(Un)check this out!

Friends, Arkansans, Countrymen, lend me your ear.  Actually your eyes.  No, your attention.  Anyway, what I’m getting at is that I hope you’ll read the following blog.  As you may know, the bane of ANCTech’s existence is generally considered to be malware of all types.  Trojans, adware, viruses, the whole ball of wax.  Even though ANC has Symantec Security, there are still ways for malware to invade your computer.  Mostly it involves opening a channel to the internet from the local computer which then allows various nastinesses to load on your computer. 

You may ask, “But ANCTech, how can that happen and what can I do to stop it?”  I’m glad you asked.

Many times, when a software is downloaded (which is highly recommended to NOT do) it will attempt to install additional programs as well.  Most of the time, there will be a checkbox that is checked by default.  Uncheck it.  Whatever it is, no matter how cool or innocuous it sounds, uncheck it.  The most common add-on software is an Internet Browser Toolbar.  Specifically, MyWebSearch, Yahoo, Google, and Bing are probably the most commonly seen. (These have been covered before, but we all need a little repetition.)  Don’t allow them to install.  You don’t need them…really…you don’t.  The more miscellaneous ‘stuff’ that gets installed on your computer the less secure it is. 

The rationale for this is that free software makes money through advertising.  The original software you’re downloading may be fine, but don’t trust the advertisers.  Ever!  If a program is trying to piggyback on another software, its sole goal is to make money off of you, one way or another. (I’ll skip the methods as TMI for this subject.) (You’re welcome, it could have gotten boring.)  (What do you mean, “Too late?”)  (Oh no!  I’m caught in another parentheses loop!) Ctrl-Alt-Break.

So, to summarize.  If you’re downloading software (double-plus unrecommended) pay attention and uncheck any options for allowing the whiz bang toolbars or other gadgets to install.

Let’s review from the ANCTech blog: Don’t click the link, backup your data, ease up on the junk mail, visit scan.anc.edu occasionally, use the Trouble Ticket Reporting System, uncheck any checkboxes of which you’re unsure, and call if you have leftovers. EOL.

Happy Computing.

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One Response to “(Un)check this out!”

  1. Great info! Whoever wrote this “column” is definitely a writer–I was just going to glance through the article, and I ended up reading every word. Thanks! Keep up the interesting stuff.! A Whitis

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