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Protecting Your Computer From Conflicker Computer Virus

March 31, 2009

Over and over we have heard the drill, and if you have listened to Mike DiMichele on WGN Website Wednesdays with Steve and Johnnie, or have visited his site SaveMyButt, you are aware that the computer virus that everyone is talking about is not so dire if you follow good computer housecleaning skills.

First make sure all your Window updates have been installed, and that your anti-virus program has the latest updates.

Here is the key.  You should already be protected.  Yep!  If you listen to the show and actually do the things we suggest, you really will have prevented most of the problems your computer will experience.  There are two problems that can cause your computer to get infected.  The common cold, and YOU!

Well, maybe not the common cold.

But, if you enjoy listening to the show every week and don’t DO what we recommend almost every week, then your computer is partially or fully vulnerable to a lot of malicious infections.

Here are 3 tips that will help you prevent almost all threats from infecting your computer.  This includes Conficker.

1.  Make sure that you have your Windows Operating System up to date.  There are a lot of people who disable automatic updates because it bugs them or because someone told them it’s better to turn it off.

Microsoft issues updates regularly to patch new security issues.  You MUST turn automatic updates on.

Also, Microsoft patched the issue that allows the Conficker worm to infect your computer way back in October.  Yet, at least 12 million computers have been infected.  Go figure.

You can ensure that you have this particular patch by going to http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS08-067.mspx.  Scroll down and click on the version of Windows you have installed on your computer to download the patch.  Make sure it is installed.

2.  Next, you need to make sure that you have good active protection.  Active means that it is always running, keeping an eye on activity on your computer.

This active protection I am talking about is your anti-virus program.  You NEED to have a modern version of a good anti-virus and make sure automatic updates for it are turned on and it is updated.

By modern I mean that your version of Norton, McAfee, AVG, Avast, NOD32, Trend, Bit Defender, and all of the rest of the big named products should be the most current version. No more than a year old.

How much money do you spend changing the oil in your car every year?  The purchase of a new copy of a good anti-virus is far cheaper.  Or, you can can install one of the good free products like Avast, which I recommend and is available for download by clicking the Downloads link in the menu at the top of the blog, or AVG 8 for new machines.

At least download and install the trial version of a good anti-virus.  This will give you at least 30 days of free protection.

3.  Finally, avoid the Conficker.C virus.  Don’t do searches with the word Conficker or Downadup.  The bad guys know you will be looking for information and many sites could be infected.

Stay away from websites that you are not familiar with.  Don’t fall for the removal tool tricks.  Many of them are fake and will infect you computer. 

Don’t use Torrent sites to download music, movies, or files.

Don’t click on attachments in email if you were not expecting them.  Especially this week, verify that your sister sent you those pictures.

This worm can be spread using a USB thumb drive or external drive as well as over your
home or business network. If your protection is correct, it should catch it.

Practice safe surf.

If you follow these three methods to protect your computer, the chances are you will not become infected by Conficker or any other virus.  Unless you click on something you should not.

How to remove Conficker/Downadup if you are infected.

You know if you are infected if you open any browser and try to go to one of the security companies like Symantec (Norton), McAfee, F-Secure, or any of them and you get an error something like “Page Can Not Load”.

If you need to remove Conficker, download one of the several programs in the links I have listed below and follow the instructions after  you install it.

You should do a complete clean up and tune up of your computer after you remove Conficker.  There will be other malware on it if Conficker was on it.

Removal Tools (Use any one of them)

I have not used all of these products.  They were obtained from their
respective manufacturer sites.

If you are on a network, home or business, unplug your computer from the Internet after you download the tool and before you run it.

Bit Defender Removal Tool
Bit Defender For Computers On A Network Removal Tool
F-Secure Removal Tool
McAfee Removal Tool
Microsoft Removal Tool
Norton Removal Tool

7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2009 12:36 AM

    Norton 360 is great for me. I haven’t gotten any virus, spyware yet since I ditched Kaspersky and bought Norton 2 years ago.

  2. May 29, 2009 8:23 AM

    I wish getting over a broken heart can be so easy as following a few steps.. but its not :(

  3. April 1, 2009 10:33 AM

    On a previous computer I had placed Norton…..and then tried to remove it……there is no way to unwrap the layers of connections that Norton had…..it was a nightmare.

    Why that product has any advocates is a mystery to me.

  4. Questionaire no.1 permalink
    April 1, 2009 9:32 AM

    I don’t even patch my PC before……so this is my question….if you have patched your PC will your PC be formatted..since it’s written……..backup your files..so will it delete my files???

  5. Thomas J Canton permalink
    April 1, 2009 9:29 AM

    Norton Sucks.

  6. April 1, 2009 8:31 AM

    As a computer user we do not know which sites are infected, but if you follow the computer housecleaning rules you will be safe. In addition the removal of a virus on your computer helps to insure that you do not spread it to others, or have it mutate, as has been reported conflicker is capable of doing. It takes little effort to make your internet time safe.

    On a weekly basis I defrag my comp., run Window Washer, (CC Cleaner) is a free alternative, Registry Mechanic, and allow updates for Windows and anti-virus program to run all the time. I use Trend Micro…..as I detest Norton…..but also advocate the use for those who want a free program to use AVG.

    Thanks for writing.

  7. David permalink
    April 1, 2009 8:26 AM

    Which sites should we watch out for then? The possible sites conflicker is present in. Why the need to remove the virus if we know how to avoid it in the first place? Thanks.

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