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  • #2177726

    Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.


    by ·

    One of my biggest pet peeves are the claims companies like AOL & Earthlink make in their advertisements that they have the solution to adware, spyware, anti-virus, spam, BHOs, etc, etc, etc. They make these claims like if you buy ?our stuff? you can sit there in front of your computer make an uneducated idiot, surf the web and never have to worry about computer problems again! Nothing can be further from the truth. There are several excellent adware, spyware, anti-virus, firewall & spam programs out there (and many are FREE, too!) that can help you take back control of your computer but you HAVE to become an educated user to just keep up with the onslaught of computer problems you can face every day. This is even MORE important if you are on a DSL, ?always on the Internet? connection. I?m not saying you have to be an expert but sitting ?fat, dumb and happy (like Flounder)? in front of your computer thinking AOL or Earthlink ?has your back? is a HUGE and potentially costly mistake. Take the time to educate yourself on ?safe computing? by reading up on the subject or talking to someone who knows.

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    • #3101063

      Not all DSL is “always on”

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      With my DSL, and in fact all the DSL providers in the area, they use PPPoE and you must log on eveyr session, and every session your IP address is new. This is different from the local cable providers. To get a static address and be always on, you have to buy a business service, typically at twice the price.

      I do agree that I don’t trust my ISP, too many things slip through their filters.


      • #3100943

        Thanks for your thoughts.

        by ·

        In reply to Not all DSL is “always on”

        Good point. I appreciate the insite.

      • #3273342

        Not Always On

        by christineeve ·

        In reply to Not all DSL is “always on”

        Ok, now I understand why my DSL goes off and then on again once a day.

        In my case, I have DSL througha provider that uses PPPoE. However, I have configured our router to keep us “always on.”

        It’s a pain to have it turn off in the middle of a conversation or an upload/download. But, at least I don’t have to log on every single time I want to do something, which is what I like. I know everyone has their own preferences.

      • #3272661

        DSL is “always on”

        by uncle opie ·

        In reply to Not all DSL is “always on”

        You just might not be connected…but often your modem will keep you connected.

        If you had a trojan or any program that requests access to the internet that request would be sufficient for the modem to reconnect if it has dropped the connection. The only way to be sure you aren’t connected is to turn the equipment off.

        Also, not all dsl customer’s are pppoe, Sprint had done away with that for their new customers. All new customer’s are pretty much “DHCP” which means all those calls for “what’s my user name & password” go away…mostly anyway.

    • #3100973

      The IT Gap

      by dc guy ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      There’s a big gap between people like you and me who work in IT and the other six billion people on this planet who regard their computers as appliances.

      I can see that using a computer will never be quite as simple and easy as a telephone or cable TV, much less a toaster. Still, there’s no reason that it needs to be much more troublesome than an automobile.

      Driving a car is complicated and the highway system on which it operates is fraught with dangers of many varieties and even more kinds of annoyances. Yet most people only have a few accidents in their lives and everyone understands and makes their own peace with the annoyances. Few drivers ever read anything about cars except enticing ads and the exceedingly rare recall notice.

      Contrast this with computers. People are bombarded with dangers, and new kinds are created so fast that only an IT professional or hobbyist can keep up with them or even understand them. The tools to combat these dangers are intrusive, fallible, and require frequent updates to remain only slightly out of date.

      But worse, much of the worst damage people suffer because of the internet has nothing to do with their own computer and indeed injures people who don’t even own computers–identity theft, muddled bank accounts and academic records, etc. These damages are wrought on computers run by governments and corporations, the ones with the best protection and the most savvy caretakers, not in the dens of AOL customers.

      The mere annoyances perpetrated by computers and the internet are so flagrant that they make driving down a congested freeway into a seven-level parking structure seem like an idyllic pastime from an era when life was blessedly simple. Spam, cookies, lost data, forgotten passwords, corrupted software, websites that only recognize one browser… these things happen to us who have the aptitude, interest, training, and time to keep twiddling our computers for incremental improvements. How is the average citizen expected to cope with them?

      To call people “fat, dumb, and happy” because they are not computer geeks is the worst sort of elitism. And it’s a faux elitism at that.

      And not just because most of us have the social skills of a mole after spending our lives buried under tech manuals with our silicon dream dates. It’s because the reason computers are so annoying and the internet is so dysfunctional in the first place is that our beloved IT “profession” is nothing but a medieval craft rather than a science, people who build software are shamans rather than engineers, and the internet is a stone age artifact that barely works on a good day rather than an infrastructure like plumbing or transportation.

      We have no cause to feel elite and the billions of non-geeks are not going to graciously suffer our attitude–or our products–forever.

      • #3100945

        Thanks for your thoughts

        by ·

        In reply to The IT Gap

        Sorry my fat, dumb, …. comment was mis-understood or probalby mis-stated. I kind of get the feeling that’s the way these ISP view us and want us to view ourselves.

        • #3087987

          No. Its all advertising people that feel that way!

          by mwradio ·

          In reply to Thanks for your thoughts

          Quote from an ad writer shown on PBS,
          “The public are like cockroaches. After awhile they become immune to an approach, so we have to try new and different ideas to sell a product.”

          From one “cockroach” to another, I’d love to step on a few advertising cockroaches. Wouldn’t you?

      • #3273134

        The bigger point is…

        by icubub ·

        In reply to The IT Gap

        The bigger point is would you rather have these users going on the Internet unprotected, spreading virii, acting as DDOS bots or spam relays?

        These ads are total B.S. and are flagrantly arrogant, but at least they are providing some services that most home users ignore. Anyone who has managed e-mail, or the firewall knows how many times the issue has been because of items coming from a home user’s PC/IP address (and knows there’s nothing that can really be done about it but complain to the ISP).

        You want someone to rally against, go after the ISPs. The ISPs should be doing a better job of monitoring their networks and preventing these sort of things in the first place. I know everyone says, “I don;t want my ISP monitoring my traffic, and knowing what I’m doing”, but it would be nice if they could prevent bot traffic, cut down on spam, etc.

        I think most of us understand home users don’t want to know all the ends and outs of their computers, but a little knowledge would help, and ISPs (again) should be doing a better job of educating the home users on the consequences of maintaining an “always on” connection…

      • #3272854


        by lcave ·

        In reply to The IT Gap

        DC Guy,

        This may not be the greatest article I have ever read, but it is close. I completely share your views and wish there were more like you.

        Thank you for sharing your insight!

    • #3100806

      Most people cant be bothered

      by mjwx ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      One of the pet peeves of any IT professional is the user?s attitude of ?I just want it to work?. IMO this attitude is only half the problem, technology that supports this attitude is the other. E.G. ?always on? broadband and advertising campaigns that say that using a computer is as easy as using a toaster and a modem that does not have an on/off switch.

      In Australia we don?t suffer from AOL and ISP?s don?t claim to be secure but, you have to look deep into the doco/website to find the bit that say?s they aren?t. In the standard FAQ page on the website an ISP (in Australia) will tell you to install a firewall and antivirus software but few people look here. Whenever I set up somebody?s broadband I always set up a firewall, virus scanner, and anti spyware. I also have taken to setting up firefox as well.

      Most important is educating the user. I explain to the user how important it is to keep the antivirus updated. If anyone has any tips on how to best educate a user and get them out of this ?It should just work? mentality and make them start thinking about what they are doing it would be appreciated. At least with a car accident there are casualties (glass on the road and sand to cover up blood) but no one gets hurt when a computer crashes (Given MS that?s probably a good thing).

      • #3271666

        What I do

        by ontheropes ·

        In reply to Most people cant be bothered

        When I repair or optimize a customers PC I have a list of all the software, including version number, installed on their PC. Every antispy antivirus program that’s on their PC is on one of mine for support purposes if nothing else.

        I send all of my customers an email every two weeks notifying them what updates are available.

        It has been my policy to give a brief lesson on how to update their software if they pick it up.

        I also provide free, limited, phone support, and unlimited e-mail support to help my customers update their software. This is in addition to placing links to the various help files on their desktop. I also put link to a helpfile I created telling them how to update everything.
        If my customer has a broadband connection I set their programs to autoupdate and make sure they go through the firewall.

        Does everybody update? No. Do I get many phone calls and emails re: updates? No. Do they bring it back to me when they break it? Yes.

      • #3085889

        I agree and I go out to fix

        by jackie40d9 ·

        In reply to Most people cant be bothered

        I go out to the clients place and fix it . . But when I sell it to them I go out and install it and set it up and get it going explan all things like the Firewall and the Anti-Virus and spy bot remover
        to make sure they know what going to come at them when they go on line . . Its one of the reasons I do not have a ga zillion people whom call for tech help
        And the ones on Cable or DSL I try to get them to add a Router in between them and the modem !

    • #3100797

      AOL and adware

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      Hey we are talking about people who have pre-checked optional adware with their bundle. F’ing hypocrites.

    • #3273347

      I have the opposite problem

      by dlarsen625 ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      For 5 years I had an ISP that that no filtering. I managed to protect myself and had absolutely no problems. A year ago I moved and started with a new IPS who assured me that they used no filters. About half of my HTML newsletters are filtered out by the ISP and they claim that to remove the filters would damage their system

      As of Apr 1 they are history!

      • #3273340


        by lederhoden ·

        In reply to I have the opposite problem

        A PC is just like your household. You learn what to do and what not to do – you learn what you can put down the waste disposal and what not to (fingers being one of them). You understand that there are things that need regular maintenance – e.g. if you don’t clean the toilet regularly, it becomes unsanitary. Why can’t people understand that a PC is no different. They do the housekeeping regularly, why can’t they do the same for their computers?

        • #3273139

          Most are just Users

          by comfixer ·

          In reply to Housekeeping

          I also setup users with security software when setting up their PC’s. I often supply them with a CD of programs that they can use, which also has a file that I have written to them stressing the importance of maintaining their security software. The problem is most people don’t want to spend the time on something they are not interested in – until someday it costs them $$$ – I know for a fact, my spouse use’s her PC for a little WEB Browsing. She does not bother to update her AV or periodically run the anti-ad-ware/mal-ware software because it’s not “fun” and takes away from her relaxation time, it’s left upto me to ensure her AV etc is upto date and that her PC is scanned for ad-ware etc on a regular basis – but at a time when she’s doing something else.

          This is the problem with most users – they just want to have fun.

        • #3272944

          I have fun too…

          by thisisfutile ·

          In reply to Most are just Users

          I think comfixer is right. The same reason my wife will never do an Ad-aware update or Norton scan is the same reason I WILL do it…it’s fun. I’ve only been on the internet since ’99 when I bought my first computer (since my C-64) and 7 years later, it’s still just as fun to download an update or new software as it is to diagnose why my mouse isn’t working after the update, etc. It’s just fun to me to figure these things out. I even went back to college at the age of 33 just to get an IT degree, all because it’s fun. No, not sitting in classrooms with teenagers again, but getting more deeply immersed in the field that’s providing a life style for me and my family is exhilarating to me. I think the general end user is going to do exactly what is fun…and for most of us, it’s exactly what we’re complaining that they won’t do…have fun with updates and scanning and changing settings. Even I get frustrated from time-to-time and how much more will they get when all they want to do is go to their ISP?s home page and play games or worse yet, read that attachment that was sent to them by their ?friend?. If nothing else big-name ISP?s are fanning the flame of IT job security or small business demand. I for one am going to take advantage of the demand for my fun. 🙂

        • #3088602

          I hear you

          by dbucyk ·

          In reply to Housekeeping

          I agree 100%. A PC is a machine. And like any machine, it needs regular maintenance to run smoothly.

    • #3273259

      As Long as We’re on Pet Peeves…

      by ground controll ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      The one that gets me the most is the ad on TV for People PC Internet Service! Near the end of their ad they claim that their “Smart Dialer” automatically picks the number with the fastest connection. Now stop me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t a connection have to be made on each of those thousands of lines and run a test on them at the time to tell which one provides the fastest connection?

      Just seems like false advertising to me.

      • #3273882

        …and yet another pet peeve

        by da philster ·

        In reply to As Long as We’re on Pet Peeves…

        Most brand name boxes come with a trial version of popular anti-virus programs.
        6 months down the road, users are screaming that their machines are virus infected. Gee!!
        I think it would be a really good idea if once and for all, the manufacturers would clearly indicate that the “xyz” anti-virus program will stop updating after 3 months (or whatever) and that a subscription is required to have the program remain active and effective. AND to state that if the program is not updated, the machine becomes vulnerable.
        Most often heard user reply: “Well of course I have anti-virus on my machine….the icon for “xyz” is in my task bar.”
        Not every user is a techie. The brand name people sometimes seem to forget that.

    • #3273221


      by rfishpool ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      Our system at home runs AOL, this was my partners choice of isp.
      Pesonally i dislike aol, but have inherited it, since moving in with my partner.
      I was interested to see the spyware discussion.
      How come aol’s ‘superb’ anti spyware detects nothing when run, when ad-aware (which is free) detected 23 items when run this morning?
      This has happened on virtually every occasion that I have run these applications!
      Explain that one AOL!!

      • #3273214

        My Pet Peeve on AOL/Earthlink

        by dark_15 ·

        In reply to aol

        My biggest peeve of them all is how the advertising plays on people’s fears…

        Like oneAOL commercial I remember have all these users in a theatre where they are discussing how many viruses crop up, identity theft is at an all-time high, etc, etc. And the only way to stay safe is with their software…

        I’ve seen their software bring good systems down to its knees, and good luck trying to uninstall it when you switch ISP’s as well…
        I guess when you remove all functionality to the system you do stay secure that way.

      • #3273887

        That’s very simple

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to aol

        some of the ads generate money for them.

        Just after ms put out thyeir firewall, they had to take one vendor’s adware out of their block list. It was a prechecked optional install in the AOL bundle. Tells you everything you need to know about all three of them.

      • #3273877

        False sense of security

        by ni2sml ·

        In reply to aol

        I feel your pain, being in exactly the same situation (not for much longer hopefully – my wife is finally starting to realize how useless AOL is).

        My experience is pretty much identical – AOL’s much-advertized safety and security features are worthless. I don’t even bother with them, but how many typical AOL users know about stuff like Ad-Aware?

        Security fears are being used to sell snake-oil solutions to people who don’t know any better. That’s appalling business ethics and only serves to transform the blissfully unaware user who knows nothing about security into a user who has a false sense of security.

      • #3089870

        I just HAVE to reply to this one..

        by mr. tinker ·

        In reply to aol

        Adding Fuel to the fire… the quote for the year of 2006 ” Follow the Money!” Aol is a HUGE internet advertiser, of course when you sign up and “adjust” your settings to filter out the unwanted garbage, there’s a little “gotcha” that most people don’t read statine that AOL reserves the right to send you email and advertisements
        “time to time” from that THEY feel would enhance your Internet experience.

    • #3273831

      Re: Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      by ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      Users should become educated about their machines and know how to fix/tweak/protect them BUUUUUUUUUT the fact is that they want it “to just work” much like turning on there televisions and their cars. As much as we would all like for people to work on their own machines they are scared they’ll break it. As much as I dislike AOL, their new services have stopped me from having to visit the same person and fix their machine on a semi-monthly basis. 🙂 Now I get an occasional email asking a question.

    • #3273873

      Super Spam

      by mark.runge ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      It seems that too many of the tools that (are meant to) prevent spam still let it through. I get frustrated with the current standards tools in operation by the administrators at my principal workplace which do not have any room for feedback or options for sending in those 60 or so emails weekly that get through the spam filter – I often wonder what the ratio of spam prevented to spam not stopped is? Anyone familiar with a ratio/scorecard like this? Surely this would be the way to set apart one spam filter from another?

      • #3272787

        I know the answer

        by paul_inglis ·

        In reply to Super Spam

        I am an email administrator for a large company – and I have users who will say “I get one or two spams every day, can you stop them?”. When I look at the number of spams we’ve blocked daily for these users it’s anywhere from about 30 to 100. So that’s the kind of ratios a good product should give. (I use Trend IMSS and SPS, and if I had a user who got 60 spams a week I’d be looking for another product; that’s terrible). Other users get virtually no spam (for example, I get about 1 every 12 months to my business address) and you know why? Because you shouldn’t spray your business email address over the internet! That’s why you get spammed, you know…

        If you wondering why my employer’s anti-spam software can’t be modified to block the small amount that does get through – well, my business doesn’t want to pay the extra money for that. So next time you blame the system administrator for not being able to block spam, you might want to find out who’s holding the purse strings in your company. Systems Administrators are not software developers and cannot come up with an anti-spam solution to order. And you know what, most of the major anti-spam vendors can’t do any better either despite revenues in the billions of dollars. Your email account is being targeted by organised crime (spammers), do not give out your email address to anyone you don’t know! Prevention is always better than cure.

      • #3272772

        Spam blocked to received ratio

        by mjwx ·

        In reply to Super Spam

        last month (jan 06) our exchange server with eTrust SCM (Secure Content Manager) blocked 11394 and let through 253. Although in four months of operation the amount of spam we received has increased 5 times while the amount of spam let through has increased accordingly.

        I personally dont like SCM. Its a pain in the ass _to configure but it works. SCM is designed for large corperations not small to medium businesses (like where I work).

    • #3273157

      It’s part of micro$oft business plans

      by pmwpaul ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      The security industry will be going the way of the browsers; microsoft will include security as part of the operating system and charge for it.

      Right now the anti-virus industry is dependant on microsoft for the securtiy api. And since they design, code and OWN the api, everybody has to follow. It’s currently playing right now. Microsoft is developing their anti-virus and will incorporate it along with a new api in the new operating system. Their api will be designed to work well with the microsoft patents and everybody else will have to adapt to it with work-arounds, fixes, etc… but they won’t work as well because it’s designed that way. If you want your security to work as well or better than microsoft’s, then you’ll have to follow an already patented road which microsoft won’t allow for free.

      So, why pay for McAfee or Symentec anti-virus when microsoft’s is included FREE in the OS?

    • #3273136

      Amen to DRW

      by deadrun ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      Truth in Advertising is supposed to be an enforceable law but I guess the enforcers own Earthlink and AOL stock. Earthlink is my ISP and complaining to them about spam is like talking to a bureaucrat. All you get is the run around. Another problem I have encountered is on the other end of the spectrum. My Gateway, 2 years old, automatically reboots. They gave me a new mother board when the warranty was almost expired but that didn’t fix the problem. To me, (faulty) equipment is as much a problem as the spam, etc. Anybody else have this problem?

    • #3273063

      AOL anti-spam doesn’t work

      by rlambert1 ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      AOL’s attempt at protecting its customers from SPAM is pretty lame and annoying. I will get a window that says AOL has detected potential SPAM. I have to go check it out. About 1/4 of what I find there is not SPAM. Half of it I have to tell it that it is not SPAM so I can see for myself because they chop off so much of the subject line (they say they are “protecting” you by doing that) you can’t tell what the email it is.

      Before anti-SPAM functionality I found it rather easy to quickly delete emails that were obviously SPAM

      • #3088517

        AOL AntiSpyware doesn’t work either

        by denbrown ·

        In reply to AOL anti-spam doesn’t work

        I have just had to clean a laptop that had 4 virus infections, and umpteen spyware infections because the AOL software had not updated itself since 2004. I don’t know if newer versions now do this as I really dislike AOL so do not use it myself, but to put software on that regular users do not know how to update, and doesn’t do it automatically is VERY short sighted. Nice work AOL

    • #3273050


      by bobhaines1 ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      I use Yahoo Mail for the last 5 years. They do an excelent job at removing spam as long as you indicate to them when the spam comes in. I get zero to two spam a day. It averages closer to zero. If spam comes in, I hit the spam button and it is gone.

      All attachments are virus checked going out and coming in.

      • #3272658

        works for me also

        by uncle opie ·

        In reply to YahooMail

        I go days and weeks without spam in my yahoo email, I always mark the smart guy that gets through as spam that seems to keep them under control, I have yahoo delete all spam immediately so i don’t even have to take out the trash. Nice!!!

    • #3272977

      Right on! I laff evertime I see those commercials!

      by lando56 ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      I helped out a friend of mine on AOL with “spam’ protection, etc. etc. etc. Of course she was ‘safe’. Well, I ran Ad Aware just once and caught 288 instances that AOL completely ignored. Not all of it may have been dangerous, but it was still spy/adware and shouldn’t had been on there… according to the company.

    • #3272975

      Not an AOL fan, but…

      by jdgretz ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      For some people, it’s not a bad solution, and if you turn on all the security stuff(tm) (which is MacAfee) and stay within AOLs environment, then you are pretty secure. Sure, you get AOLs spam, but that’s the price you pay for them providing you with this integrated InterNet experience.

      Personally, I don’t like it – never have, probably never will, but for some of my “little old ladies” who don’t want to become that computer literate and simply want to read email, see pictures of their grandkids and book flights to visit kids and grandkids, why can’t the computer just work when they turn it on?

      Earthlink? My girlfriend uses Earthlink. They don’t do a bad job of running interference on SPAM and the like, but as anyone who has had to constantly tweek enterprise SPAM filters knows, it’s almost a full time job to keep up with those folks and their misspellings.

      Another problem is one man’s spam is another man’s news letter. Example – the monthly newsletter I get from a gentleman who keeps us retired Army Officers informed of important information is blocked by AOL because he sends this newsletter to several thousand AOL subscribers. By AOLs filters, a single message to that many users is obviously SPAM and needs to be blocked. AOL does not offer a way to opt-in to that particular newsletter, thus their members are missing vital information.

      I don’t have a good answer to all the questions raised. I get a lot of SPAM through my ISP, but filter it on my end. Is it the best solution? Don’t know, but I do know it’s the only one that works for me at the moment – but I’m always in the market for a better solution.


      • #3272902

        Good Spam Filter

        by macwizrd ·

        In reply to Not an AOL fan, but…

        A good spam filter to look at is Qurb. I believe it costs about $19.99/yr. It works a lot like the filter in Outlook 2003. I have not needed it since I have updated all of my computers in the org. to Outlook 2003 and I also use the Postini service which is excellent for a business or even an ISP.

    • #3272875

      BT Bullshit

      by dotxen ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      BT, here in the UK, are running one of those cheesy adverts that tell the great British public just how safe they are if they sign up to a BT DSL connection and, by definition, how totally stupid and irresponsible they are to sign up to any other company’s services. They call it secure Broadband, as that is the name that the public have been trained to understand as a ‘special’ connection to the Internet. If you use the DSL acronym, you get nowhere, however accurate iit might be.

      On both counts BT is putting out the usual tacky bullshit designed to take the gullible’s ?ounds.

      BT cannot guarantee any kind of security when someone is surfing around crack sites, porn or warez web sites. But, people sign up and then, after a few days, wonder why their DSL Internet connection is crawling and their PC is limping and straining just to get Notepad on the screen.

      What can yuh do? Tell the truth might be a good start, and stop calling DSL Broadband to cussion the technology blow. No wonder we have a nation of ludites.

    • #3272666

      Too many people are ignorant.

      by uncle opie ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      I come in contact daily with people who

      1. are totally uneducated about computers & the internet. They just want to surf and read their email.

      2. refuse to pay 1 penny for anything whether it be a song, or anti-spyware or anti-virus software.

      3. just don’t think it can happen to them and don’t believe it when it does.

      I am sure there are more things that could be added to the list but some people don’t have the knowledge, understanding, or refuse for one reason or another to protect themselves.

      I am sure the attempts by AOL and Earthlink are self-preservation attempts because the customer’s rarely blame themselves for the lack of proper protection and more often blame the internet service provider because they can’t get online. The big risk of AOL and other companies saying you are protected is that sooner or later someone is going to get a virus and pay a couple hundred dollars to clean up their computer and then sue the isp for failure to protect their computer. What a ball of worms that will be, Ollie!

      John Dvorak said one time people should be licensed and he had a point. But, as the phone & cable companies struggle to gain market share and keep their customers they are pushing to get more & more people to sign up for the internet. The geeks and proficient users already have done so. The market is the rest of the people. The situation can only deteriorate until the people are protected from their ignorance and the evil of some of the people on the internet who ruin it for all of us.

    • #3272657

      spammers have gotten much smarter

      by ijusth1 ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      I have no clue how to fix this problem personally … I am now constantly getting email from random names (so name blocking won’t work), with random subject lines (so subject filtering won’t work) and the ads are pictures that are hyperlinks to a site 9so filtering on text in the body of the letter won’t work). These a-holes make it impossible to track back since they hide their mailboxes. When these IP companies find a way to block this garbage only then will I be impressed.

      • #3272642

        ISP will never wake up to the ping system

        by abobble2 ·

        In reply to spammers have gotten much smarter

        Am i wrong to think that isp could ping and incoming email to see if it comes from a legitimate address, before letting it thru.?????

      • #3272583

        it’s not hard

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to spammers have gotten much smarter

        to trace the originating email address.
        check this blog entry:

        the very last line is the originating email and reply to email address, when you view all email as plain text, with no rendering of html content you easily get the data.

      • #3088165

        Filtering CAN work!

        by ground controll ·

        In reply to spammers have gotten much smarter

        Keep your filtering up… it can weed out most of the spam. One filter I’ve set up that gets about 75% of all the spam I was receiving is “Overseas” in the header. I found it hard to believe but yes… 75% of my spam was coming from outside the US. Now, set up other filters for “presc”, “penis”, “Stock Alert”, “Mortgage”, “Rolex” and you’ll catch nearly all the rest. Out of over 400 emails a week, maybe 1 or 2 spams slip through my filters.

    • #3272570

      Thats why we have jobs I think

      by garion11 ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      Really…if it wasn’t for the ignorant, stupid, unintelligent, incompetent, and lazy when it comes to learning about technology guys like us wouldn’t have jobs…if you think about it.

      So I salute the cubicle hugger who still has no clue that he should doubleclick on an icon after 20 years of doing it, I salute the porn addict who thinks any window that pops on his computer is…well..FREE porn and proceeds to go ahead and install it for like the 100th time, I salute that chick who has no idea that Right click does not mean you should write “click”. I salute all the dumbasses of the world who God in his infinite wisdom put on this planet so guys like us have jobs and etc, etc, etc…Woo HOO!!

      After all who would want smart users…?

    • #3087994

      AOL – An over view from experience.

      by mwradio ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      At least for the “average” home user there ARE good things to be said about thier SpyWare detector. It seems to be a good product. I still would back its use up with occasional scans with Ad-aware and Spybot Search and Destroy, because of AOL’s tendency to embrace certain advertisers, but it IS a real time defender and catches MOST things.

      The McAfee virus scan is another story. It requires a fast machine (over 1 GHz to work if you ask me, see below) and even then it slows the machine noticeably. I didn’t try the firewall because they wanted more money for it. I recommend Zone Alarms free if a person is savy enough to set it up. If not they are better off paying for Zone Alarms Pro which auto-configures than going with the AOL firewall in my opinion.

      I had a bad time with AOL’s companion piece McAfee VirusScan8. It claims to be able to run on a 133Mhz. I would love to see that just for a laugh. I recently spent my spare time for a week figuring out that my friends 300Mhz AMD had come to a screeching halt because of the McAfee and there was nothing AOL or McAfee was willing/able to do about it. It is a HORRIBLE machine hog! I lucked out in that I got a 1.3 GHz Intel to work on at the same time that need to be reloaded anyway. When I tried it on there, THAT machine took THREE MINUTES LONGER to boot than usual and was noticebly slower than before! Since then I have met another person using it on a 1.8 GHz Intel laptop with the same complaint. After this experience, I don’t care how good there definitions are I can’t/won’t use/recommend McAfee. If any has any info on thier other products I will listen, But will remain sceptical.

      • #3087963


        by ben “iron” damper ·

        In reply to AOL – An over view from experience.

        Well here in my Coroporate enviorment we run McAfee 8.0 on all workstations, laptops, and servers. They range from as low as 400mhz up to 3gig in processor speed and we have NEVER had an issue with performance while running McAfee.
        Possibly you need to check your scanning or lack of scanning exclusions or worse your machines are full of adware\spyware already -)

        • #3087709

          Thanks for your reply but….

          by mwradio ·

          In reply to Okay

          This was VirusScan 8.0 supplied by AOL thru McAfee. Is VirusScan 8.0 what you have at work? Maybe the enterprise versions are different?

          The thread was about AOL/Earthlink. My comment still stands. This was set at the minmum scanning level as recomended by McAfee (Program files and documents only). I didn’t set any extra exclusions. This is the way any other AOL user is going to use it. So if you have inside information on what exclusions to set to solve the problem, that half an hour with a live tech from McAfee didn’t reveal, please share!
          And no the 300MHz AMD was not, and as far as I know never was infested/infected. I scanned it with several online scanners, plus Ad-Aware, Spybot Search and Destroy, Hi-jack This, BHO demon, as part of my original work trying to find out what was hosing the machine. Found nothing! After all that I even took the hard drive out of the machine and let Norton look at it on mine. Nothing! I did not have the 1.8 Intel in my possession to check so I can’t say about its status as far as Spyware but McAfee is supposed to have made sure it was Virus free wasn’t it? -) McAfee did find one virus on the 1.3 and I had already cleaned it of spyware when I put the McAfee on it as a test.

          I did find references to other people complaining about their machines being slow. Just Google AOL McAfee slow, you’ll see what I mean. Representitive sample:

          Similar problem here–AOL 9 SE.

          Slow to open, sometimes, not always, slow to close. Bogs down machine while doing either (and this is separate from how spyzapper slows things down AFTER the load.)

          I also have McAfee–and it’s the McAfee I get included with my AOL, so one would think that there shouldn’t be conflicts there, right?

          As I only use AOL for legacy mail, I don’t need it most of the time so I just don’t open it–but it’s a pain.

          Anybody got ideas? (Other than lose AOL, which would also cause many problems e-mail wise, or use, because you don’t have the mail file cabinet there….)



          Go back to standard AOL9. The SE version eats resources and is full of bugs. It’s slow because it has so much to do on start up. You are much better without it!

          (MW back again) I’m here to tell everyone experiencing this that, it is NOT AOL 9.0SE that is the problem it is that McAfee VirusScan 8! After I removed it, and put on AVG, her machine WAS BACK TO NORMAL! Sorry Ben -)

    • #3088854

      Why should we need to filter etc?

      by dpjeffries ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      Why should we need to filter or have antispam etc software? As far as I?m concerned those people can be hanged. They are leaches on the internet and cost us all in productivity, inflate the cost of internet by using resources and requiring larger systems then would otherwise be needed.

      I don?t want mail/messages from strangers and businesses I don?t use and most that I do use.
      It takes my time and money to get rid of the junk let alone the PC resources to prevent unwanted software from taking over my system. Thanks to Microsoft for that feature.

      What?s wrong with down loading a file then being required to click on it to install the package. I would rather that then have the possibility that software can be installed without my knowledge.

      These people, if they be spammers or virus writers have no regard for other peoples property or privacy and once caught should never be allowed on the net again.

    • #3088823

      This guy knows.

      by nz_justice ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      • #3088740

        Shoot the Messenger !

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to This guy knows.

        Utilty to shutdown the windows messenger service.
        Wow why didn’t I think of that. I stopped the service down and made it manual , silly me.

        What’s his next development

        Go to bed, a powerful utility to shutdown your machine ?

      • #3085051

        Don’t disable netbios over tcp ip.

        by nz_justice ·

        In reply to This guy knows.

        If you download noshare.exe make sure you download letshare.exe. noshare.exe disables netbios which allows you to connect to the to network. so you won’t be able to run DHCP Client or repair your net connection.

    • #3088643

      Same here

      by dbucyk ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      Yes, all of us would like a magic solution to combat adware, malware, spam, and viruses. The reality is there isn’t a single solution and that stand-alone freeware software has been developed to combat these problems.

      It’ll take the user to educate theirself on how to surf the web safer. They’ll still have to run these tools and keep them up-to-date, but then that’s the type of society we live in.

      It seems lately, more and more of my technical support has been to these type of threats.

      To educate yourself and your web surfing will be alot easier to manage.

    • #3089959

      Lederhoden… Uncle Opie…

      by dc guy ·

      In reply to Virus, spam & spyware, oh my.

      First, thanks to all of you who praised my original comment (#6, The IT Gap). I’ve even been getting personal e-mail from some of you. Sorry I don’t write back, but I work for one of those companies with a policy that I always represent them even when off duty. It’s a very good company so I don’t mind having to stick to my pseudonym.

      It’s easy for me to look at the world through the eyes of a non-geek because even though I’ve been in IT since the 1960s, I lost my enthusiasm for hands-on technical work a long time ago. I want my computer to be an appliance, not a toy or a hobby or a laboratory prototype, so I have a Mac at home.

      Lederhoden, why aren’t people like you in charge of the world? Your posting was succinct and persuasive. A computer is a machine and machines need maintenance. Still… The two most complicated and troublesome machines in my house are probably the treadmill and the central vacuum, and they need fiddling less than once every two years.

      As for the machines outside the house… a defect in my car could be deadly, yet even it doesn’t require as much attention as a Windows computer. Of course it’s an ancient diesel Mercedes, the automotive equivalent of a Macintosh.

      Uncle Opie: You should read my original post. People who don’t even OWN a computer are nonetheless having their lives ruined by them due to scourges like identity theft and automated bureaucracy. If not even allowing one of the blasted things past your doorstep can’t protect you from them, what is a poor non-geek supposed to do???

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