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How Not To Lose Stuff
by Cate Eales

Appeared March 12, 2012 on castanet.net


If your computer has the DNSChanger trojan, you just got a four-month stay of execution. Let’s get that trojan out of there before July 12! Also, learn how to recover unsaved Word documents…sometimes.

How Not To Lose Your Internet Access
Good news: Millions of computers did not lose internet access last Thursday (March 8, 2012). But a fair number of computers might still be up the proverbial creek when July 9 rolls around.

Our story so far: In November 2011, six men in Estonia were arrested by the FBI. The men are charged with participating in an internet fraud scheme that netted at least $14 million (USD). They are alleged to have used a type of malicious software called DNSChanger to infect roughly 4 million computers in over 100 countries.

DNSChanger allowed the criminals to cause these computers to redirect users to websites that the criminals controlled, and to prevent the computers from accessing legitimate security websites where the DNSChanger could be at least detected and maybe removed.

While it’s good that the FBI got their men, that left roughly 4 million computers with a couple of problems. First, the DNSChanger is a trojan, and likely to have let more infections in. Second, if the FBI were to shut down the rogue servers, all those computers would be unable to access the internet. So a US federal court allowed the FBI to replace the rogue servers with their own so that users and Internet Service Providers could get the infections cleared up. The end of that 120 day period was to have been March 8.

No internet Access
(click to enlarge graphic)

No internet access!

Because so many computers remain infected, the FBI’s petition to the court to extend the deadline was granted. So infected users will continue to have internet access, at least for awhile. But it’s important to find out if your computer is affected and if so, it’s important to get it cleaned. A very simple way to discover if your computer has the DNSChanger malware on it is to visit the DNSChanger Working Group Website. Follow the instructions for your version of Windows. (Vista users should follow the instructions for Windows 7.) If you find that your computer is infected, you need to get that taken care of quickly. Again, it’s likely that your computer also has something else bad going on with it.

To learn more about the arrest, see this article from Brian Krebs. To learn more about what DNS is, see this Wikipedia article. More on the deadline extension here.


How Not To Lose Your Word Document
I work in Microsoft Word a lot. I write this column in Word. And sometimes I forget to hit the Save button before closing a document.

I hate it when that happens.

Luckily, Word 2010 can often recover those documents.

bulletOpen a new Word document
bulletClick on file | Info | Manage Versions
bulletOn the dropdown arrow, click on Recover Unsaved Documents

You must, however, have enabled “Save AutoRecover information.” and “Keep the last autosaved versions if you close without saving” for that to work.

Autosave settings in Word 2007
(click to enlarge graphic)

Autosave settings in Word 2007

Microsoft has the instructions and a good explanation of that here.

You might be able to recover a document from earlier versions of Word. Check the information in this article. Again, success depends in large part on whether or not you have enabled the AutoRecover feature. See this article to learn how.

If you’ve deleted some other kind of file, this article might be helpful.


Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to help@computercarekelowna.com.


You can read previous columns here: http://rlis.com/column.htm. If you'd like to subscribe to this column by email, please visit this link: http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618. It's easy, and free. If you'd prefer the RSS Feed, click here: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml.


Links

DNSChanger Working Group Checkup http://dcwg.org/checkup.html
“Biggest Cybercriminal Takedown in History” http://bit.ly/s1s3EH
Domain Name System http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_Name_System
Judge extends DNSChanger deadline as malware cleanup progresses http://bit.ly/zqyo28
Recover earlier versions of a file in Office 2010 http://bit.ly/wLTH4V
How to recover a lost Word document http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316951
What is the AutoRecover Feature in Word? http://support.microsoft.com/kb/156574
I Wish I Hadn’t Deleted That File http://rlis.com/columns/column332.htm
Computer Care Kelowna http://computercarekelowna.com/
Getting Along With Your Computer Column Archives http://rlis.com/column.htm
Get Cate's column by email http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618
RSS Feed: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml

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Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to help@computercarekelowna.com.

You can read previous columns here. If you'd like to subscribe to this column by email, please visit this link It's easy, and free. If you'd prefer the RSS Feed, click here.

Cate Eales 2012 – All Rights Reserved

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