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Does Valley Internet Protect Me From Viruses?

Yes. Valley Internet runs virus filters on our email system. In addition, we provide firewalls to block exploitation of your computer. Unfortunately, neither of these systems is fool-proof.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have A Virus?

  1. Call Valley Internet
  2. If your computer is running Internet Explorer 5.5 or later, you can check your computer from these free online scan sites.
  3. You can purchase virus protection for your computer. Valley Internet sells Symantec's Norton Antivirus, and there are several other good virus packages out there.

What Is Spyware?

Spyware is not a virus, but may have been installed by one. It is tracking software that monitors your activity on your computer, and is installed with quite a few free downloadable programs.

What Is Adware?

Adware is also not a virus. It is similar to spyware, but instead of tracking your movements, Adware forces online advertising on you by generating popup windows and redirecting your homepage and search pages to their web sites.

The term Adware should not be confused with Ad-Aware, an Adware/Spyware detection and removal tool from Lavasoft.

What Is A Dialer?

Dialers are not viruses either, but are a money making scheme implanted by some forms of adware/spyware to force your computer to dial overseas long distance/for fee phone numbers to generate massive phone bills.

What Is Malware?

The term 'Malware' is a general term used on some websites to refer to Viruses, Spyware, Adware, Dialers, and similar harmful (malicious) software.

How Do I Know If I Have Spyware/Adware?

  • Your computer generates popup ads either on sites that do not normally have them, or when the computer is connected to the Internet but not otherwise being used to view webpages.
  • Your homepage changes, and you cannot change it back and get it to stay.
  • A computer or Internet connection having slowed down greatly is often a sign of Adware/Spyware.
  • Unfamiliar icons and toolbars in Internet Explorer, and links to strange sites in your favorites or on your desktop

How Do I Remove Spyware/Adware?

It is best to bring your computer in to Valley Internet and let us clean them from your computer. At that time, we will load two programs that you can use in the future to clean your computer. There is no charge for these programs.

Do You Want To Block Popups?

  • You can install a popup blocker. We recommend using the Google Search toolbar and popup blocker.
  • If you have Windows XP, you can upgrade to SP2 which installs a Microsoft Popup blocker into Internet Explorer 6.
  • For users of Netscape, Mozilla, or Opera web browsers, we recommend upgrading to the latest version of your browser, all of which include built in popup blocking.

What Is Spam?

Spam is Unsolicited Commercial Email.

How Do I Get Spam?

Spam comes from companies selling your email address to online marketers, who then share their lists (customer bases).

What Is A Phishing Email?

Phishing refers to emails send by online con artists to get you to reveal your personal account information with banks, online brokering sites, and to acquire information for identity theft.

They usually take the form of a 'security alert' or request for you to re-enter your account information on your bank account, credit card account, eBay, PayPal, or other online financial entity you may have dealings with. They may be very official looking. If you click on the email's links to reenter your account information, reaffirm your card, etc... you will be taken to a site that appears to be whatever company you are dealing with, but that actually is controlled by a con artist.

It is recommended you never click on a link in an email purporting to be from a financial institution unless it is one you are expecting and the contents of the message matches what you think you should be seeing. If there is any doubt you should either type in the address manually or use an existing favorite/bookmark to go to the site.

How Can I Keep Spam Under Control?

  • You can add the Valley Internet email spam filter to your email account. The spam filter costs $1.00 per month and can be added by sending an email to billing@vallnet.com.
  • You can change your email address - This only works until you get back on the spammers lists, and there are so many ways to end up there it is almost impossible to prevent spam this way in the long run.
  • Some email software such as the latest version of Netscape, and Microsoft Outlook 2003 (part of Microsoft Office, not Outlook Express) include their own built in spam blocking software.
  • Many security software firms, such as Symantec and McAfee offer 'Anti-spam' software packages which work with Outlook Express and other popular email clients.

Some Tips For Protecting Your Computer While Using The Internet.

  • Install Anti-Virus software on your machine, and keep it up to date. Out of date antivirus is almost as bad as having no antivirus software at all.
  • Do not open email or email attachments that you do not recognize. Do not click on links in spam.
  • If you use an Instant Messenger, such as MSN Messenger, ICQ, AIM, or Yahoo Instant Messenger, don't click on links or accept files in messages from users you do not know.
  • Do not agree to install software on your computer unless you understand what it is going to do.
    • If you do not understand what it is installing, call Valley Internet
  • Before Downloading any free software, call Valley Internet and we would be happy to help you.
  • If you use a non-vallnet.com email address (Such as Hotmail.com, yahoo.com, or gmail.com) check to see if that provider blocks incoming viruses.
  • Keep your computer and any Internet based software up to date; Visit Windows Update regularly and download all the Critical Updates for your computer. If you use a web browser or email client other than Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, you should also keep these other programs up to date. Any other applications that access the Internet (especially Instant Messengers) should be kept updated as well. Many of the most recent versions of these types of software have the ability to notify you when an update is available, check with the website you got the software from.