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Messages - Brynn

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Hi Friends,
Still having fun loading up my new Windows 7 laptop :mitch:  And I want to create a manual restore point before installing, especially very large programs; a practice I learned here years ago from Corrine :rose:  But when I open System Restore, I don't find any options to create my own restore point.  Is there a way to do it in Windows 7?

I have seen in some of my security programs, where there's an option to automatically create a restore point before deleting malware, or "fixing".  So it makes me wonder if W7 maybe automatically creates a restore point whenever anything is installed?

Thanks for your help  :D

Hi Friends,
Not sure if this is the proper place to post this, since it could fall in a few different categories of malicious activity.

A couple of months ago, I got a phone call from an organization (for lack of better word) called Techies Online.  Initially it came across as 3rd party solicitation, which as I've put my phone number on the National Do-Not-Call List, was a clear violation.  But as the conversation continued, it became so much more....

And normally, I would not have permitted any conversaton, would simply have hung up on them, and then reported to the various agencies which investigate violations of Do-Not-Call.  But the first words out of their mouth informed me that my computer had become infected with so many viruses that it would crash in just a day or 2, if I did not follow their instructions, and let them clean it up for me.  (OMG!!) So because I knew that no stranger has any idea what is on my computer, or even whether I had a computer, I knew right away it was a malicious call, and wanted so very much to be able to report them to as many agencies as I could think of.  But first I had to hear their scam.

In order to prove that my computer was horribly infected with malware, they directed my to the Event Viewer.  They told me that every entry in the Event Viewer with a yellow icon in front of it was a virus and that every entry with a red icon was software that has been corrupted by the virus.  Then in my best helpless old lady voice, I asked what should I do, lol!

Next they directed me to look up some kind of code (by now, I've forgotten what it was).  Then to a website through which I should enter that code so that they could view the files on my computer.  Again, I've forgotten the name of that website.  I don't think it was a site by which they could take control of my computer, although it might have been.  Anyway, at that point, I told them the site wasn't working, that I was clicking what they told me to, but nothing was happening.  Also, I realized that it was much worse than a solicitation call and wanted a few minutes to try and figure out if there might be some agency to which I could report them, other than Do-Not-Call.  So I said I needed a bathroom break and called my ISP (who are local and offer REAL tech support, not scripts).  Unfortunately, I don't think such an agency even exists!  Too bad.

When they called me back, I said I didn't have time to do whatever they wanted me to do, and asked them to jump to their bottom line.  He said he wanted me to buy a service from them, which would give them access to my computer at all times, so that they could monitor my computer, clean out the viruses and repair the software that the viruses has corrupted.  I thanked him for the info, and said I would think it over.  I was about to ask for their phone number when he gave me the URL to their website.  Jackpot!  Now having more info about them than I could have hoped for, I asked them never to call me again.

Next, I reported them to the Federal Trade Commission :winchesty73:, the National Consumer League Fraud Center :winchesty73:, as well as Do-Not-Call, which is Federal Communications Commission :winchesty73: .  So in the end, it WAS a 3rd party solicitation, because they wanted me to buy their "service".  But it also was giving them access to install who knows what all sort of virus, trojans, spyware, etc.  And I thought that was it.

But no, it gets even better!  Even though I had asked them not to call me again, they called me again the next day.  Another CLEAR violation of Do-Not-Call, because me just asking them not to call...sort of imposes the DNC rules, even if my number wasn't on the list (which it is).  This time I told them clearly that I was on the DNC List and that they were breaking the law by calling me.  I reminded him that I had the link to the website, and that once I made a decision about buying the service, I would proceed to purchase it online.  At that point, he became insistent that I must not do that by myself, that I absolutely required their help to do it.  He repeated that 3 or 4 times, and I finally realized that perhaps worse than viruses and spyware, he probably intended to use my computer as a distributions system for who knows, all manner of malware and/or spam email!  (Yeah, I know there's a word or term for that, but I can't think of it.)

I never felt personally threatened by this experience, thanks to the awesome education I've received from LzD on computer security.  But it just burns me that there are so many people who could be, and probably have been duped by this scam.  These organizations I've mentioned here, mostly only accepted my reports because the threats came by telephone.  And I think it's a travesty of justice that there are no laws or regulations, in this country (USA) or any country (to my knowledge), to protect citizens from computer- and internet-related fraud, scams and hoaxes.  I do know that there are several websites dedicated to educating the public about such, but none to my knowledge offer enforcement, because there are no laws or regulations to enforce.

What can be done about this?  What can we do to encourage governments to legislate on computer- and internet-related abuse?  How bad does it have to get before the public outcry is loud enough and strong enough to force some serious action?  When does it become a crime for someone or organization to access my computer without my permission?  I can see where spam email can be considered equivalent to 3rd class advertisement in the US or "snail" mail.  I think both should be illegal, but understand how our system came to be the status quo.  But scams that gain access to private citizens' systems are just wrong!

I'm thinking I'll write a slightly different version of this (leaving out LzD references), and send it to my local newspaper as an editorial or something.  But honestly, it will do very little towards actually solving the problem.  I'm looking for something I could do that might have more clout!  I'm hoping someone here can offer me some ideas, or at least referrals to any organizations which might already exist.  Because that scam is SO wrong, and it makes me feel helpless as far as not just stopping this techisonline organization, but preventing others.

Thanks for listening :D

I'll rephrase:  This is by design.
:thumbsup:  Yes Aaron, I understood you.

Slightly OT -- All this kind of stuff is why I hate upgrading, why I avoid upgrading as long as absolutely possible.  If XP had been available, I would have even put it on this new machine!

As I've said, I understand that W7 has better security, and I understand that these endless prompts (permission and 'do you want to allow this' prompts) are part of the better security.  What I don't understand is how a simple prompt or dialog can be called security.  I don't know anything about coding or hacking or whatever.  But compared to writing something that can download and install malware into all sorts of dangerous places on computers, it seems it should be a simple thing to write the code to OK the prompt itself.  That's what I don't get.  And as I've also said....not sure if I've said it here....anyway, if a security measure makes it so annoying to be able to use my computer, or to enjoy using my computer, that I would consider disabling that security, then it's not a very good solution to the problem.

Anyway, Temmu I'd be interested in any comments you have, whenever you have a chance.

Also wanted to say Thanks to everyone for your patience and support (during this difficult time  :tease: ).  I always appreciate your help, even if I don't like the solution.

Internet / Re: What Security Software Do You Use?
« on: May 08, 2010, 05:19:33 AM »
This is interesting!  I've always wondered what the security professionals use :D
I'll share my setup, then I have a couple of questions.

XP desktop
ESET Smart Security
WinPatrol Pro
MVPS Hosts File

Spybot S&D (not the real-time part since installing ESET SS, which has its own real-time)

uninstalled due to being outdated:
possibly Spybot S&D soon?

new Windows 7 laptop:
so far, only ESET and MBAM
maybe Windows Defender
but planning to duplicate the XP system as much as possible

So, questions using babyoh's security as an example
Norton Nis 2009 AV / Firewall
winpartol pro
mbam (malwarebytes Anti-Malware)
spyware blaster
spybot S&D (with TeaTimer enabled)
windows defender

It seems like some of these programs do the same thing?  Although I'm certainly no expert.  But don't MBAM and Windows Defender do about the same thing?  I know that part of Spybot S&D does the same thing that part of SpywareBlaster does (add dangerous sites to Restricted Zone in IE) (I think they also have another feature in common, but I can't remember what it is at the moment).  And I certainly don't intend any criticism.  I run both Spybot S&D and SpywareBlaster myself.

For myself, I'm concerned that the spyware part of ESET, MBAM and Windows Defender might be all doing about the same thing.  Can you guys help me get clear on those?

Thanks for your hlep :D

Ok, I've had a look at what you suggested, GR@PH;<'S.  I looks like that setting just turns off the 'do you want to allow this change' type of dialog.  I may turn it down one notch, because they ARE annoying.  But the problem I'm having isn't one of those dialogs.  The one I'm getting is about permissions.

Just tonight I've found the route to changing permissions (and I can hear you all thinking right now -- don't mess with the permissions!).  But I am thoroughly reading the User Access Control and Permissions help files, and trying to understand.  In the end, I may choose not to change the permissions, and just learn to live with it.  But if I can safely add a check mark or 2, and it won't have unintended "side effects" I might do a slight tweak.  We'll see how I feel about it after I finish reading and digesting.  In the end, I may not be able to understand it well enough to feel safe making changes.

not a good idea to be manually adding / removing files from the program files folder
But here's what I don't get, Temmu.  So many programs require you to download extra files in order to add more functionality -- like skins for example.  Or else one program that I'm thinking of in particular, a fractal graphics program called Apophysis, there's a gradient editor that has to be added separately later.  It doesn't come with the main program.  Or all kinds of add-ons, and...I think it's in that same program, or it might be a different fractal graphics program, where you can download various different scripts which allow the program to draw certain sort of varieties of fractal images.  And they have to be put into  that program's directory.  A vector graphics program called Inkscape has all sort of extensions available for download around the 'net, which also have to be installed into the program's directory.  And they don't come with an installation wizard.  You just download and put them in the directory, or previously I would download directly into the Program Files.

So there are all sorts of valid reasons why a compter's admin might need to access, add things to and remove things from Program Files.

Internet / Re: You Guys Digging Windows 7?
« on: May 08, 2010, 03:37:15 AM »
As a rule I personally only install 64bit on my 64bit PC so if a program dose not say it is for x86(32bit) & x64 (64bit)
Well I guess my version (Windows Home Premium) provides the Program Files (x86), so that 32 bit programs CAN be run on the 64 bit.  Although, if I understand everything I've learned over the past few days (definitely brain overload  :tease:),  32 bit programs can run on 64 bit machines and os, period, so I wonder why the special PF(x86) is needed.  But it's one of those questions that doesn't require an answer for me to continue moving along with learning the new w7 and setting up new machine.

For example, I had a choice when I downloaded Office 2010 between 64-bit and 32-bit.  I selected the 32-bit version and when I clicked the file for installation, the installer properly selected Program Files (x86).
Yes, that's what I finally gathered from responses to my questions at MS Answers.  But they wouldn't come right out and say it, for some reason.  Now I know that when the installation wizard "suggests" or "prompts" installing in x86, that's how I know it's a 32 bit program.  (Long story, but when I was 1st learning how to download and install programs, I let Windows install as it saw fit, then I couldn't find the programs.  That's when I started directing the installation, and when I set up my organization system that I mentioned in the other topic.)

Out of curiosity, if there was a 64 bit version available, why did you choose the 32 bit version?  Is there some advantage in doing  so?

Thanks for your help, guys.  I'll give these things a try and let you know what happens.

Internet / Re: You Guys Digging Windows 7?
« on: May 05, 2010, 06:13:31 PM »
Gotta say I'm not liking it so far, not 64 bit on laptop.  See my new topic:

Also can't figure out whether to install into Program Files or Program Files (x86).  The x86 is meant for 32 bit, but most programs don't tell you if they're 64 or 32.

Hi Friends,
I recently bought a new Windows 7 laptop computer, and really struggling with certain things.  In particular, when I try to download a program (any program), I get the following error message:
"You don't have permission to save in this location.  Contact the administrator to obtain permission."
I AM the adiminstrator, my user account is the only one on this computer, and it's the adminstrator account!  On my  XP desktop computer, I'm in the habit of saving my setup/installer file in its own folder, alongside the program folder, in a main program folder in Program Files.  Something like this:

Program Files
 + Adobe
 - Games
    - Tetris
       - Tetris program
       - Tetris installer
 - Inkscape
    - Inkscape program
    - Inkscape installer

I like to be organized, and this is the system I've set up for myself on Windows XP.

Since Dell no longer offers tech support for software (except for $239 per year  :confused:  :blink:  :shock:), I've visited the MS Answers forum for help, but I'm quite dissatisfied with their support.  So I thought I'd present the problem here, where I hope to receive the awesome kind of support you've always provided me.

The response from MS Answers is that it's a security measure.  But downloading into Program Files isn't the only thing for which admin permission is needed, but which is impossible to provide.  Just setting up a new folder manually I need to click through permission dialogs!  I've always been curious about other OSs like Linux, but knowing my own abilities (as many of you know or may have guessed) I'm not sure if I have what it takes to learn to use it (or others).  But I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have.

And of course I'd love it if anyone has a solution to the admin not having admin permission :D

Thanks for your help  :D

Thank you SO much.  And thanks to MBAM for providing the license!

You know, it's been my honor and pleasure to be a member of LzD for all these almost 5 years, and this is "icing on the cake" as they say.....yeah, birthday cake :D

LandzDown Lounge / Re: Spot the Difference (Prize: MBAM License)
« on: June 24, 2009, 01:37:17 AM »
Not the biggest, but definitely different.


 1. Loretta Lynn
 2. Donna Summer
 3. Judy Collins
 4. Vern Raynor
 5. Evelyn Ankers
 6. Aretha Franklin
 7. Dinah Washington
 8. Evelyn Ankers
 9. Esther Williams
10. Maureen O'Hara
11. Maria Montez
12. Annie Oakley

LandzDown Lounge / Re: Spot the Difference
« on: June 14, 2009, 03:11:14 PM »
Is this one?
Blue rect in middle, on the window shade on the left?

LandzDown Lounge / Re: Spot the Difference
« on: June 14, 2009, 02:49:16 PM »
Oops, I forgot to crop the screen shot - sorry  :smash:

LandzDown Lounge / Re: Spot the Difference
« on: June 14, 2009, 02:47:39 PM »
Uh-oh  :smash:
Your new summary image (w/yellow rectangles) doesn't show the footprint in the snow, that I reported without uploading an image.  I added a blue rect bottom right, below.

And did I find another?  (Blue rect right center.)

Yeah, you know, on some of those that have been found, I really can't see any difference!  Don't think I can get cataract surgery b4 contest is over :(  But hopefully very soon.

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