Need help staying safe, viruses, hackings, etc. Newbie here.

IrateConsumer

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Feb 2, 2017
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I don't know where to post this... but I have quite a few questions....

As the name suggests, I am pretty irate. Why? Simply because I've gone through quite a few computers and I end up getting viruses, hacked or other issues. While I am not the most tech-savvy person out there... I am at least more savvy than say your average grandparents?

Now I've gone through ransomware so bad that the computer wouldn't start up normally and it couldn't be deleted (I had my dad look at it as he is more savvy than I am)....

Now the thing is I don't get why people go through so much trouble just to mess with other peoples computer? What do you even gain from all of this asides irritating people?

Then there's people who claim to be hackers which I somewhat doubt, but then at the same time I am still careful.

Is there any full proof protection for the average joe who has minimum knowledge of computers? From say things like viruses, malware, hackers, etc?

I am annoyed as hell because these things are expensive and often times I have to set a budget to it because I know sooner or later some dirt bag is going to mess with it somehow or another.

I've gone through 3-4 computers so far and this one has lasted me the longest... about 2-3 years... But even then I get viruses on it, hacked accounts, and other random issues.

The protection I use is malwarebytes, adwarecleaner, registrycleaner and some file called jrt... Before I used avast thinking it would be the best thing ever.... but it wasn't. I even used the premium versions on it.

Now I have to use adblock, noscript, ghostery, and avoid certain sites.

But a lot of sites constantly whine about using adblockers because of the revenue. Which I somewhat understand, it costs to keep things running smoothly. But what happens when those ads you allow happen to carry viruses, malware, etc.

The way I see it, ads are viruses waiting to happen. I think I'd rather pay a small -small- fee to just keep the site going without ads or other hidden stuff...

Like I said, I am not as tech savvy as a lot of you on here. I tried learning more about computers but it's annoying.

I use things like ghostery because the whole thing about having people constantly spy on my history is kind of annoying.

I honestly think they should find a way to hold hackers, and companies that use these kind of tactics responsible. Even if it's said in their TOS, certain things shouldn't be done.

I wish there were stronger laws regarding internet safety, privacy, etc.

I am here because my laptop has been randomly freezing, and either the screen stays the same but you cant interact, or the screen goes black(basically its like no power goes to the screen)... and a lot of the times I think it was due to overheating but I have had a fan running under the laptop(the things you put under), and next to it I have a personal fan directed at the laptop and sometimes I feel it overheats.

I look at my task manager and I see that firefox is taking a big load on the cpu... or memory.

I admit I tend to have quite a few tabs open most of the times, but even when I have only 1-2 tabs open and only another program like skype running it still freezes.

This is all random.

I am eventually probably going to get a new laptop, but all of these things having to do with hacking, viruses, etc. are making me angry. It's a lot of money being wasted.

At different points I even had paid subscriptions for anti-viruses programs, and they tend to grab most things but not all- and the ones that go through are the most damaging of all!

What's the point of an anti-virus if it doesn't do its job? Again it's a lot of money to pay for something like that only to have it mess up.

Is there -any- way to keep your computer safe while browsing the internet? Whether your on a forum, on a shopping site, on a video site, even on an a higher risk site like adult sites?

It's not like I am trying to browse the deep web or anything stupid...

Sorry for venting a bit, just want to find some answers to these questions that I keep trying to solve.

P.s. im on an asus laptop using windows 8.
 

mjslakeridge

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Mar 6, 2013
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Making a disk image is backing up the entire (used) portion of your operating system drive, sector by sector, and storing the image on a different hard drive, or another computer on your home network. You can also use DVD's for storing the disk image, but if you have lots of programs on your OS drive, that would not be too convenient to use multiple DVDs. When the disk image (backup) is made, the software used to create the image will often allow you to compress the data so it takes up less space on wherever you are storing it.

A large memory stick if fine for backing up photos, mp3s, documents, videos, etc. but not installed program files including Windows. If your OS drive got corrupted, you can't just copy the contents of the USB stick back over to the OS drive and expect Windows and the Programs to work. Without getting too technical, Windows and programs have to be reinstalled, not just copied back over to the drive.

Data files (photos, mp3's documents, etc.) can just be copied back over and will be perfectly fine (assuming you have re-installed the programs necessary to use the files, like Microsoft Office, iTunes, etc.)
 

Someone Somewhere

Dignified
Moderator
Now I've gone through ransomware so bad that the computer wouldn't start up normally and it couldn't be deleted (I had my dad look at it as he is more savvy than I am)....
There is no ransomware that I'm aware of that can't be resolved by nuke-and-pave (format HDD, reinstall windows). Some very, very, very advanced malware can survive that, but it's not something that would be likely to be aimed at the average user.


Now the thing is I don't get why people go through so much trouble just to mess with other peoples computer? What do you even gain from all of this asides irritating people?
Cash is the most common reason. If people are paying you to unlock their computers, $$$. If you can show ads on millions of PCs, $$$. If you can get a keylogger on a PC that people use to check their bank accounts, $$$.

Wanting to watch the world burn is occasionally the cause, too.


The protection I use is malwarebytes, adwarecleaner, registrycleaner and some file called jrt... Before I used avast thinking it would be the best thing ever.... but it wasn't. I even used the premium versions on it.

Now I have to use adblock, noscript, ghostery, and avoid certain sites.
Arguably, there's your problem. It's extremely common to have malware pretend to be anti-malware software. Don't download any executable from a source you don't trust.

From the first list, malwarebytes is the only one I've heard of and would trust.


I am here because my laptop has been randomly freezing, and either the screen stays the same but you cant interact, or the screen goes black(basically its like no power goes to the screen)... and a lot of the times I think it was due to overheating but I have had a fan running under the laptop(the things you put under), and next to it I have a personal fan directed at the laptop and sometimes I feel it overheats.
Open it up, and remove all the dust. Or get a PC shop to do it.


I am eventually probably going to get a new laptop, but all of these things having to do with hacking, viruses, etc. are making me angry. It's a lot of money being wasted.
Reinstall windows.


Is there -any- way to keep your computer safe while browsing the internet? Whether your on a forum, on a shopping site, on a video site, even on an a higher risk site like adult sites?
Common sense. Keep everything updated and don't open any executables that you don't trust (particularly pirated ones or ones from a download site that's not the manufacturer's).

Also, make sure you have a good off-line (unplugged) backup so you never have to pay for data recovery or a ransom.
 

IrateConsumer

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Feb 2, 2017
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nuke and pave? first i ever heard of it... those things i listed are add-ons from firefox and are highly rated, and have seen people leave raving reviews about them. especially noscript. Without noscript - id have more viruses. noscript essentially kills all scripts and you have to pick and choose which to allow manually for a site to properly work.

AS for updates, I havent updated my windows 8 to 10 because I heard it sucks and is basically a downgrade.

As for stealing bank info, that part might sound easy for them. But what happens when the person finds an unauthorized charge? Can't that person file some sort of lawsuit on top of doing a "chargeback"?

These programs I spoke of were recommended in other computer forums which I happened to read and a lot of people actually agreed.

Now even if I didn't have these programs.

What would you say are the best programs for protection against virus, malware, spyware, adware, etc?

What would completely kill such programs?


What programs would block scripts that are hiding in any given website? Or prevent people from tracking you like ghostery?

I think the internet should have heavier regulations for good reason-- in all countries.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
I don't know what websites you visit, but malware and virus come from untrustworthy sites and pirated software. Some legitimate download sites may have an installer that installs legitimate freeware programs along with some type of malware. CNet's Download.com did this for a while, not sure if they still do it. I simply avoid them.

Since 2005 to now I basically use Malwarebytes and a free anti-virus program like AVG Free in the past and Avast! Free since 2009. I can pretty much count the number of times my PCs & laptops have (I usually have at least one of each) have been infected with malware of a virus on one hand.

Websites to avoid includes:
- Porn sites
- Sites that allows you to download pirated programs such as games.


Instead of relying on "heavier regulations" (which is going to be impossible) you should rely more on common sense and safer web surfing practices. Note that "heavier regulations" can also mean increased user tracking. In general, increased protection of any sort (such as a local government) means you need to give up a certain amount of civil liberties. Here is an example:

One surveillance camera for every 11 people in Britain, says CCTV survey
 

Someone Somewhere

Dignified
Moderator
those things i listed are add-ons from firefox and are highly rated, and have seen people leave raving reviews about them.
I was talking about "adwarecleaner, registrycleaner and some file called jrt".


AS for updates, I havent updated my windows 8 to 10 because I heard it sucks and is basically a downgrade.
That's fine, but you do install all the security updates, correct? And you are running 8.1? There's no support for 8, including updates.

As for stealing bank info, that part might sound easy for them. But what happens when the person finds an unauthorized charge? Can't that person file some sort of lawsuit on top of doing a "chargeback"?
Sure, but the thief has already spent the money by then, so all you do is hurt the merchant or the bank.

These programs I spoke of were recommended in other computer forums which I happened to read and a lot of people actually agreed.
Spam is a thing. Malwarebytes is good, those firefox addons are good (though noscript is a little overkill IMHO and Ublock Origin is preferable to Adblock Pro).

I think the internet should have heavier regulations for good reason-- in all countries.
Please no. Most of the attempts to regulate the internet damage security significantly.

What would you say are the best programs for protection against virus, malware, spyware, adware, etc?

What would completely kill such programs?
Common sense. The user can generally click the "Yes" button to any security prompt. Don't do this.
 

IrateConsumer

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Feb 2, 2017
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I normally visit sites to view videos like youtube, I occasionally view anime so I go to sites like gogoanime.io or crunchyroll... If I need to buy something I'd use ebay, amazon, and very rarely craigslist, there maybe other shopping sites but generally I think they're probably secure. Like I bought something for my niece's birthday a while back from the disneystore online.

I will admit I sometimes visit pornsites(not the paid ones, more like the "Tube" styles). I don't want to go in detail. But there I generally use noscript.

I use noscript on any unsafe sites as well. I have visited a movie streaming site that was sketchy. But it was on a separate browser, and it was with stuff like noscript.


Thing about virus protection like malwarebytes is that viruses can still hide from them or appear to be deleted and still return later.. :/ It's why I don't actually buy from my computer-- but from a separate area. It's also why I never do any banking on this computer and had everything changed long ago.

I try using two different platforms to keep the two separate.

Also, now that I think about it. I remember reading a statistic that even adult websites have the same safety as regular sites(well not all-- but usually anything tube style or subscription based).

Same with any non-adult streaming sites that are more towards paid. Like crunchyroll, netflix, etc.

I keep my malwarebytes up to date.

I used to visit video game sites. Like rpg's and stuff like that. So I don't know if they carried anything themselves.

Is there a safe way to still go to sites like that yet still be safe? Sounds pretty bad but it's what I do.
 

IrateConsumer

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Yes I am running 8.1 and it is getting updates every couple of months(when it shows up). Javascript gets updated often too.

UBlock origin? I'll give that one a try.

Adwarecleaner, registrycleaner and jrt are bad?

Common sense yes. But your common sense may not be universal. I mean if something seems too good to be true, I avoid it.

If it seems sketchy, I avoid it. I'm pretty picky about what I do online. I steer clear of sites like piratebay as well (if that's even up anymore).
 

Someone Somewhere

Dignified
Moderator
Adwarecleaner, registrycleaner and jrt are bad?
It's not just if they're bad (and I can't find much info, and the first two are very generic names, so they're likely to be bad). It's also where you get them from. Remember, every time you hit that install button, or open a .exe, you tell all your security software that what you're doing is OK. It doesn't protect you from yourself.

JRT appears to be by MalwareBytes, so it's OK.

You should be getting windows updates much more than every few months.
 

Abs504

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Jan 30, 2017
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I understand that it can be frustrating when you don't know how/when you got a virus. Basically when it comes to viruses prevention is key.
1. You want to try not to use unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots, for example in a local library or coffee shop. Basically avoid using Wi-Fi that doesn't require a password. If you have Wi-Fi at home you need to have a password to use it. It seems annoying, but really it will help protect you.
2. If you must use public Wi-Fi, do not make purchases while using it. Stick to only sites you trust and know. Do not open up a link from an email, even if it looks like a legitimate email.
3. Make sure you have software on your computer to protect yourself. You can start with antivirus software, a firewall, and a VPN. You want to check out reviews to choose which one is best for you. For example for a VPN you can check out the reviews at https://securethoughts.com/vpn-review/, for antivirus software you can check out http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372364,00.asp. Obviously what you choose will depend on your budget, your computer, and what you are looking for in protection software.
4. Avoid downloading adblockers. I know ads are annoying sometimes, but there is a lot of adblocking software out there that is actually malware in disguise: http://www.theverge.com/2015/11/6/9681124/pagefair-economist-malware-ad-blocker
5. Be very careful what you download and only download from trusted sites. Often times you have to give a program permission to download on your computer, and when you do, if it happens to be malware, you are telling your computer that it's OK and it's safe, even if you have antivirus software.
6. Porn sites are known for being targeted by malware. I don't know, nor care, if you are visiting porn sites, but just be careful if you do.
7. If you find a "free download" of a game you have been wanting or anything else for that matter it is most likely too good to be true and will end up costing you in the long run.
8. When it comes to passwords, make sure you are changing them. For example, if your current computer is hacked and you log into your email, the hackers will still have your password. When you get a new computer you should change all your passwords, just to be safe.
9. Make sure you install the updates. These updates often have security patches because a hole was found in a program. This means updates for apps, programs, and even your computer software.
Basically, to answer your question if there is any "foolproof way to protect a computer", no, because hackers are always trying to get into computers. That's why there are updates all the time. Companies actually pay people to find loopholes in systems where hackers can get in and send out updates to help protect people, but hackers are always trying, no matter what. This is all your best defense. The best thing you can do is take all the precautions you can and just be careful. These are all the things I do, and I visit close to 100 websites a day I would say, and my current computers are 5 and 3 years old with no issues. Good luck!
 

mjslakeridge

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Mar 6, 2013
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To add to what the others have said. I make a disk image of my OS drive about once per month, and keep the latest 2-3 images. (separate and apart from how I backup my data). If I ever suspect malware, Windows Defender or Malwarebytes doesn't successfully remove it (keeps coming back), I just restore my OS drive from my disk image. I use Acronis True Image Home to create my disk images. I also try to keep my OS drive lean, so the backup and restore doesn't take forever.

I have only had one bad virus in the past few years and that came from an email attachment I opened. Thought the email was from my sister, but it wasn't. I normally am very careful about email attachments, but wasn't that one time, because it is not out of the ordinary for my sister to email me pictures.
 

IrateConsumer

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Feb 2, 2017
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VPN? I think I remember about that.

For free games to download I don't mean the obviously shady ones like emulators. (Though I have downloaded emulators long ago and never had an issue).

The games I am talking about are legitimate games -- mmorpgs, rpgs, etc. Like a while back I used to play digimon (some mmorpg of it), it was laggy as hell in some areas but it was okay-- no viruses or anything. I had downloaded games like shin megami tensei- or something like that. They were games made for computers.

As for password changes, I try to change them often-- though I do have many emails for different things since I learn the hard way. But just a while back I had made an account solely for the use of a specific shopping site. I logged into it about a year later (as in now) and I find out it got blocked because it seems it may have been sending spam... ? Even though I had a long complex password and the account was only ever logged in from a different device which has its own internet... I managed to get it unlocked and changed the password but I am still shocked. Wonder if it just got spoofed or if it was just because I never logged in it for a year... The account in question was from outlook.

As for a firewall, I think I have mine on but it's the one that came with the laptop?

As for updates, I set the updates to run by themselves so I never even bother to check them. Everything auto-updates itself except the whole windows 8.2 thing.

Is skype safe?

Once there's a virus in your computer and it gets deleted by the anti-virus..will there be a chance of it returning?

Btw, so I don't make a new topic. Is 7mbps enough to watch videos?

We're going to be out in the sticks eventually and well... right now I get 72mbps but my sibling said we might be getting only 7mbps... :/

My internet sometimes lags as it is(not often-- just certain times)... so it sounds like I might have too slow of a connection to watch movies, stream videos, play games etc.
 

IrateConsumer

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You're going to have to dumb it down for me a bit... Disk image? Like a photo?

I was thinking of buying a large memory stick so that when I get my new computer I could have it completely backed up. Was thinking maybe have two just in case I mess up the first time.
 

mjslakeridge

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Making a disk image is backing up the entire (used) portion of your operating system drive, sector by sector, and storing the image on a different hard drive, or another computer on your home network. You can also use DVD's for storing the disk image, but if you have lots of programs on your OS drive, that would not be too convenient to use multiple DVDs. When the disk image (backup) is made, the software used to create the image will often allow you to compress the data so it takes up less space on wherever you are storing it.

A large memory stick if fine for backing up photos, mp3s, documents, videos, etc. but not installed program files including Windows. If your OS drive got corrupted, you can't just copy the contents of the USB stick back over to the OS drive and expect Windows and the Programs to work. Without getting too technical, Windows and programs have to be reinstalled, not just copied back over to the drive.

Data files (photos, mp3's documents, etc.) can just be copied back over and will be perfectly fine (assuming you have re-installed the programs necessary to use the files, like Microsoft Office, iTunes, etc.)
 

Abs504

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As for password changes, I try to change them often-- though I do have many emails for different things since I learn the hard way. But just a while back I had made an account solely for the use of a specific shopping site. I logged into it about a year later (as in now) and I find out it got blocked because it seems it may have been sending spam... ? Even though I had a long complex password and the account was only ever logged in from a different device which has its own internet... I managed to get it unlocked and changed the password but I am still shocked. Wonder if it just got spoofed or if it was just because I never logged in it for a year... The account in question was from outlook.
This is hard to tell. It could have just been a fluke or it may have been hacked. Considering you didn't log into in in a year that means anyone who wanted to hack into it had a whole year to figure out your password. Also, being that you hadn't logged into it, that makes it more enticing for hackers because they know you aren't around and won't catch on. Again, it may have just been an accident or something, without more info and knowing where the emails were going what they said and so on, you really can't tell what happened.

As for a firewall, I think I have mine on but it's the one that came with the laptop?
This would be fine, just check in your setting to make sure that it is turned on.

As for updates, I set the updates to run by themselves so I never even bother to check them. Everything auto-updates itself except the whole windows 8.2 thing.
Again, this is fine. As long as the updates are being done.

Is skype safe?
Generally, with the same precautions in place, changing your password and not "friending" anyone you don't know. Sometimes you will get the odd person trying to add you that you don't know and it's just that they have guessed your email, so just block them.

Once there's a virus in your computer and it gets deleted by the anti-virus..will there be a chance of it returning?
This depends. If you have excellent anti-virus software and it removes everything to do with the virus, then it should be gone. But this depends on how sophisticated the virus is and how you acquired the virus. For example, if you clicked a link and it downloaded something and you allowed the program to run, your anti-virus software may only recognize the program as the virus and not the downloaded folder, so you could inadvertently open it again. Also, if the virus is because of a site that has been hacked that you don't know about and you continue to use that site you could be re-infected.

Btw, so I don't make a new topic. Is 7mbps enough to watch videos?

We're going to be out in the sticks eventually and well... right now I get 72mbps but my sibling said we might be getting only 7mbps... :/

My internet sometimes lags as it is(not often-- just certain times)... so it sounds like I might have too slow of a connection to watch movies, stream videos, play games etc.
I live in a very rural area and I have 3mbps and it works fine, usually. There are times that Facebook videos take a while to load, but that happened when I had faster internet too so I think it's just Facebook. We watch Netflix fairly frequently and usually don't have any issues. When we do it's just a few minutes at the beginning of the movie or show while it's loading. Honestly it can just be how many people are on the internet. I know my internet usually only slows down when they are updating their system, in the evenings, and on weekends.

I hope this all helps!

 
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