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Solutions: Time to upgrade your defenses against viruses

Note to readers: Most of the email I receive has to do with viruses, malware, screen pop-ups and the like. I've offered advice and directions on how to solve these issues. The new versions of these viruses are smarter and harder to beat. It's time to update those directions.

There are three files you should always have ready on a flash drive:

• FixNCR.reg (http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/reg/FixNCR.reg);

• RKill (http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/anti-virus/rkill);

• and the familiar Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware (www.tinyurl.com/2fwj868).

The new versions of these viruses intercept every program you run, disabling any attempt to eradicate them. The way to turn that behavior off is to run the FixNCR.reg file (just double-click it). Next, execute the RKill program (downloaded under the name iexplore.exe) to kill the currently running virus programs. Right-click that file and choose Run As Administrator. Once that completes (it may take a few minutes), it is time to install and run the Anti-Malware you downloaded previously. You can find extended explanations and directions at www.tinyurl.com/SPTSolutions11.

Somehow my email address book has been stolen and someone is sending out nonsensical emails using my name as sender. I have used AOL and the same email name for about 10 years. What can I do now to stop this?

If the email address is truly yours and not just someone spoofing with your name, immediately change your AOL email password. Make it secure by using a mix of upper/lowercase with some numbers, as well as a special character (#,$,%...). Using an acronym meaningful to you can make it easier to remember.

I typed in the URL you provided for your first story about Malwarebytes and the www.tinyurl.com/2fwj868 and up popped this box with a funny message and a warning. It asks if you want to run or save what you typed in, but changed it to this:

n75ewptpp.exe 9.39 mb From www.malwarebytes.org. Warning: This type of file could harm your computer!

Is that really the URL you want us to use? Sounds dangerous.

Yes, that is expected. That URL is a special link to Malwarebytes that downloads their Anti-Malware program under a randomly generated name (in your case it was n75ewptpp). This is done to sneak its installation by any virus/malware that would normally prevent you from installing the Anti-Malware program.

Send questions to personaltech@tampabay.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Time to upgrade your defenses against viruses 12/25/11 [Last modified: Sunday, December 25, 2011 5:47pm]

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