It has recently come to my attention that apparently MegaUpload
has ads that have malware. For those of you who are not aware what malware is here's what it is, according to it's wikipedia article (linked at the bottom of the blurb):
Malware, short for malicious software, consists of programming (code, scripts, active content, and other software) designed to disrupt or deny operation, gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation, gain unauthorized access to system resources, and other abusive behavior. (more @ wikipedia)
There are many different kinds of malware, including but not limited to:
Adware is the class of programs that place advertisements on your screen. These may be in the form of pop-ups, pop-unders, advertisements embedded in programs, advertisements placed on top of ads in web sites, or any other way the authors can think of showing you an ad. The pop-ups generally will not be stopped by pop-up stoppers, and often are not dependent on your having Internet Explorer open. They may show up when you are playing a game, writing a document, listening to music, or anything else. Should you be surfing, the advertisements will often be related to the web page you are viewing.
Programs classified as spyware send information about you and your computer to somebody else. Some spyware simply relays the addresses of sites you visit or terms you search for to a server somewhere. Others may send back information you type into forms in Internet Explorer or the names of files you download. Still others search your hard drive and report back what programs you have installed, contents of your e-mail client's address book (usually to be sold to spammers), or any other information about or on your computer – things such as your name, browser history, login names and passwords, credit card numbers, and your phone number and address.
Spyware often works in conjunction with toolbars. It may also use a program that is always running in the background to collect data, or it may integrate itself into Internet Explorer, allowing it to run undetected whenever Internet Explorer is open.
Hijackers take control of various parts of your web browser, including your home page, search pages, and search bar. They may also redirect you to certain sites should you mistype an address or prevent you from going to a website they would rather you not, such as sites that combat malware. Some will even redirect you to their own search engine when you attempt a search. NB: hijackers almost exclusively target Internet Explorer.
Toolbars plug into Internet Explorer and provide additional functionality such as search forms or pop-up blockers. The Google and Yahoo! toolbars are probably the most common legitimate examples, and malware toolbars often attempt to emulate their functionality and look. Malware toolbars almost always include characteristics of the other malware categories, which is usually what gets it classified as malware. Any toolbar that is installed through underhanded means falls into the category of malware.
Dialers are programs that set up your modem connection to connect to a 1-900 number. This provides the number's owner with revenue while leaving you with a large phone bill. There are some legitimate uses for dialers, such as for people who do not have access to credit cards. Most dialers, however, are installed quietly and attempt to do their dirty work without being detected. (much more @ artechnica.com)
I haven't used the latest IE myself so I don't know how strong their protection is. Personally, I use Mozilla Fire Fox [the latest version]
(I also have the Add-on, Adblock Plus
) but it's also encouraged to use Google Chrome
as a means to better protect yourself from websites where they may have the above.
As for virus protection, I would suggest using either avast!
or even McAfee
. I currently use the free version of avast!
myself and one of the great things about it is that it updates itself every single time I turn on my laptop and even during in the middle of sessions, it would update itself. However, if you have the extra money, I strongly encourage to purchase the full version. If there are better anti-virus services, I would strongly encourage my members to post links to them so I can at least create a list of anti-virus services for more people to use.
I wanted to just announce what's going on with MegaUpload in case you're not aware or, thankfully, you have not been infected by a virus because of MegaUpload's ads. Please feel free to pass this link around to others so that they know what is going on and one of these days I'll finish, update, and create more discography posts.