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Archive for the ‘Hints & Tips’ Category

McAfee Unveil New Comprehensive Tech Support

Monday, May 14th, 2012

McAfee have announced that they want to improve upon their existing tech support by releasing a new suite of McAfee technical support services for their UK consumers, called McAfee TechMaster™ services.

McAfee have recognized that in this day and age many family’s digital lives are varied and very different to a few years ago. There are laptops of different makes, smartphones, tablets and cameras now in almost every home, many all at the same time. One of their new tech support solutions is one that covers a household for all of their devices.

When something does go wrong with a PC, laptop or other device, many consumers feel reticent in taking it in to be fixed. This is because it can be time consuming to pack up a computer or laptop, ensure things are backed up, and spend a period of time without a device. With his in mind, McAfee’s new TechMaster services are delivered remotely via phone, so that the tech support can be given remotely and not require people to take their devices to a retail outlet.

McAfee’s new suite of technical support includes a whole range of support services, for a wide variety of needs. These range from the comprehensive (for example covering all of a family’s devices for a year) to ones that work incident by incident, depending on the nature of the problem. For example, there are packages for virus removal, or for troubleshooting. There is also help with setting up your new PC or Mac, including help with things such as monitors and keyboards.

McAfee believe that having a centralized technology support for all or one of your devices is something that is very important to consumers, and have used independent reports to support this idea. As households continue to buy new and different types of technology, the idea of having something to cover it all may certainly become a popular one.

Guest Article by Sophie Camp

Top Spam

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

When it comes to top spam, McAfee is its ardent enemy and will hunt it down at every opportunity.

And it also makes a note of the top ten subject lines that spammers use and the current most popular span categories.

Top ten spam subject lines first. But don’t just remember these and hope you’ve got a way out of the problem. There are literally millions of variations that can be used and the top spam lines are usually quickly picked up by the spam filters, so many not stay around for long. Here’s the list:

  1. You've received a greeting ecard
  2. Virtualization Webinar
  3. Masters degree with no efforts.
  4. Career Advancement Opportunities – July of 2009
  5. Webinar: Think Big: Create Efficiencies With an Enterprise-Wide
  6. Non-profit job from home
  7. Administrative Certification: Increase Productivity with Superior Organizational Skills
  8. Administrative Certification: Gain Credibility by Maximizing Your Productivity
  9. you can wear tag heuer watch now
  10. you can wear cartier watch now.

From the above, its easier to spot the most cunning of spam subject lines. The first, “…you’ve received a greeting ecard…” is pretty low, but you can see why its used so frequently. Most people’s innate reaction would be to open it up and see which kind person has sent them an ecard. But if you do, felicitations from a friend, or loved one could be the last thing you get.

The thinking behind “…virtualization webinar…” is a little harder to figure out, but maybe that’s the point. The third should deceive no-one; a masters Degree usually requires a lot of effort and there’s no such thing as a free lunch, or say they say. And so they can; their invidious aim is simple, to trap people into paying them attention and potentially giving away the family silver. Always be alert for such attacks.

And when it comes to current spam categories, McAfee has revealed that the recently received spam falls into the following areas:

  • Russian spam (42%)
  • products and services (26%)
  • adverts (20%)
  • IT related (4%0
  • stock (4%)
  • financial (2%)
  • news (1%)
  • adult services (1%).

Guest Article by Neil Camp

Avoiding Spam Top Tips

Friday, October 30th, 2009

McAfee, like all computer security companies, see spam as one of the main enemies in the computer age.

Spam is a waste of everyone’s time, clogs up the ether with its pointlessness and is it a major carrier of computer viruses. It serves no purpose whatsoever and if the world were rid of it, then 80% of the email traffic would drop overnight.

So what can you do to avoid spam? Here’s some top tips.

Top tip is do not spread your email around. Never post your e-mail address in an unobfuscated form on the Internet. But if you have to post your internet address, make sure you obfuscate it in such a way that it cannot be harvested. Better still, create a small graphic image that contains your email address, as the harvesters cannot read this. Bear in mind that spammers play the numbers game. They trawl for millions of addresses out there and guess others with specially created computer programmes. Don’t make their life easy.

Another top tip is checking to see how visible your email address is. Type it into a search engine and see if it has been posted into in any newsgroups, or discussions forum, and see if you can remove it, as this might be a good way to cut spam down.

Also consider using a number of email addresses, say one for friends and family, and one for business. This way you can greatly reduce your chances of spam. You could easily create an address that you only use for newsgroups and such places, and then, if it become burdened with spam, drop it altogether. Don’t be afraid of changing your email address as a way of avoiding spam.

Another good way of foxing the spammers is having a complicated email address made up of numbers, as well as letters, and a part of it made up of random sequences. This works against dictionary attackers.

When it come to completing web forms, always have a look at the website’s privacy policy, as avoid giving your email address, or indeed, any other personal details, to a site which admits that they sell them on to third parties. If you can, check the box which opts you out of third party mailings.

A very important rule this – never respond to spam, ever. Because a spammer lives for a reply and even if you innocently send a request saying you’d like to be removed from the list, this confirms to them that the address is valid, you have seen the email and indeed, you have replied. This means that your email address is basically in-play. Your name could then be added to a list of working email addresses which could be very valuable to the spammer and sold between them.

Along the same lines as the last point, never, ever buy anything from a spammer, or goods which have been brought to your attention via spams. Once sending spam become unprofitable, then it will die.

Get into the habit of as soon as you see the spam message, delete it. Do not open it. By using graphics within the spam email, spammers are able to track who received it and who opened. This is why many email providers give you the option of opening the graphic image within the email – resist that temptation. Simply bin it.

Do not use links within emails (always go to a site via your web browser, or your own bookmarks), and never reply to emails, purporting to be from a site you know, asking for financial information, or personal details. Guard such data vigorously.

Above all else, ensure that your anti-virus software is up to date and that your firewall (designed to stop people not only breaking in, but taking goods out), is also doing its job.

Guest Article by Neil Camp

Virus Detection and Prevention Top Tips

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

When it comes to detecting viruses and preventing attacks, the McAfee has some good advice for computer users.

Top of the tip list is beware of what you open. In other words, do not open any files that are attached to email, instant messages, or offered as downloads, unless you are completely confident about their origin.

Even if a file is from a friend, or from someone you know, still be careful as people can have their mailbox hijacked and emails sent from their computer without their knowledge. This means that an email might find yourself in your inbox from what you think is a trustworthy source, only for you to find out that it is far from trusty. Best thing to do is just check that your contact has indeed sent you an email with a file.

Keep an eye open for suspicious subject lines in emails. This is usually a dead giveaway that something is wrong. If it looks odd, it usually foretells trouble and its best to delete it without opening it at all.

Chain emails might seem charming to some, but they effectively are spam and go towards clogging up the ether whilst serving no real purpose. Delete and avoid expanding the chain. Bear in mind that over 80% of emails sent around the world are spam.

When it comes to downloading files off the internet, be very careful indeed. There are many free things on the internet and not all of these are good. Many screensavers, games, or seemingly useful bits of code can harbour nasty viruses that end up attacking your computer. So ensure you know where that file is coming from. Also watch out for innocent looking media playing devices which a site might say is necessary when downloading and watching film clips. These are often bits of code which do a lot more than let you watch some film. They often contain viruses that open up your computer for the cybercriminals to march around unhindered.

Okay, and this might seem obvious, but to many it’s not: get anti-virus software on your computer. Do not send, or receive emails, and do not surf the internet without very good protection from a credible anti-virus software programme. And be wary of any box that suddenly flashes up and warns you that it has detected a virus and you must download a programme to remove it immediately. These are usually tricks to get you to download malware – code that sits on your computer and opens you up to attack from cybercriminals.

McAfee anti-virus programmes, like all such good applications, continuously updates from the internet, meaning that you are protected from new viruses and sudden attacks.

Back-up your files on at least a weekly basis, if not a daily basis. Regular and proper back-up means that should you be unfortunate to catch a major virus, then you won’t lose all your files and work, as well as have an effectively useless computer.

Also, check with the developer of your operating system for any updates, or patches as they are commonly known. These are sent out to close holes – known as bugs – in software code which cybercriminals use to find a way into a system. Most updates or patches are automatic, but do ensure your system is completely up-to-date.

Above all, if you think it doesn’t smell right, then always err on the side of caution. Be suspicious and it might just save you a lot of time and money.

Guest Article by Neil Camp

How To Avoid Phishing Scams

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

McAfee is not alone in the computer industry in advising its customers how not to become a victim of phishing scams. They provide a number of top tips as to how to avoid falling fall prey to such skulduggery.

Although there are thousands of variations out there, phishing scams are all based on one idea: the bogus email, or instant message, which requests personal information.

Cybercriminals use phishing attacks to trawl for people’s IDs, username and passwords, so that they can copy an identity and breach someone’s bank, or shopping account.

The bogus email plays upon people’s natural inclination to answer an email which they believe at first sight comes from their bank, or online merchant. And phishing emails are becoming ever more sophisticated, becoming very good copies of the actual organisations they are pretending to be.

So take it from McAfee, there are a number of things you can do to avoid being trapped by such attacks.

Firstly, and most importantly, do not respond to emails – even if they appear to be from your bank, or online merchant – that ask you for personal information. In fact, never, ever send back your personal details in an email. Remember that banks and online merchants will never ask for such information via an email. They have it anyway and also, they are only too well aware of the trouble that phishing attacks create.

Secondly, never follow links in an email which appear to link you with your banking, or online merchants sites. Never follow these links, as they could take you onto a very good copy of an existing institution, but actually just be there to take note of your personal details, usernames and passwords.

Thirdly, when you want to visit your bank site, or online merchant, be sure to type the address that you know is correct into your web browser. This ensures that you go to the legimate site and not a bogus site, and you can conduct legimate business. You can also go in of course via a bookmark, or shortcut that you have created yourself.

Fourthly, don’t forget, that if you are ever unsure about an email, you can always telephone your bank, or online merchant, and check with them to see what they might have sent you.

McAfee provide constant updates on the top phishing scams and the top ten are currently (words in the subject line):

  1. security alert!
  2. account notification!
  3. account notification
  4. please confirm your data!
  5. Chase Bank: online banking notification
  6. Chase Bank: necessary to be read!
  7. Chase Bank: important notice
  8. Chase Bank: important security notice
  9. Chase Bank: account secure confirmation
  10. Chase Bank customer service: security alert.

And the top brands currently being exploited by phishing attacks are:

  1. Amazon (72%)
  2. Commonwealth Bank (14%)
  3. eBay (9%).

Guest Article by Neil Camp

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