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Computer 101

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Worried about that website being dangerous?  It's not fair and it's not right.  It's just plain evil.  There are indeed, a lot of websites out there that contain malicious software and all you have to do is visit the website to catch it.

Pornography websites are notorious for including malicious downloads.  Just visit the site and a big, nasty surprise starts downloading.  Many a kid has ruined their parent's or grandparent's computers trying to covertly visit these sites.  For that matter, many a parent and grandparent have ruined their own computers visiting this stuff.

Even worse, it's not just pornography websites that have it.  The most innocuous looking sites can have it too.  A search for tractor parts, (You know, those big machines down on the farm.) sometimes took people to a malicious website.  There was no way to know it till you got there and suddenly, something would start downloading into your computer and it doesn't stop just because you try to leave the site.

Well, now you don't have to play Russian roulette on the internet.  There's a way to find out whether that website is malicious before you even go there.

Google has bought a company from Madrid Spain called "VirusTotal", that can scan websites or even individual programs, to see whether they're out to hurt your computer.

If for example, you want to visit a website and you suspect there might be evil lurking there, go to virustotal.com and type the address of the website in to check it.  Do not go to the website and copy and paste in the address because then it's too late.  You've already been to the website!  Just type the address into the search bar on virustotal's page and click Scan it!

Virustotal scans the website, (or the file if you have one that's suspect) with 60 different anti-virus programs.  Using so many means that if a few anti-virus programs indicate that something is dangerous, it might be a false positive, or they may even give a false negative.  With 60 programs checking on it, you can have a pretty good idea as to whether it really is nasty or not.

Surfing the internet minefield out there may just be a little safer and if your kid knows about it, there shouldn't be any more nasty surprises.  You know kids.  Always looking for tractor parts.  John

 

 

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