Viruses and Virus Hoaxes
It's a sad fact that some people's idea of fun is to destroy information on your computer. Like vandals, they get their kicks by breaking things - in this case your computer. To help keep you up to date with the latest news about viruses we have included a newsfeed from Sophos, a well-known producer of anti-virus software. Sky-Web has no affilation with Sophos, we merely supply this very useful information as a public service. There is usually a 10-12 second delay while the latest news reports are gathered. News is available on : -
- the latest alerts - recently discovered viruses, which your current anti-virus software may not yet detect (so upgrade it now!)
- the top ten most common viruses, the ones that you definately must ensure your current anti-virus software can detect
- virus hoaxes - those annoying email "warnings" that encourage you to pass on worthless information to all your friends, thus filling their email box with lots of identical messages, all equally worthless.
Click on any of the above links and a new window opens to Sophos's own Information Site. Simply close that window to return to Sky-Web.
Sky-Web recommends that everyone uses a reliable virus scanner on a regular basis, usually via the software's automatic scheduling options. The software should be updated at regular intervals over the Internet (licenced copies usually include this free of charge). Sky-Web does not sell anti-virus software, but we can advise our clients on its purchase and assist with installation and set-up.
Occasionally it is worthwhile using one of the free online virus scanning services. Here are a few that can be recommended. We have no connection with any of these sites, we are merely providing links to these reliable services to help you.
Kaspersky (checks doesn't remove)
VirusTotal (send them suspicious files)
ArcaBit (not heard of before today)
A squared (another new one)
Note that these services require you to stay online for the duration of the scan. Over a 56K modem connection they can be slow, over a broadband connection they are much faster. They do not offer the same type of protection as a memory resident scanner, but since not every anti-virus product can detect every known virus (you may not have the latest version for example), using a second one every now and then is a good idea. Do read the instructions at these sites before proceeding.
AdWare and Spyware is becoming more of a problem, with many downloads including an extra program or two that reports back exactly what you do on the web to companies, who can then use the information to send you targetted adverts. But these programs slow up your computer and browsing as they are all running at the same time and sending data over the web while you are trying to use the computer. Sky-Web recommends the use of Spybot Search and Destroy to remove these nuisance programs. Spybot S&D is so good that apparently three similar programs are extremely similar indeed, including identical files and fake names in Spybot's database (used to detect blatant copies).
Sky-Web has had three magazine articles plagerised in the past, two or them word for word, and one as a re-write. Unfortunately the latter included a item that was not imported to the UK on the basis of our advice, but was magically reviewed a year later!! So we certainly sympathized with Spybot. Plagerism, the sincerest form of flattery.