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The Internet, like so many other things today, is both a wonderful and a very dangerous place. Unfortunately the arrival of super worms in late
2002 has made the Internet far more dangerous than it ever was before.
Now Rootkits have become increasingly popular. Rootkits are the ultimate in stealth attack software and the most difficult malicious programs ever
to detect. Worse yet, starting sometime in the spring of 2005, Sony BMG Music® irresponsibly placed poorly coded Rootkit technology on their audio
CDs and this has created a VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.
In a very short period of time, you can learn almost anything on any subject in the world. You can work from home, send text, graphics, sound and
videos to friends and relatives and easily have audio - video conferences. You can also purchase goods and services, pay your bills on-line, file
your income tax and reconcile your bank accounts. But there is a serious dark side.
The way the Internet works is that when you visit a web page, no matter how you located it, the remote server (computer) for that web page
downloads the code and pictures particular to that web page. Other pages on that particular web site have different code and pictures. Other web sites
have different servers and the process repeats again. This is where your problems will start. Worse yet, there are other robot computer programs, "bots",
continuously roaming the Internet looking for an open and unprotected connection to someone's computer so they can download and thus infect it with
a virus, worm, trojan and\ or other malware risk. Time until they find you on the Internet? Less than 2 seconds.
Your computer can easily catch a virus and your data and/ or hardware can be destroyed. Ransomware and Phishing have also become more
prevalent and malicious.
- The fraudulent practice of sending e-mails purporting to be from some legitimate companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal,
financial or other confidential information from Internet users.
 - Rogue computer malware which holds a computer system, or the data it contains, hostage against its user by demanding a
financial ransom.
W32.Qakbot and many newer worms can enter your computer through your web browser and it is possible to activate some viruses simply by visiting a
web site or by reading or previewing an E-mail message in the Microsoft preview or reading panes. Worse yet, many
trojan horse viruses
massively invasive and are designed to provide the hacker controlling the trojan with an unbelievable amount of information about you and your computer.
This can include a complete file inventory, total file access and real-time keyboard keystroke logging. If this happens, you might as well have the hacker
standing right behind you, watching and recording your every move. Secure or encrypted web sites mean nothing here as your keyboard is being logged.
The purpose of a trojan is to provide the hacker with every piece of important information he/ she can learn about you and your family including all
passwords, bank card numbers, bank account numbers, PIN numbers, credit card numbers, frequent flier card numbers, employee numbers, utility
account numbers, Social Security Numbers and Social Insurance Numbers. This is one way a hacker can steal your identity and your money. Even worse,
a hacker can actually turn your computer into a (hidden from you) illegal server on the Internet. If this happens and in extreme cases, you could actually
end up being charged with a serious crime and find yourself facing serious criminal prosecution. Protect yourself and contact us if you need some fast and
easy training.
A -
The Norton Symantec Present Internet Threat Level
               Norton Symantec Internet Threat Level - October 14, 2017
                         ( Level 2 - Elevated - All Viruses and Risks )
B -
How to Clear Your DNS Cache
Your DNS cache stores the locations (IP addresses) of web servers that contain pages which you have recently viewed. If the location of the web server
changes before the entry in your DNS cache updates, you will be unable to access the site. If you encounter a large number of HTML 404 error codes,
you may need to clear your DNS cache. Once you clear your DNS cache, your computer will query name-servers for the new DNS information. The
following methods will allow you to remove old and inaccurate DNS information that may result in 404 errors.
Windows 8
Press Win+X to open the WinX Menu.
Right-click on Command Prompt (The
Command Prompt
 is found in
) and if necessary select
Run as Administrator
Type the following command and press Enter: ipconfig /flushdns
If the command was successful, you will see the following message:,
Windows IP configuration successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.
Windows 7
Click the Start button.
Enter command in the Start menu search field.
Right-click on Command Prompt (The
Command Prompt
 is found in
)and if necessary select
Run as Administrator
Type the following command and press Enter:
ipconfig /flushdns
If the command was successful, you will see the following message:
Windows IP configuration successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.
Windows XP, 2000, and Vista
Click the Start button. On the Start menu, click Run....
If you do not see the Run command in Vista, enter run in the Search bar.
Type the following command in the Run text box: i
pconfig /flushdns
C -
How to Clear Your Temp Files
When one clicks on the Start button, a small window opens on the bottom left hand side of the screen and the Run command is on the right hand side of
that window. Clicking on the Run command brings up a smaller window where you type in the command you wish to run. If the run command is not there:
Right Click on the Start button.
Select Properties | Start Menu
Select Customize
Scroll Down and click on Run or perhaps Run Command
Click OK and on the second screen, click Apply and then OK
The window will close and the Run command will now show in your Start Menu as described above.
Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7
Close all running programs. Click the Start button.
Click on the Run Command.
Type in %temp% in the Open box and press OK
The temp folder will open and then highlight and delete everything in that folder.
Note- There will be one or two files, depending on the programs already installed on your computer, of zero size that cannot be deleted. That is OK so
just skip those ones that your computer says cannot be deleted.
D -
Windows XP Is Obsolete
Sometime back, Microsoft announced that the last day for XP support will be April 08, 2014. Microsoft support is in the fashion of monthly updates
(Second Tuesday of each month.) generally for security breaches that hackers have found previously. These breaches or "cracks" do not have to
be embedded in viruses but rather can be set up to just jump to your computer from an E-mail or by just visiting some web page. They can of course do
devastating damage to your computer software or hardware and sometimes can even allow remote access to your computer by certain individuals. You
therefore have some serious decisions to make.
i) If this is your only or one of a few XP computers connected to the Internet, replace and destroy them prior to April 08, 2014.
ii) If you need to keep one or more XP computers on your local area network after April 08, 2014, prevent them from connecting to the Internet.
If you elect to keep running your XP computer(s) please be aware that you can still update other Microsoft software installed on those computers by using
your existing Microsoft XP update software.
It has long been known that certain web sites, mostly adult, can infect a viewer's computer just by visiting them. The introduction of the proactive
Microsoft Research Branch®
Strider HoneyMonkey Exploit Detection System®
 has now turned up some very interesting facts as follows:
(1) That most of these malicious web pages are part of adult web sites so STAY AWAY from all of them!
(2) That many of the people who coded these malicious web sites are in contact with others who also write malicious code on their web sites. They then
refer viewers to each others web sites which generally contain different malicious code.
(3) That some of the more obscure search engines contain malicious code so STAY WITH the big search engines such as Google® or Yahoo®!
(4) That some of the more obscure free software download web sites have malicious code built in to the downloads so if you don't get them from our web
site, STICK WITH the big download web sites such as Tucows®, CNET® or with reputable company web sites that offer free software of their own design.
(5) That they found at least one exploit which, although secretly known to Microsoft, had never been patched thereby making Internet Explorer® totally
vulnerable to that exploit. Thus all the more reason to use the Firefox® web browser or the Linux® operating system. Please note however that both have
become popular and both are beginning to be attacked more often.
October 14, 2017
If you are not using Firefox® as your default browser, you should DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL IT RIGHT NOW. You should only use Internet Explorer®
for updating Windows®. You will be far, far safer.
One important point with Firefox 56.x®. Once you have it installed, go to; "TOOLS | OPTIONS | PRIVACY" and make sure "Accept third-party cookies" is
selected as"Never". Likewise make sure that "Keep until: I close Firefox®" is selected and then click "OK "
The HEARTBLEED security bug affects computer servers on the Web and because of that, can seriously affect you. It attacks the open source SSL
(Secure Socket Layer) software which displays as https on the address line of your browser and thus gives you a now false sense of security for your
financial and other important transactions. Instead the HEARTBLEED security bug, allowed visitors to have their usernames, passwords, credit card
numbers and other sensitive data stolen.
If you really want to understand the Heartbleed security bug, we suggest you go to the CNET web address The Heartbleed Security Bug
Many companies have already patched their SSL software and the top 100 are at this CNET web address Patched Web Sites
To protect yourself:
                    -  Do not log into accounts from afflicted sites until you're sure the company has patched the problem.
                    -  Once you've got confirmation of a security patch, change the passwords for your sensitive accounts.
                    -  Don't be shy about reaching out to small businesses that have your data.
                    -  Keep a close eye on your financial statements for the next few days.
Flame, also known as Flamer, sKyWIper, and Skywiper, is modular, remotely controlled, malware discovered in May 2012. Presently, it attacks computers
running the Microsoft Windows operating systems.
It is an uncharacteristically large program for malware at 20 megabytes. Moreover is "smart" in that can be remotely augmented with up to about 20
intelligent "add-on" modules that can swapped in and out at will. These perform many functions including the following:
                      -  Take screen shots of your communications such as E-mail and instant message programs.
                      -  Secretly turn on your webcam and internal microphone to allow recording of phone conversations from Skype and other audio programs
                         plus conversations near enough or loud enough for your computer to record them.
                      -  Remotely look through your webcam.
                      -  If your computer is Bluetooth enabled, it will turn your computer into a Bluetooth beacon allowing it to discover other nearby Bluetooth
                         enabled devices such as phones. It will then siphon off any and all contact information from those phones.
                      -  Of course it will also perform those standard functions that normal criminal malware will do such as steal passwords and data but
                         Flame also has a definite penchant for AutoCAD drawings.
The program was believed to initially target cyber espionage in Middle Eastern countries such as Israel, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
The victims so far include government organizations, educational institutions and some private individuals.
It is also believed that Flame is the handiwork of a nation state similar in concept to the Stuxnet malware that was built by the United States to temporarily
infect the (U-235/ U-238 natural uranium mixture to highly enriched U-235 uranium) separation centrifuges in Iran.
The only to protect yourself is to to update your antivirus and Windows software manually every time you turn on your computers. We do! It only takes a
We are all familiar with the simple, standard browser cookies that some web sites place on your computer and then later read, modify and re-store on
your computer the next time you visit that very same web site. Later, other more malicious web cookies were developed and these were called "Tracking
Cookies". "Tracking Cookies" monitor your browsing habits on the Internet and then report that information to someone. These cookies are considered
spyware and that is why it is so important to clean out all the browser cookies on your computer every week.
Well those were the good old days because today, more than half of the major web sites in the world are using Adobe Flash generated "Flash Cookies".
These cookies are very sticky, contain a great deal of information about you and no scan will find them on your computer. More worrisome is the fact that
almost all web sites using Flash Cookies do not advise you that they are identifying you that way.
So then just how do we get rid of these pesky Flash Cookies? Well, we have to go to the Adobe Web Site Storage Settings Panel on the Internet to do it.
We suggest you clean them out about once a week. Just one more thing to worry about.
In the newer Microsoft Operating Systems of Windows 7, Windows Vista and above there is an option to show a "Gadget" sidebar vertically on the right
hand side of the screen. However, it has recently been discovered that the "Gadget" sidebar actually contains serious vulnerabilities and thus Microsoft
has retired this feature in the newer releases of Windows. "Gadgets" can be exploited to harm your computer and access your computer's files.
Windows 8.1 and above come with large numbers of built in apps which are far superior to the older "Gadgets".
When it comes to Wi-Fi encryption systems classes, Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is now so badly broken that anyone in the world, armed with the
latest free and readily Internet downloaded WEP cracking tools, can crack the WEP encryption key on a WEP encryption network in about one minute.
As of right now, Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) is the only safe Wi-Fi encryption systems class. Any version is adequate. UPGRADE YOUR ROUTER
The Yahoo Toolbar is one of the absolute worst pieces of supposedly " conventional software " we have stumbled across in many years. It displays
many of the attributes of a virus rather than normal software. For example:
- It will change your home page to Yahoo and will not allow you to change it again.
- It is quite difficult to uninstall resulting in some situations where a where a Microsoft rollback to an earlier time is necessary.
- It will provide uncommanded sidebar advertisements.
In our opinion, this toolbar is a dangerous piece of software and should NEVER, EVER be installed.
Stewart-Hay Associates has more than seventeen years of intensive experience with the Internet and is very pleased to provide others with the
information on how to properly use this astounding collection of worldwide computers. We won't flood you with computer jargon that you might not
understand or even care about and we give you lessons in the privacy of your own home, at your own speed and, on your own computer. Our service
actually evolved from people asking us to help them often after they had had some kind of bad experience on the Internet.
We have found that everyone is at a different level of understanding and thus our goal is to make you as Internet streetwise as possible and thus, totally
secure. We also encourage you to ask all the questions you want during the lesson because this is one of the ways you really begin to learn. Just review
the pop-up list below and see if there are areas you would like to learn more about.
We usually start each lesson by using your computer as a demonstration device and we recommend that you to take notes as we go over the information
in the lesson. We then ask you to sit at your computer and, with the help of your notes, recreate the training session. This is way we are sure that you
have not been swamped by the information presented.
                                                                              A typical lesson is one hour or more in length.
                                                                           We do not provide lessons for Apple® Computers.