"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say 'thank you'?" ~William Arthur Ward

Good Golly! Where did the summer go? It seems like just yesterday I was counting down to the last day of school and now the kids are back in school. And it feels as if I have accomplished nothing with my reprieve from school activities. All of my good intentions for the summer seemed to have been gobbled up by . What? Where did I spend my time? I asked the techs what they did with their summer and they told me they spent it repairing virus problems. Seems, there is a really nasty Drive-By hanging out on the internet. It calls itself Windows Antivirus. But don't believe everything you read on the net, because this creature is definitely not Anti Virus. Here is the real scoop:
Grisoft.com, the owners of AVG antivirus program have posted this on their website: According to Google, 1 in 1000 Web pages is delivering some kind of malicious code, mainly in the form of exploits delivered by drive-by downloads. That translates to something like 70,000 poisoned pages ready and waiting to infect visitors on any given day. (source: http://www.grisoft.com/ww.exploit.tpl-mcr3.vid-fakesecsw)
And Microsoft reports that viruses are causing more than $55 billion (yes, billion with a B) worth of damage each year, but viruses are not the greatest threat. An even greater threat is the Drive-By. (source: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/IE/community/columns/driveby.mspx )
What is a Drive-By? It is unwanted software that installs itself on your computer without your knowledge or consent.

How does it get there? The most common carriers are songs from free music sites, free screen savers and porn sites. But drive-bys can come from anywhere.

What should you watch for? If a pop-up appears warning you have malware and offers to scan for you, avoid the scan at all costs! If perchance you made the mistake of letting the popup scan your system, DO NOT make the mistake of paying the $50 to purchase the software to remove the problem. The Software is the problem! And there is some scuttlebutt concerning whether or not paying the $50 just set yourself up for identity theft. The verdict is still out.
How do you protect yourself? Don't browse sites that rely heavily on advertising. If it sounds to good to be true, then it probably is. Avoid file sharing sites, porn sites, bootleg game and bootleg video sites. If you are using Internet Explorer v7, turn on the phishing filter and the pop-up blocker (click on Tools->Phishing Filter or Tools->Pop-up Blocker). Consider investing in AVG 8 with link scanner technology. It is free for home use and only $52 for a 2 year subscription for commercial use. I bet you know where can get it locally. Come see me!
To safer computing,