Virus Info Part 1: What is CryptoLocker (CryptoDefense, CryptorBit) ?

CryptoLocker Encryption Virus Pop-Up

CryptoLocker, CryptoDefense, and CriptorBit are nasty types of the ransomware family of viruses that utilizes encryption to effectively lock out their victims from having access to their pictures, documents, and more.

They are spread primarily through fake customer service themed emails from businesses such as USPS, FedEx, UPS, prominent banks, antivirus manufacturers, and others. Those emails currently contain a .zip file attachment that contains the actual virus. Read more »

Security Alert: "Blog-jacking"

Major news portal linking to external site

What is “Blog-jacking”? Have you ever been browsing through the day's stories on a news portal website such as Yahoo and found yourself clicking on a link at the bottom of an article that said something like 'See the full list of the 100 worst fashion fiascos of 2013' or something of that nature? Maybe it's a link to the '20 most beautiful beaches', or even '20 simple things you can do to keep your computer safe'. Regardless of what the link is about, they typically have one thing in common... they usually link to a third party blog. Read more »

Corrupted Downloads and Questionable Sources

Always get your program directly from the source.

Recently, Home PC Patrol has performed virus & spyware removal on several of our client's PCs who have been tricked by 'look-alike' websites. In all instances, the clients wanted to download a legitimate program (Google Desktop, Google Chrome or Avast Antivirus) and were tricked into downloading an altered version from a counterfeit website or questionable download portal. Read more »

Virus Alert: Emails / Webpages Promising Access to 'Royal Baby' Videos

Virus Attached to Some Royal Baby Emails

As I have stressed in the past, the computer virus industry is big business and the hackers and scammers never miss an opportunity to capitalize on the latest news, especially when it's as globally followed as the birth of a royal baby. Read more »

Virus Alert: New Fake Antivirus / Scareware Hybrid

New Fake Anti Virus Image

Home PC Patrol Virus Alert: Scareware / Ransomware Virus Hybrid. Scareware and Ransomware viruses never seem to stop evolving, largely because they are so profitable for the 'businesses' that release them. Be on the look out for this new one we have encountered.

Home PC Patrol has encountered a new version of fake antivirus scareware that incorporates the lock screen element from the previously discussed Fake FBI virus with a traditional fake scanner. Basically what happens is your computer will get a white screen that is non interactive (you can't click, minimize, or escape out of it) that forces you to turn the computer off at the power button. Read more »

Maintenance Tip: Keeping Unwanted Bloatware Off Your System

Images of unwanted programs attached to common program downloads

What do all the images in the photo have in common? They all contain junk you don't want. The old adage is that 'nothing in life is ever free' and that is doubly true for 'free' software that you download from the internet. So how do you keep from 'paying' for it in the form of a computer loaded with bloatware and garbage?

Simply "Uncheck the box!". Those three little words will keep your computer from filling up with bloatware and programs you didn't ask for. Read more »

Missing Facebook Recommendation Box on Business Page Work-Around

Missing Facebook Recommendation Box on Business Page Work-Around Header Image

Recently, many businesses have lost their “Recommendations” Box on our Facebook Business / Place Pages. Home PC Patrol is one of those businesses, and we thought we'd see what we could do to find a solution and dispel some of the rumors. The issue appears to be widespread, but to ease your fears a little bit we have found that while you may not be able to see your Recommendations Box, it is not gone. Read more »

Email Scam: Better Business Bureau Complaint Alert

Home PC Patrol Better Business Bureau Accredited Business

Recently Home PC Patrol received an email alleging we were the target of a complaint filed through the Better Business Bureau. We easily recognized the email was a scam as Home PC Patrol is an Accredited Business with the Better Business Bureau with an "A" rating with absolutely no complaints. That being said, there were certain aspects of the email that might make it tough for some businesses to dismiss. Read more »

Home PC Patrol Sponsors Cinderella's Closet of North Eastern Ohio

Cinderella's Closet Web Site Hosted and Designed by Home PC Patrol

Home PC Patrol is proud to once again sponsor Cinderella's Closet of North Eastern Ohio by donating Website Design & Hosting services.

Cinderella's Closet provides formal wear to girls who could not otherwise afford to attend their Prom. Through donations of new and gently used formal dresses and accessories, they are able to "Turn Dresses Into Dreams" for high school girls referred to them by their school, church, social care agency, parents or guardians. Read more »

Just Viewing 'Drive-by' Email Can Infect Your PC

On January 27, 2012 the Eleven Research Team warned about the discovery of a new evolution in email viruses. This newest generation of email viruses can infect a user's computer even if they do not open an attachment or click on a link within the email. Read more »

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