Posts Tagged ‘virus’

I have recently come to a terrifying conclusion and I believe I’m not alone on this one! It’s always been there but no one seems to think about it anymore as its part of our daily routine. It strips you down of creativity and energy, it takes up precious time and plays an important, however pathetic part in our social lives. Facebook O_o

We waste so much time on this social website just to check on updates and news. News?? What news? You call someone going to sleep news? I would like to strongly disagree and point out the true nature of news. News is something that affects the life of more than just one or two individuals. How many times has Facebook been the first webpage opened when you get into the reach of a computer? Anxiously going to the so called “news feed” section to find out all kinds of nonsense.

The matter gets worse. How many of the people that buy iPhones actually use them at their full potential? Maybe 10% or less. If I use the students in my university as a case study, then more than 90% use these types of smartphones for Facebook. The particular issue here is not that they waste a significant amount of time “chatting” to someone in the same room with them or someone they just said bye to 5 minutes ago but the amount of pounds they feed the communication companies by subscribing to their so called “deals”. Let us take this argument a notch further. A normal phone without the advanced internet browsing specs and with a normal package chosen (including a sensible number of available texts + a satisfying number of calling minutes with a somewhat realistic internet monthly allowance) would reach somewhere around 20 pounds a month. Now let’s have a look at a package including the iPhone. The iPhone with a similar package would be somewhere around 35 pounds a month. Don’t see much of a difference? Let’s see the difference after an 18 month period. The 20 pound monthly subscription reaches 360 pounds whereas the iPhone reaches 630. That is a difference of 270 pounds which were spent just so you can be the first to know that Jenny started her diet and is now dying from the inside.

Facebook started with an interesting idea of connecting people after parties or random social events and sharing interests and hobbies with others. However, it started to replace a significant part of our social lives and feeds us everything we need to know. What happened to asking someone what they like to do and so forth? I’m studying marketing and the business environment and I can analyze Facebook a step further than the average user.  Facebook has grown to be something way bigger than just a social website. It’s a globalization and marketing tool. You may not see this at first but I can assure you it is. The above example with the mobile phones and the urge to check every 10 seconds what’s new is part of this “movement”. Have you ever noticed the little ads on the right hand side of the Facebook page? They always relate to you and are aimed at you. How they do this? Simple. They create search engines or teams of “bored” people. Companies go to Facebook with an ad or message and want it aimed at a certain market segment. A market segment is a group of potential customers with certain similar buying characteristics or just personal preferences. All the information about you is searched and stacked with others and when needed its categorized so that it fits the requirements of ads. I must say it freaks me out when I read an ad and I get the feeling it knows everything about me. You can also look at Facebook as a massive data base if you were a company. It sometimes provides valuable marketing research to companies. This may sound a bit unreal to be true, but a discussion on Facebook about a certain product can provide useful information to a company in relation to customer opinions. Lately, companies and artists started using Facebook as well. I don’t want to break it to you, but they are not getting accounts because they love you or care about you or even want to chat to you. It is because it’s free and effective advertising. “Check out my new song on iTunes”. In other words, go and buy my song and make me filthy rich. That is the true reality. Furthermore, I seriously doubt the fact that the actual artist even uses that account. It probably is some smart associate working in the marketing department using psychological language. Facebook provides a huge marketing opportunity with large customer potential.

Lately they introduced those so called Zynga games. These little flash games provide a nice “gaming” experience during a major lack of creativity. You might wonder what’s in it for them? Well, you get these intense gamers who like to be ahead of everyone and lose track of reality followed by the purchase of the in-game money used to buy various things in the game. That’s the main reason of Zynga’s existence.

I mentioned the globalization concept earlier. Globalization is the ever increase in global market uniformization or put in a more simple way, the tastes, demands and preferences of global customers are starting to perfectly coincide and firms take advance of this by using the same advertising campaigns and marketing messages with slight cultural and religious variations. In my opinion, Facebook helps this process and at the same time takes advantage as well. Cultural values and diversity is maintained by belief and sometimes by not knowing of certain things. Well, Facebook just shouts out loud everything there is to know in a globalized society. Pepsi or Cola? McDonalds or KFC? And so on. And If you don’t know this or that then your boring and lame. In order to avoid that some people go against their beliefs and their stripped of their cultural values leading to Globalization. Is it ethic and socially responsible? Depends which side you view it from. If you’re the individual and you give it a slight thought you might say it’s not at all ethic. However, if you’re Facebook or some other multimillion dollar company as long as it doesn’t lower your figures (profit) then you are just fine.

I’d say Facebook itself is a trend and it creates a pattern of uniformity within social groups. This trend is that question at the end of a discussion with someone you just met about their Facebook name. Furthermore, if Facebook is absent, this can sometimes cause a problem or a halt in the natural development of a relation. Imagine having a discussion with someone and then having an issue with keeping the connection between the individuals. We have to admit, nowadays Facebook is the natural connection between groups of individuals and is a bit more entertaining than a simple phone number. I wonder what our parents and their parents did before Facebook ever existed?? Interesting.

Facebook can prove itself useful for keeping a record of events and guests and other scheduled tasks you might have. In my case the events section makes football training sessions so much easier to follow and to disseminate.  I also find Facebook useful when I need to find out something regarding university work or other social events. My ISP seems to use some sort of filters which renders Yahoo M useless and Skype working at the slowest ever pace. Sending a message took me 5 hours yesterday and is as boring to use as watching paint dry. You might think it’s my broadband speed. Well, it’s not! I can assure you that. Returning to the point at hand. Facebook Chat can prove itself useful sometimes. However, they still need to work on fixing the bugs affecting the functionality of the service.

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I have recently stumbled upon a question, which I found really interesting. The question was about how antivirus programs work, this including firewalls as well and the types of viruses. So I decided to undergo some research, which helped me understand the principle better.
Basically, an antivirus is a program or software that has the function to scan files and if found dangerous such as viruses or any malware, spyware, Trojans, worms etc., these would be eliminated or be put in quarantine to stop any further spreading. Another definition to note down is that of a computer virus, which is a program or software meant to make copies of itself and infect or damage files used by the operating system or programs which are installed. This Is meant to have a negative and malicious effect on your computers and can cause both material and non-material damage.
Antivirus software is usually programmed to use two methods of identifying viruses and dealing with the problem. The first and most know method is the scanning of computer files and by using a virus signature list (which is obtained when the software is purchased or installed and is kept up to date with the frequent updates) any malware such as viruses and Trojans can be identified resulting in the deletion of the file. The antivirus program itself can also try and heal the file and if this fails then the file is either put into quarantine or deleted. Another approach is by identifying any suspicious behavior from programs that could cause damage to the operating system.
Computer viruses can increase their chances of spreading to other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file system that is accessed by another computer.
In order to replicate itself, a virus must be permitted to execute code and write to memory. For this reason, many viruses attach themselves to executable files that may be part of legitimate programs. If a user attempts to launch an infected program, the virus’ code may be executed simultaneously. Viruses can be divided into two types based on their behavior when they are executed. Nonresident viruses immediately search for other hosts that can be infected, infect those targets, and finally transfer control to the application program they infected. Resident viruses do not search for hosts when they are started. Instead, a resident virus loads itself into memory on execution and transfers control to the host program. The virus stays active in the background and infects new hosts when other programs or the operating system itself accesses those files. (Wikipedia)
Polymorphic code was the first technique that posed a serious threat to virus scanners. Just like regular encrypted viruses, a polymorphic virus infects files with an encrypted copy of itself, which is decoded by a decryption module. In the case of polymorphic viruses, however, this decryption module is also modified on each infection. A well-written polymorphic virus therefore has no parts which remain identical between infections, making it very difficult to detect directly using signatures. Antivirus software can detect it by decrypting the viruses using an emulator, or by statistical pattern analysis of the encrypted virus body. To enable polymorphic code, the virus has to have a polymorphic engine (also called mutating engine or mutation engine) somewhere in its encrypted body.
To avoid being detected by emulation, some viruses rewrite themselves completely each time they are to infect new executables. Viruses that utilize this technique are said to be metamorphic. To enable metamorphism, a metamorphic engine is needed. A metamorphic virus is usually very large and complex. For example, W32/Simile consisted of over 14000 lines of Assembly language code, 90% of which is part of the metamorphic engine.
A firewall is now mostly a function integrated into an antivirus program, which has the clear aim of acting as a barrier, or wall, which filters any incoming information from the Internet wanting to enter the computer. If any incoming data is flagged, then the firewall will take action and stop the incoming data from entering the network or computer.

In order to use a computer, that runs as smoothly and efficiently as it can, it must be taken care of, in other words a regular maintenance check should be undertaken from a software point of view as from a hardware one as well on a regular basis. This is common for any objects we use or own, by this meaning that without taking care of it the life span will keep getting shorter and shorter.
I would start my regular maintenance with getting rid of any file or program which I don’t need anymore. Plus I must mention the fact that installing programs in order to check them out followed by uninstalling them is not very healthy for the computer system. Programs tend to leave files such as temporary files, saved data or shared files behind which if not deleted manually they remain there occupying space and thus slowing down the computer making it inefficient. So, by getting rig of unused programs and their left behind files then the system should work just fine as less RAM and virtual memory is used.
Another tip in maintaining a healthy computer is keeping away bugs such as viruses and worms, or Trojans etc. This may be done using a few various methods. The most advisable and logic idea is to use a good anti virus software with an efficient firewall function. These anti virus applications may be free or may need to be bought but if the internet functions are rarely used and there is little contact with unsafe websites then a free anti virus application may be used. To note the fact that there are many free anti virus programs, which are very good and do the job, an example would be AVG anti virus or Nod 32. Another way to avoid such mall ware is to visit safe websites, such as yahoo or google and avoid at any costs downloading programs or gaming cracks and trainers from unknown sources as these may be harmful to the computer and may contain Trojans or viruses.
Always perform regular updates for the operating system (OS) as new fixes may be released and these may result in increased processing efficiency or less time wasted with glitches and bugs in the software. Updates should also be performed on a regular basis for the anti virus software as well, as new virus signatures are made available almost daily due to the increased danger of viruses.
Operating systems files such as the Windows registry may require maintenance as well. A utility such as a registry cleaner may be used for this. A system backup can also be performed as part of the maintenance as in case of any unwanted change that cannot be reversed then the backup can be used to restore or return to the point when the backup was made.
From the hardware point of view, maintenance is also important. The monitor should be kept in a clean condition by cleaning any dust of dirt marks on the surface using special cleaning materials bought from a specialized computer shop. The keyboard and mouse can occasionally be cleaned as well in order to maintain a nice clean look.