The problem with Internet security nowadays is largely in part because people do not know how to update their computers. I fix computers as a side job, and you’d be surprised that many people have told me they don’t click the Microsoft gold shield in their system tray because there is a virus going around. What absolute ignorance. The Gold shield will update your computer to protect you as much as possible with critical updates. I am continuously flabbergasted with genuine stupidity. The default setting in all MS Windows products should be to automatically install updates, because the general public simply does not understand the importance of keeping their software shiny new.
Every time you see the gold shield in the bottom right hand corner of your computer, it is your obligation to click it and process the updates. As a Windows user, if you have a virus, a Trojan, or anything in between you are contributing to the massive problems that plague the Internet nowadays. Spam, phishing and lots of other things are predominantly broadcast from exploited machines.
Recent exploits in old versions of Internet Explorer have resurfaced this very issue of security.
“Symantec has conducted further tests and confirmed that it affects Internet Explorer versions 6 and 7,” the company wrote on its Web site Saturday. “We expect that a fully-functional reliable exploit will be available in the near future.”[Source]
People have relatively new installations of Windows Vista and they are using Internet Explorer 6 and 7. Why? There is Internet Explorer 8? “Ohhh, I don’t like the new version”, they say. But the new version is more secure, and more up to date. Get used to change; accept change for the better. It is necessary.
There is another major problem. PC manufacturers like to sell antivirus software packages. They preinstall them on machines, and give 60 free trials, and then expect people to pay the subscription fees to keep them active. This is absurd. Who in their right mind will pay those fees? By far the vast majority of people do not pay those fees and are using high vulnerable, non up to date software. This is a shame because AVG, and other companies, offer free anti virus that is continuously updated! Yes, I said continuously updated. New updates are issued all the time for free; do you understand free does not cost money?
If you are using a Windows computer update your antivirus right now. Do the world a favor and remove that botnet from your computer. Stop sending out mass spam emails right now. Run S right now. Install it from www.spybot.com. Install the apps, update them, then reboot your computer in safe mode. Hold f8 when your booting and select safe mode! Run AVG, then Spybot, then AVG, and Spybot again. Clean your machine now!
Now this will take some time to clean your virus infested Windows machine thoroughly. Maybe a day or two. Maybe you will have to reinstall the entire OS alltogether. Either do this now, or download Ubuntu and never think about antivirus again.