So you think you have a Virus?

If you Anti-virus software has told you that you have a virus, but you want to double check, here are a few things you can do.

1) Try a few on-line virus testers. Most of them require accessing them through Internet Explorer. Here are a few links to some that I use:

2) Make sure your AV software is up to date. Some times there can be a “false” positive, meaning it isn’t actually a virus, but a file that is being misreported as a virus.

3) If you use AVG for your virus scan program, go to: or under the “About Viruses” section, look for the Virus Encyclopedia. If you don’t find your virus there, it could be that it is part of a “spyware” program that has been installed on your computer.

If it appears this is the case, try one of the on-line virus scanners (listed in #1) to see if it will find it as a virus.

If this doesn’t work, then Google the filename of the “reported” virus and see if you can find out what program may have installed it. Then try to uninstall the program. It is a good idea to Google “uninstalling [insert name of program here]” to see if you can find detailed directions on how to uninstall it. Most spyware does not uninstall correctly from just the Add/Remove programs.

4) Delete your Temporary Internet files and temp folders and run the scan again.
Temp folders are usually located at c:\windows\temp
There may also be another one at: C:\Documents and Settings\[insert your username\\Local Settings\Temp.

Delete your temporary Internet files by loading your web browser, going under Tools, then Usually Options, the “delete internet files” or “cache.” Still having problems find it, Google “how do I delete my temp internet files in internet explorer or firefox”

5) Re-run the scan. If the “infected” files still show up, after you have uninstalled the program. You can try and just delete them. Go to my computer, browse to the drive and folder where the file is, select it, hit the delete button. warning: Deleting a file if the program has not been uninstalled could make your computer unstable. So make sure you have tried to uninstall it through the Add/Remove programs.

6) A last option that I recommend, but can be a bit technical, is to run HiJackThis.

Go to and run click on the Direct download link. Download the file to your desktop, uncompress it (you may have to double click on it, then drag the hijackthis file to your desktop). Then run the program by double clicking on it.

Select “Do a System Scan and Save a Log file” Notepad will open up and appear to have a lot of lines of text in it. Click Edit and Select all, then, Edit and select copy

Next, go to in the web browser and click in the text box “You can paste a logfile in this textbox” and paste the information that was copied from Notepad.

Click the Analyze button and look at the results.

I would Google “how to use hijackthis” and read up on it before trying to use it. Be warned you can really make your system unstable if you remove the wrong thing.

Good Luck!

Added on 4/27/2009:

Lifehacker recently posted an article with the 5 most popular Malware removal pprogram.  Here is the link:

Search Engines & Meta Tags

In the early days of the Internet, many search engines used Meta tags to know what content a web site contained.

Meta Tag (defination) are as important as they were in the early days of the Internet. “In the early 2000s, search engines have veered away from reliance on meta tags since many web sites used inappropriate meta keywords or a technique known as keyword stuffing, in order to increase their search engine ranking.

Some search engines still take meta tags into consideration when delivering results, though most of the major search engines ignore them.” (

Here is an example of what a newspaper could use for tags: Description Tags: Local news, obituaries, sports, opinion, classifieds, career builder,, and community information from the ‘city’ paper

Keywords: newspaper’s name, [website url], city, state, careers, Classifieds, Jobs

Search Engine Submissions
Google has agreements with Yahoo! Directory and/or Open Directory Project index, which is owned by Netscape to include the sites indexed in their directories in the Google index.

Sites can be submited to Yahoo! Directory by clicking on the Suggest a Site link on their site.

Sites can be submitted to the Open Directory project by clicking on the link Suggest URL on their site.

If a site is added above, there is no reason to add it to Google, since Google pulls from those directories. However, sites can be added to Google by going to

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Note: Most of this information was found at

What Web Users Hate about Web Sites

I recently ran across an article on that sumerized the top 5 quirks that web surfer’s hate most about web sites. Spending a large portion of my life on the web, I agreed with all of these and was glad to know that I was not alone.

The top five Web site quirks that users hate the most, according to iFocus are:

1. Invasive advertising: Cunnington says users widely despise ads that cover content, ads that flash wildly and ads that chew broadband.

2. Re-inventing the wheel: people do not want to have to learn how to use a site before they can browse it, Cunnington said.

3. ‘Leap of faith’ links: that means disclosing information on content and file size.

4. Attention-deficit Web sites: “Users have a special hatred of flashing icons and banners, because they draw the eye away from what is important and hinder their progress,” Cunnington said.

5. War and Peace length: “A common mistake in Web design is to just [convert] a brochure to the Web. But the Web is its own medium, and communication has to change to reach users. Users are known to read 25 percent slower on the screen than on paper, read fewer words and don’t like long pages which require scrolling down,” she said. Another problem is site blindness. “We are now seeing right-column blindness, where users do not see information and links down the right hand side of the screen. This occurs because the right hand column has become known for advertising,” Cunnington said.

Passwords, Passwords, Passwords

Update: Here are a few more suggestions some that I made in my original post and other I didn’t. These were taking from a MacWorld article, The Art of Creating Strong Passwords.

  • Substitute numbers for letters and vice versa. (o instead of 0, 4 instead of A, 1 instead of L, E instead of 3)
  • Substitute words for numbers (one, two , three…)
  • Combine both the of above (0ne, thr33, f1ve)
  • Use capitalization in random places (bLue, happY)
  • Use special characters ( !@#$%^&*(){}[] ) to punctuate and separate words
  • Create passwords out of words, numbers or phrases you’ll remember
  • Misspell words

Original Post:

Everyone seems to have a hard time coming up with good passwords. If you come up with a password, how do you know if it is a strong password or not?
Here are a couple of useful links:

Password Strength Tester
Password Generator

Other suggestions. Don’t use words in dictionaries. Maybe combine multiple words, but throw some symbols in for letters, examples: instead of using an e, use a 3, instead of an a, use an @, 1 (one) instead of an L, etc.

Maybe use the password generator above, and use a symbol instead of a letter in some of the suggestions. also has a short video clip on some thing that can be done to create and remember secure passwords. Remember what they are protecting when you select them. If it doesn’t matter if someone guesses or hackes your web site, e-mail, computer, then select something easy. If it does matter, take a bit more time and figure something out stronger.

Top 10 Most Common Passwords
10. Thomas
9. arsenal
8. monkey
7. charlie
6. qwerty
5. 123456
4. letmein
3. power
2. password
1. 123

Other common guessable, but non-static passwords are

1)  Your Address
2)  Your phone number
3)  The name of spouse or model of car
4)  The dog or cat’s name