The danger of installing “free” programs from the Internet

BrowseSmart is an adware program, that displays pop-up ads and advertisements on web pages that you visit. The “Ads by BrowseSmart” advertisements will be shown as boxes containing various coupons that are available, as underlined keywords, pop-up ads or advertising banners. What is BrowseSmart? BrowseSmart is advertised as a program that displays coupons for sites …

Source: Remove “Ads By BrowseSmart” virus (Easy Removal Guide)

Many websites like CNET or so on offer “free” programs. These programs come bundled with software that are designed to make money for the company that added them to the site. I had a customer download one of those files and when they installed it, they also had installed this BrowseSmart program. This program like many unwanted programs is designed to download other unwanted applications and also change how your browser works. It randomly changes links and has pop up windows with advertising. Not software you want on your computer.

This was cleaned by Sophos easily. It required a reboot of the computer but then it was gone. Sophos has been fantastic. I have everyone I know using it and only once have I had to use a competing product to clean something it found. It found a malware rootkit that it said would have to be deleted manually. The instructions for it were complicated and time-consuming so I used Malwarebytes and it removed it.

I shared earlier an article that the reason that email spam is decreasing is because criminals are focusing more on malware. Programs that infect your computer and attempt to make money in various ways. This malware can generally be easily cleaned and protect you using a good Endpoint protection program. Since the threats now are more than just viruses, endpoint protects more than used to be protected. It is great that as the threat is increasing, security is also increasing. Since I mostly help people with Windows computers I personally use a Mac at home with Sophos. I only encounter a virus when I go to a webpage that has one. If there was some way to filter viruses and malware on an ISP level that would take out much of the danger. Its strange isn’t it? President Obama said Internet access is a right and a utility like electricity. However would we allow bad electricity that could damage our equipment and data? It’s strange that ISPs say that they have no responsibility for filtering yet inject ads in the data-stream thereby showing that they can filter at the data level.

It’s clear that ISP’s are doing what is beneficial to them. Short sighted behavior increases complexity and costs for everyone.

Problems syncing your iPhone to a VW GTI?

Source: VWVortex.com – how do i sync my i phone bluetooth to my car?

This link talks about VW owners who have problems syncing the Bluetooth on the iPhone to their VW. I helped a friend with this yesterday and we had problems as well. The first time that we tried to sync, the iPhone wouldn’t see the Bluetooth of the car. So I rebooted the iPhone but when we tried again it didn’t show the number code on the phone.

Normally when you connect a smart phone to a car you will be asked to verify that the number shown on your iPhone matches the number that is shown on the dash screen. In this case the VW didn’t properly send that number to the phone, but it did identify the phone by the name of the Phone. So my friend answered “yes” when it said is this the number displaying on the phone. Then there were two choices. One was just to sync with the phone calling capacity, and the other was to use the AD2P profile which allows things like music to sync to the phone. I had her choose the AD2P profile. If you have a choice this should be the one that you use in a car.

In other cars they don’t allow you to choose the profile, but always select the most featured one for you. Cars that are pre-2010 seem to not have AD2P as a common functionality. So many cars have Bluetooth but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can sync your iPhone and listen to music in your car. However every car that has Bluetooth that I’ve experienced will let you play your smartphone through it. Some cars are not good at dealing with the newest iPhone’s which have a newer Bluetooth, but when I suggested for a friend to go to the dealer and get a firmware update it seemed to solve the issue.

Bluetooth in cars works pretty well. The biggest problems are just interference that rarely happens when other Bluetooth devices like other iPhone’s are in the car. More common is the problem of having multiple iPhone’s in the same car. Some cars do not deal well with multiple Bluetooth connections. For example a friends Lexus doesn’t seem to want to connect to a second Bluetooth profile from a second iPhone. This is a 2010 Lexus so the dealer doesn’t have any additional updates. My friend has to connect his iPhone through a USB cable which is fine but not all systems have the capability. Many car models only have a Bluetooth connection so YMMV.

The other thing that is helpful to know is that the quality of the sound from a Bluetooth connection is better than the old tape adapters that directly connect to the sound out. I used to use a tape adapter when I listened in friends cars but now that they have Bluetooth and USB they are better connections. The tape adapter introduces a very faint hiss and reduces the quality somewhat. It is really remarkable as technology progresses how you find the limitations in the old way of doing things. I have been amazed as I have listened to music that I have listened to for years in basic sound systems sound completely different in high-end systems. It is humbling when you help someone who is rich and the experience of music is that it comes to life. Now even economy cars have great sound. Isn’t technology wonderful?