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The community computing newsletter series #2 · Friday March 29, 2024 by colin newell

Recently a neighbour contacted me about his Windows laptop…

“I have a subscription to some anti-virus software and I updated it on my laptop and now the internet doesn’t work… what do I do?”

Windows 7, Windows 10 and 11 have built in Malware and virus protection – adding more “protection” does not always work out the
way we want it to.

My Neighbour had a “paid subscription” to a popular product and paid for even more coverage than he already had — (or needed)

I did a site visit, uninstalled the conflicting software and all things returned to normal. I advised him to call the 1-800
number at the software vendor, with his purchase confirmation number, and have the charge reverse or eliminated -
which he did and was very successful.

If you are a Mac user, the story is very similar — no additional virus/malware software is needed.

Now, it is true that Mac OS does not really have “anti-malware” features built into it, the Mac OS,
at the core is a Unix/Linux based hybrid that is significantly more resistant to attack than the Windows OS.

Buying additional software for the Mac is simply not needed, in part, because of the naturally robust nature of the Mac OS.

Hackers and bad agents don’t typically spend as much
time creating exploits for the Mac OS. It’s just not worth the effort.

For most of us, we surf the web and read our e-mail: A simple rule applies here…

If a friend or family member sends you an e-mail with a PDF, PowerPoint
or any kind of .exe (executable) file attachment in it, exercise extreme caution with it.

Most of us run into trouble while surfing the web with our favourite browsers — the reason being, the web can be a rabbit hole leading us deeper and deeper into potentially dark territory.

Most of the time, modern and up to date web browsers will warn us of impending doom when the warnings of “insecure connections” and “invalid site certificates” alerts pop up.

If your browser suggests you turn back, think it through before proceeding.

Bonus tipEveryone uses e-mail. Considering using a web-based e-mail client. This allows for an extra layer of protection from the bad people by keeping the crap and malware in the cloud OR at least warning you of the potential for a bad download.

Colin Newell is a Vancouver Island resident, retired from 36 years in info technology, software and hardware support at a local University – his writing and speaking on the subject of food and coffee culture in Canada has been seen and heard widely on radio and TV

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