouTube search on “RAM installation.” You’ll see do-it-yourself tutorial for desktops and laptops. Order the RAM modules themselves online and save even more. The free scanner at Crucial.com tells you what type of memory your computer uses. Second, be sure you’ve checked for viruses and spyware, which can really slow down a PC. For free software, we like MalwareBytes.org and Avast.com. Third, uninstall any programs you aren’t using and use the free CCleaner from Piriform.org to […]

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A MORE SECURE FACEBOOK

Avast makes a nice anti-virus program, and it’s free. Now they’ve added Secure.Me, an app for keeping nosy Parkers (and hackers) out of your Facebook account.

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THE END OF WINDOWS XP

In a little less than a year, there will be no more updates for Windows XP users. Microsoft is ending all support around this time next year, despite nearly half of all users still using XP.

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SECURITY PROBLEMS

Recently, PhishMe, a private security service, sent out an email with a cute cat picture and a note that said “Check Out These Kitties” They wanted to learn how many people would click on something like that without thinking any further. Four million people did within hours.

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TAX TIME

Kaspersky, the anti-virus company, has some tips for avoiding identity theft at tax time:

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TIME FOR SOME WORDS ABOUT FREEBIES

Download.com is the most popular site for downloading free programs, mostly what
are called utilities. The anti-virus program “Avast,” which we used for several years, is
available from download.com, as is AVG anti-virus (which we also used for years and

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HIGH ADVENTURE WITH MCAFEE

Our friend Nancy just had a tour of McAfee Anti-Virus hell. She thought she had a virus but she didn’t. Yet the company told her it would cost $180 for the “Concierge Gold” service to fix her computer over the Internet.

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