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Ask Leo! #426 – The reason malware exists, editing the hosts file, giving Quicken your info and more…

*** Featured

What's in it for the creators of malware?

What monetary gain do malware creators have in creating their nasty stuff? Does someone pay them to do this? Or do they just do it for the sheer enjoyment of wreaking havoc?

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It used to be about enjoyment and bragging rights, and I'll speak to that in a moment.

In recent years, however, the nature of malware has changed dramatically, and you've nailed it at the start:

It's all about the money. Lots and lots of money.

Continue reading: What's in it for the creators of malware?
http://ask-leo.com/C6256

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*** Answercast

Answercast #89 - Editing the Hosts file, ransomware, broken quick launch, still getting viruses and more...

Ever wonder why virus programs can't catch everything or what happened to the sound on your computer? Want to browse an ad-free internet or edit your Hosts file? Worried about ransomware impacting your backups or if Quicken is safe? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #89 - Editing the Hosts file, ransomware, broken quick launch, still getting viruses and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C6257

Why do I still get viruses even though I run Norton?
You may still be getting viruses even though you run Norton because of your own computer habits. There are a few steps to take to increase security.
Continue reading: Why do I still get viruses even though I run Norton?
http://ask-leo.com/C6258

How do I edit the hosts file in Windows 7?
Windows 7 hosts file can only be edited with specific administrator privileges starting with the Vista operating system.
Continue reading: How do I edit the hosts file in Windows 7?
http://ask-leo.com/C6259

Is it safe to let Quicken remember my online banking information?
Using Quicken with online banking is secure if your computer itself is secure and you practice safe computing practices.
Continue reading: Is it safe to let Quicken remember my online banking information?
http://ask-leo.com/C6260

Can ransomware impact my backups on an external drive?
Ransomware infecting an external drive is a danger if your computer itself is in danger of a malware infection.
Continue reading: Can ransomware impact my backups on an external drive?
http://ask-leo.com/C6261

How do I block floating ads on webpages?
You can block floating ads from websites with your hosts file, but you should first consider if that is really a good idea.
Continue reading: How do I block floating ads on webpages?
http://ask-leo.com/C6262

How do I get a driver that Windows says is missing for my camera?
A missing driver for a camera can very often be found on the website of the company that manufactured the product.
Continue reading: How do I get a driver that Windows says is missing for my camera?
http://ask-leo.com/C6263

Why do my quick launch shortcuts sometimes stop working?
Sometimes, quick launch shortcuts stop working after a software upgrade. The solution is kind of a hack.
Continue reading: Why do my quick launch shortcuts sometimes stop working?
http://ask-leo.com/C6264

Why is emptying my spam folder the only time my computer actually produces sound?
One sound working is good news. Sounds like you are plugged in! Setting the rest of the sounds can now be done through the Control Panel.
Continue reading: Why is emptying my spam folder the only time my computer actually produces sound?
http://ask-leo.com/C6265

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week

Malware

Malware is short for malicious software.

Malware is a kind of catchall phrase that encompasses pretty much any kind of software that could cause harm to your data or your machine. It includes software such as viruses, spyware, adware, Trojans, worms, scareware and more.

The term was probably developed by people (like me) who didn't want to keep writing out "viruses and spyware and adware and ..." when writing about current internet threats.

Word o' the Week features a computer term or acronym taken from the Ask Leo! Glossary. If there's a word you're not sure of and would like to see defined, click here to let me know.

*** Thoughts and Comments

Reminder: Leo's 2013 Sabbatical starts at the end of the month. There'll be a few changes to the newsletter content and schedule while I'm away.

I was grousing over the weekend on Facebook, about what I call "Like Guilting" - the practice of posting on Facebook and then begging for likes with wording that implies if you don't like a particular post it must be because you hate puppies, endorse cancer and want small children to die.

Ugh.

Manipulation at its absolute worst, as far as I'm concerned.

As it turns out posts that beg you to like them are often a scam.

All about those Facebook ‘Like’ scam posts is a pretty good write-up of how scammers use these techniques to build up the reputation of a Facebook fan page for the purposes of ... selling it?

I had no idea.

Here's the bottom line: if a post is begging you to Like it - if it even includes the words "Like this if..." - think twice about it. Me? I almost always pass those posts by without a thought or a twinge of guilt.

Instead, "Like" the posts that ... you know ... you actually like. It's actually a signal that Facebook uses to show you more posts from that particular page or person.

And finally, to quote the article I mentioned above:

Pro tip: If you do see a post about sick kids with rare cancer who lost all their family to a horrible house fire and if you don’t like it then 100 more children will get cancer from terrorists – it's not real. Don't click on it.

Yes, I know, it appears that some girls are actually, honestly, getting a puppy because their dad challenged them to get 1,000,000 Likes on Facebook. They are, by far, the exception rather than the rule.

In fact, because they succeeded it probably means that even more scams will start appearing soon.

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
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