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Computer Operating Systems And Sneaky Viruses: Are You Safe?

By Nikki Weingartner     Oct 28, 2008 in Technology
With all the techno jargon infiltrating this compu-crazed world in which we live, its no wonder that marketing skills have been utilized just to clear up definitions alone. Malware, Spyware, Adware, worms, trojans. See which systems put you at risk.
As a recent article on Switched.com revealed, some of the "sneakiest" viruses out there making their way into your system and you may be none the wiser. Sure, most people are aware of that strange email attachment from an unknown sender or the random .exe file sent to multiple individuals that may cause you future troubles. However, did you know about security holes?
In the article, it explained that a security hole was found on individuals running Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003. These holes leave computers open to hackers without the need for the computer operator at all and the hacker wouldn't even have to be near your machine. Even if you have some time of security software downloaded on your computer, this hole could leave you sinking.
If you are running one of these systems and have the auto update feature enabled and, well, use it, then you should have updated the recently released security patch designed to fix the hole. However, if you do not then a virtual trip to the Microsoft Download Center is a must.
Another one is the Storm Worm that comes in the form of innocent news articles and greeting card emails. For those who are news junkies, this might prove a fatal move should you choose to open an email news link from an unknown source. In light of the recent political scandals, journalists are always in search of the scoop. Well, the Obama Sex Scandals tape email will give you more than bargained for, as it is really a virus:
Mal/Hupig-D runs in the background of Windows and steals your passwords, credit card information, and the like. Virus scanners look for it now, but rely on your common sense first and don't click on that e-mail.
Facebook is also a place for a top notch stinker, the Trojan Horse disguised as a video player upgrade email. So be wary of Facebook friends who send you an email telling you they have a crush on you or a hot video linking you to YouTube and then prompting you to download and install an upgrade to view the vid. Facebook also has Flash upgrades serving as masks for malware. Once you download it, you are infected.
Also slinking about and cashing in on the vulnerabilities of users are those fake and free anti-virus programs that are really viruses, one of which actually pops up as a sponsored by Google site. Ouch!
But the one that takes the cake for being the sneakiest may be the Russian created malware called the Gpcode Ransomware that actually takes over your files, encrypts them and then holds them for a monetary ransom.
So if you want to see where you stand in relation to the sneakiest computer viruses out there, some of which can actually take away your identity unknowingly or cause you to commit crimes, then taking a moment to review the link, make sure you are updated, turn on the spam prevention tool on your email and ensure your virus protection software is enabled and up to date.
Otherwise, you could be on the receiving end of a document kidnapping from the other side of world.
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