Save Money on Your Internet Security Software

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We all realise how important it is to keep our systems secure, we are regularly reminded in the news when we hear about yet another cyber attack and the new twist to an age old scam. Most new computers come with a trial of McAfee or Norton in the hope that you will subscribe and continue to do so while the auto renew feature keeps you paid up and reassuring messages  from said provider inform you that you are protected against the latest threats – are you? These providers along with other household names like AVG and Kaspersky or Panda have dominated our choice of security for the last decade or so.

There is a new threat that has not been covered by the majority of security software until only recently and not all suppliers are there yet. Much of the security is down to our own common sense, don’t click on that link or watch that small video clip. But what about those infected web pages that dish out malware and inject code into our web browsers and our systems? There is a separate security program for that, Malwarebytes.

This software program exists (for paid members) to constantly watch and protect you by stopping any malware from getting into your computer, it will happily work alongside your antivirus/internet security software, whatever you use although I believe that in the past I have not been able to install Kaspersky as it checked for the presence of already installed security products and insisted Malwarebytes was removed prior to install, it can always be put back afterwards.

To get back to the main point of this post, saving money on your security software. I often get asked which in my opinion is the best to use and my answer is always the same, in essence, all major platforms use the same definitions of antivirus engines, the same updates of raw data that tells them what infections are out there. Then there are the other tools that a security program may provide such as system cleaning and maintenance tools that make it easier for you to use, over time people get used to these and prefer to stick with them as their systems maintain a relatively trouble-free life more confidence is held in the security product of their choice.

Your Internet Service Provider Can Save You Money

Many people do not realise that the likes of BT, TalkTalk, EE and Fleur Telecom all offer free or discounted security software. If you are not sure then just log into your own customer account and see what else your package offers or email the support team of your internet provider. At the time I wrote this post BT offer McAfee Security (Badged as BT Virus Protect) free and depending what package you have with them you can protect up to 15 devices for free. TalkTalk offer what they call TalkTalk Boost that is actually F-Secure and EE offer s discounted version of Norton, I have also, thanks to a customer, Christine (She’s a regular reader of my website – thank you) found out that Fleur Telecom offer their Fleur Security Suite that also incorporated Symantec Endpoint Protection.

So going through this route initially can save you and your family many pounds. There is another option and that is to contact your bank, if you are registered for online banking then there is often security software offered with it – check it out.

One last word. Knock off that Auto Renew feature because you will be charged the top price automatically and I have seen charges of £80 or more regularly paid out, yes I know that can be a small price to pay for ones peace of mind when you consider for a moment the alternatives but a little shopping around will save you up to half that or more. Let’s say you have a McAfee account, turn off the auto renew. As the subscription runs out check out the prices at other online sites and even your local PC World etc. You can in this case purchase a new product elsewhere at a cheaper cost then log in to your McAfee account and type in the product key, there’s a place for it and voila you have another year at less cost. You still need to download the product from within your account and replace the old version you have but that’s it.

Protect yourself against fraud.

I have written a post here with details of how to keep yourself safe from fraudsters, I have also found this thanks to a helpful reader, it’s from Fleur Telecom and it’s a well written pdf on keeping yourself safe and far more detailed than my post – see the link below.

Fraud Prevntion by Fleur Telecom

Need to reinstall your security software or get access your online account? See this post.

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Beware The Fraudster’s Keep Yourself Secure

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The genuine ones do not phone you. Your internet provider, your bank, Microsoft etc. If you get a call – just put the phone down – don’t hesitate – it’s a scam.

In recent weeks people have approached me both during and after an incident, I get a phone call from someone who tells me that they have a Microsoft, BT or TalkTalk technician on the phone who says there are problems with their computer or broadband or even an upgrade to their router. Stop, put the phone down.

These people are very convincing and often sound professional, their aim is to get into your computer to steal your information and get as much money out of you as they can. They offer often useless or free software at hugely inflated prices and there it is not without possibility that any software they provide may be set up to steal information. Here are some of the things they may tell you:

“We recently refunded too much money into your bank account and we need you to enter your bank details on this screen so we can take back some of the money.”

“We notice that you have recently been experiencing slower than usual broadband speeds and problems with your internet connection.”

“We have received notices of error messages from your computer and your PC has been infected with viruses.”

“We see that you have problems with your router.”

“We will compensate you for the inconvenience of this call.”

There have been many occasions where the owner of the computer has been told that if they don’t pay then their internet will be cut off or/and their computer will be locked out, the latter is common, upon rebooting your computer after a fraudster has had access to it one is presented with a small square log in screen that requests a password, a password you do not have, yes you are locked out of your computer. If this was not bad enough you then find out your computer needs to be cleaned and it’s operating system need to be reinstalled. There is a way to put this right without reinstalling Windows but as there is no guarantee that the fraudster has not installed something else that can silently steal your information, so a reinstall is the best option. All your files, in most cases can be backed up and put back afterwards.

There is something else.

It is also common for people to search for a solution to their printer problem, email problem or internet problem. These fraudsters know what you are searching for, the next thing you know is that you have landed on a page promising a quick and effective solution to your problem, a prominent telephone number is also displayed and often with the name of the manufacturer in question. This also is most likely to be a scam, you call the number and very quickly get through to a technician who promises to sort things out – you could be letting yourself into a lot of problems.

The best thing to do if you want to investigate your own computer problem is to go directly to the manufacturers website for example, www.epson.com or www.hp.co.uk or www.microsoft.com etc. It is possible however that if your computer does have what’s known as a dns redirect (your website navigation to certain sites gets redirected to a malicious site) or something similar then even attempting to go to a legitimate site could land you somewhere that is not. If in doubt then contact your local repair shop for advice

Companies such as Microsoft, HP and BT ect do not readily advertise a telephone number in a blatant enough to prompt you to call, usually you have to look for it and even if you do call them you are unlikely to get through to a technician straight away.

A favourite software program these fraudsters use, there are two of them and both are actually legitimate companies however, because they are free to download and install they are used. I have placed two images below so if you are asked to download one of these then don’t.

This link leads to the Ammyy Admin website where they have put up a warning about their software being used by these fraudsters. Click here to read it.

TalkTalk has recently begun blocking access to Teamviewer’s website in order to protect customers. I say again that these two companies are legitimate but unfortunately fraudsters are using it in this way.

Remember, Microsoft, your bank, internet provider, BT, Talk Talk etc will never phone you. Stay safe and just hang up.