Computer Security Alerts

I’ll list this these two points both other the heading of computer security alerts.  Even though they are quite different, the point is — BE CAREFUL!

1. I’ve told you before about a malware bug that can infect your computer called Anti Virus 360. I dealt with a few clients last summer who had this problem and just worked with one recently. It took me 5 hours to reformat their hard drive, reinstall Windows and critical programs. I was actually able to save a lot of time on that job because I had important updates and other programs saved on to my flash disk. The terms virus, spyware and malware all represent different threats to your computer — but without getting too technical just know that they are bad news for your Windows based computer. If a simple scan by software you already have cannot take care of these pests, you will likely need a visit from a computer professional like myself.  Do not click on ANY pop-ups claiming to do a security check or scan of your computer – if they are not related to the security package you already have installed. What got some people so confused about Anti Virus 360, is that Symantec actually has a LEGIT security suite on the market called Norton 360.  They two are completely unrelated.

On the bright side, if you are fed up with Windows and ready for a new computer — take a look at the new and improved Mac Mini. It runs a fast Intel Core Duo processor, has an updated video card, and is still the most attractive desktop on the market. Keep your existing USB Mouse and keyboard and monitor, if you want. Price: $599.99. Check it out here.

2. Beware of unbelievably low prices on laptops.   Dell and other retailers like Radio Shack have started to offer smaller ‘netbook’ style laptops (and some regular laptops) at prices under $200.   All is not what it seems.   These portables are subsidized by an AT&T wireless Internet plan at a cost of $60 per month.   These Internet plans have a 2 year contract requirement.  You will end up paying about $1500 for a device that would usually cost $400.   Netbooks, stripped down laptops that offer Internet / email and basic word processing, are becoming more and more popular.   They are most appropriate for younger children or people with basic needs on a budget.   Asus and Dell produce very nice offerings in this product category.   However, you do not need to buy a wireless data plan to get them.   Did I tell you that the internet plan is not unlimited?   Now I did!

In times of opportunity, there will always be scams.