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Why You Need Antivirus Software & How to Select the Right One

Anxiety from all these digital threats lurking everywhere? An antivirus program can help put your mind at ease.

What can a virus do to your device?

A virus is malicious software that can affect pretty much any device and does so in a variety of ways. Be it your computer, your phone or your smart lightbulb - as long as there’s access to the internet, malware can get to it.

How exactly does this kind of attack manifest itself? Well, there’s a wide variety of effects ranging from mild to severe. Among other things, they depend on which type of malware attacks your device - a virus, spyware, ransomware, adware or something else.

These are some of the things you can expect to happen:

  • Slow performance
  • System crashes
  • Theft of data and sensitive information
  • Connectivity issues
  • Constant browser redirects
  • Strange messages sent to your contacts 
  • Interference with files

It really can be the stuff of nightmares. So, if you want to sleep peacefully knowing that your devices are completely safe, you should definitely consider getting an antivirus.

P.S. don’t let its name fool you - an antivirus does indeed protect your devices against more than just viruses.

What is antivirus software exactly?

Antivirus software is designed to help you battle and ward off malware. Basically, it scans your device to detect any suspicious activity and offers tools to get rid of the culprit. 

At first, antiviruses were developed to fight against viruses only, but nowadays they cover a lot more ground. Here are some of the biggest benefits of getting yourself a powerful defender.

Advantages of antivirus software

1. It fights those pesky ads

Look, constant ads that pop up everywhere aren’t the absolute worst thing that can happen on your computer. If anything, they are annoying, like when you’re trying to sleep but that one fly in your room just won’t stop buzzing.

Now, there’s a free, well-established solution for that - installing an ad blocker. And we’re about a hundred and ten percent sure you’ve already done that on each and every browser you use.

However, “if I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist” isn’t the most ideal approach for your online safety. Ad blockers can’t block everything and they won’t protect you from potential adware. An antivirus on the other hand offers that layer of protection against malware snuck into pop-ups and spammy websites.

2. It protects you from hackers

Hackers don’t target government institutions only. They’ll target regular people too if they have something to gain.

Antivirus can protect you from hackers
Credit Clint Patteron Unsplash

There are different types of hacking, such as phishing e-mails, transmission of malicious programs, credential reuse, denial of service and more. In any case, they take control of your device and hijack your data.

The good thing is that, as threats evolve, antiviruses evolve too and there are tons of quality programs on the market that can keep you secure for an affordable price.

3. It keeps your files and data safe

When malware enters your device, it can target pretty much any file and get access to any and all data.

Installing an antivirus program will make sure that every single file, new or old, is monitored at all times, warning you against threats immediately. That way, you can make sure to react before your other files become infected and data is lost or stolen.

Another great thing for data protection is that the best antivirus software normally comes with a password manager, so no one can use malware to steal your passwords.

4. It blocks all kinds of malware

As we already stated, malicious attacks can be performed in many ways and malware comes in in different shapes an sizes, such as:

  • Trojan horse
  • Spyware
  • Ransomware
  • Adware
  • Rootkit
  • RAT (remote access Trojan)
  • Keyloggers
  • Worms
  • Botnets
Illustration of a computer worm
Credit Growtika Unsplash

Nowadays, antivirus software is designed to fight against all of these types. That’s why more often than not we hear the term 'antivirus' used interchangeably with 'anti-malware,' like in this article.

5. It keeps your children protected

You can’t keep your eyes on your kid every second of the day and you can’t protect them from everything. But at least you can limit their exposure to the threats they can encounter at every corner of the digital world.

An antivirus program will block harmful or suspicious websites and ads, which is great both for you and your children. To take it a step further, though, many such programs come with special parental controls and offer monitoring as well. It’s a great solution for keeping your kids safe online without sounding like the irritating, overbearing, controlling parent who “just doesn’t get it!”

How to pick one

There are definitely lots of different antivirus programs out there, both free and paid. We recommend you look for a paid option, since free ones are unfortunately a lot more susceptible to being compromised through malicious attacks.

Now, there are a few factors to consider when choosing the right software. If you use your PC for basic things then a basic antivirus will suffice. However, the more complex your use and the more sensitive the data you deal with, the stronger it needs to be.

It’s also crucial that you take into account the features it includes. As we already mentioned, some programs have additional security options. For example, depending on the package you select, Bitdefender provides:

  • Webcam and mic monitoring
  • Parental control
  • Firewall
  • VPN
  • Password management
  • Identity theft protection

Some are included in plans and some are separate products, so make sure to check out all the offers.

And don’t worry if you have multiple PCs or you’re looking for protection for your smartphone or tablet as well; Bitdefender has suitable solutions for your needs. Of course, you can also just pick their classic antivirus software if you’re not in need of advanced protection.

Another important point is how regularly the software is updated and enhanced. The more frequent the updates the better, as bugs can make the program more vulnerable. Other things we advise you consider are user-friendliness, impact on performance, reputation (user reviews especially) and, of course, price.

The bottom line

Fact is: anyone can be a malware victim. Don’t let it be you.

You can’t put a price on peace and security, so don’t be reluctant to pay for yours - especially since a lot of options out there are extremely affordable. Is $159.00 a year really too much to pay for cross-platform protection for up to 10 devices? We don’t think so.

Explore your options and protect your files and data before it’s too late.

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How to Fix Remote Desktop Black Screen issues
According to some reports, using RDP or Remote Desktop Protocol on recent versions of Windows 10 results in a black screen. One encounters this issue is when using the Remote Desktop Connection feature on Windows 10. The real causes of this black screen are either the display drivers or some misconfiguration with the Remote Desktop Connection utility. In most cases, the Remote Desktop in Windows 10 will display a black screen and then disconnects afterward. To fix this kind of issue on your Remote Desktop, there are two suggestions you need to check out. First, you can try to disable the persistent bitmap caching, and then you can also try to update your display driver. Follow the given options below for more troubleshooting instructions.

Option 1 – Try to disable Persistent Bitmap caching

The first thing you can do to resolve the black screen issue with the remote desktop is to disable the persistent bitmap caching. All you have to do is follow these steps:
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  • Next, click on the Show Options button to configure the Remote Desktop Connection.
  • After that, go to the Experience tab and uncheck the Persistent bitmap caching option.
  • Once done, you should now be able to connect to the remote computer without the black screen.

Option 2 – Try to update or rollback the Graphics driver

You can try to update your Graphics card driver using the Device Manager in your computer to resolve the blank dialog boxes problem or you can also go directly to the website of your graphics card manufacturers like NVIDIA, Intel, or AMD and go to the section called Drivers then check if there’s a new available update – if there is, download and install it. To update your Graphics driver via Device Manager, refer to these steps:
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Option 3 – Try performing a System Restore

You might also want to perform a System Restore that might help you in fixing the error. You can do this option either by booting into Safe Mode or in System Restore. If you are already in the Advanced Startup Options, just directly select System Restore and proceed with the next steps. And if you have just booted your PC into Safe Mode, refer to the steps below.
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Option 1 – Check the status of some Windows Update Services

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Option 2 – Try to disable IPv6 in the Network Center

You might also want to disable IPv6 in the Network Center in order to fix the Windows Update Error 0x80070422. How? Follow these steps:
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Option 3– Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

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Option 4 – Try running the DISM tool

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Option 5 – Run Microsoft’s online troubleshooter

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How to Fix KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED Error On Windows 10

KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED – What is it?

Some users installing or upgrading to Windows 10 experienced the theKMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED Blue Screen of Death (or commonly known as BSOD) error. This error can be due to different types of things, ranging from software to driver issues. When you experience this BSOD error while trying to install Windows 10, it will prompt you to restart your computer every single time you experience it. In most cases, you will also not be able to proceed with the Windows 10 set-up.

Solution

Restoro box imageError Causes

The “KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED” error is normally caused by:

  • Hardware incompatibility
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Further Information and Manual Repair

You won’t be able to successfully upgrade or set up Windows 10 if you continue to encounter this BSOD error. Note that this error will always prompt your computer to restart every time it happens, preventing you from completing the Windows 10 set-up.

If you’re not tech-savvy or not capable of debugging this issue, it’s highly advisable to proceed with the basic troubleshooting techniques available in this link.

After troubleshooting, below you’ll find a few solutions to rectify the issue.

Method 1 – Check The Cause of The BSOD Error

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If all your hardware is compatible with Windows 10, you might need to check the device driver or system service. Review the bug check message. If any of the drivers you have is listed in the message, either disable or uninstall them before upgrading or setting up Windows 10.

You might also find it useful to check the System Log available in the Event Viewer for other error messages that can help you figure out the driver or device that’s causing the error. Running hardware diagnostics can also be useful.

Method 2 – Disable (or preferably uninstall) Software Before Upgrading

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Method 3 – Disable/Disconnect From Hardware

If you’re connected to any general USB devices (such a smart card reader), disable it. If your computer is connected to other external devices, disconnect all of them. Examples of this include gaming controllers, printers, external hard disk, USB keys, and other non-essential devices).

Method 4 – Other Troubleshooting Steps

Other troubleshooting steps include:

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Method 5 – Use A Trusted Automated Tool

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Ever gotten an e-mail offer that seemed just a little bit too good to be true? Might’ve been a phishing attempt! These are everywhere and can come in many different forms. 

So what’s phishing exactly, how can you detect it and how can you keep safe?

What is phishing?

Phishing (pronounced like fishing) is a type of cyberattack that tricks the user into trusting the source and revealing sensitive information. Fishing being the perfect analogy, the bait is a legitimate-looking site, e-mail or file and when you take a bite, your identity, banking information and much more can be revealed and stolen.

Phishing Illustration
Credit: Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Some phishing attempts are incredibly obvious, others are super elaborate. Like with most types of malware, cybercriminals have become extremely well-versed in phishing and anyone can fall for it. To help you recognize and avoid it, we’ll take you through a couple of phishing types and give you tips on what to do if faced with them.

Phishing techniques

E-mail phishing

This is actually the most common type of phishing. A cybercriminal creates an e-mail containing stuff like attractive offers, legitimate-looking attachments or links and makes it appear as though it’s coming from a trusted source.

Illustration of Email Phishing
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For example, it looks like it’s coming from your bank or your favorite retailer. The logo looks legit and the structure of the e-mail seems familiar, so you might get tricked into clicking on whatever clickable content is in it.

Unfortunately this exposes your device to malware that hands your data off to the hacker, who can decide what to do with it further.

SMS and social media phishing

Like the above example, you could be approached with lucrative offers or links via text messages or social media messages. Typically, the messages seem relevant to the user as they will be made to look like they’re related to apps or services you’re using.

Voice phishing

Voice phishing attacks are schemes that appear as though they’re coming from a credible number. Normally, you’ll get a call about something related to credit cards or taxes to get you into a state of worry, leading you to disclose personal information on the phone.

Spear phishing, whaling and BEC

Spear phishing normally targets specific individuals within a company who are likely to have access to sensitive data. Spear phishers spend time collecting information they can use to reach out to the individual looking as trustworthy as possible. They’ll typically lead with something relevant, for example mentioning an upcoming company event, and make a seemingly legitimate request.

Whaling is a more elaborate form of spear phishing, which targets people in even stronger positions such as executives or high-value individuals. The ultimate goal is to get them to transfer financial or other sensitive information that can be used to compromise the entire business.

Spear Phishing Illustration
Credit: Azamat E on Unsplash

BEC, or Business e-mail compromise, is a specific spear phishing technique carried out via e-mail. While there are many ways this is done, most commonly you’ll see instances where the phisher poses as a CEO or similar executive, or as a lower-level employee in specific positions (e.g. sales managers or financial controllers).

In the first situation, the impersonator reaches out to employees requesting them to transfer certain files or pay invoices. In the second situation, the phisher takes control of the employee’s e-mail account and sends false instructions to other employees in order to obtain data and information from them.

What can you do?

There are many ways you can be aware and spot a phishing attempt. Here are some tips:

  • Always check the sender’s address in your e-mails, even when they seem to come from a familiar source.
  • In any instance where payment information is requested, be very, very careful.
  • If you are receiving attachments you never asked for and definitely didn’t expect, better not click on them. 
  • Beware of content that transmits a sense of urgency (sales deals, urgent updates to login credentials, etc.).
  • Bad spelling and grammar are usually a telltale sign of phishing.
  • Links that look shortened (e.g. Bit.ly) or just suspicious in general - if you have a bad feeling, do not click on them.
  • If you are receiving threats, you probably shouldn’t be clicking on anything in that message.
  • Always examine first-time senders in detail.
  • Block suspicious e-mail addresses, numbers and social media accounts.
  • If you are receiving a coupon for free stuff… You aren’t.
  • If you’re being asked to update your payment details by a service you use, such as Netflix, chances are it’s an impersonator.

Those are some of the ways to identify and prevent phishing attacks. However, sometimes phishers disguise themselves a little too well or a misclick happens and there you go - you’ve been exposed to malware.

Illustration of a Lock on Keyboard Keys
Credit: FLY:D on Unsplash

This won’t happen if you invest in powerful protection software from the get-go, though. A good antivirus program like Bitdefender will keep you safe from becoming a victim of phishing scams. In fact, it will protect you from malicious attacks overall.

Be it your household or your business you’re concerned about, there are a bunch of different packages and options available, providing different kinds of cybersecurity services. That’s the only way you can ever really be sure you aren’t at risk of a digital attack.

Summary

Have you ever been targeted by phishers and didn’t know that’s what it was until you read this article? Many can relate. Protect yourself before it’s too late!

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stolenSo, in this case, you have some social, forum, or gaming accounts but you heard that service has been breached and that your email or password might be stolen. Well in this case all you need to do is of course to login into the service and change your password. But, what happens if you are not aware at all that service has been compromised?

Mozilla foundation has asked themselves this same question it seems and they have decided to help us out. They have placed a free online service where you can just by typing in your email address find out if your email or data has been compromised in any way.

Go to https://monitor.firefox.com/ and check it out, if you find out that there is some website that you did not know was breached, change your password right away, and if you have used the same password for anything else (I hope not), change them as well.

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Good manufacturing quality

Plastic and overall manufacturing quality are really, really good. The battery is great, packing 4000mAh that can hold over 3 hours of nonstop gaming, and all buttons and joysticks are great. The screen is a 640 x 480 60Hz 3.5″ IPS screen (4:3 aspect ratio) that performs really great for its purpose, retro gaming. There is a Digital D-Pad and dual analog joysticks. The right joystick is the lower profile to avoid being accidentally moved when pressing the four gaming buttons. There are three buttons at the bottom which are Home, Start, and Select. On either side are good-quality stereo speakers. On the bottom of the device are a Micro SD Card slot and a 3.5mm headphone port. On the top of the device are Left and Right shoulder and trigger buttons. There are the power button and volume adjustments. There are a USB Type-C OTG port and a Micro HDMI output for connection to a TV.

Good technical statistics

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Retroid Pocket 2 OS and support

Pocket 2 comes with Android 6 but you can update its firmware to the 8.1 version on the official site that I would highly recommend. New versions of the handheld will come with 8.1 on it from the box. Having Android as OS opens many possibilities like you can download Android apps such as Steam Link, allowing you to play actual PC games on your Retroid Pocket 2. Not just that, if it does get a newer version of Android it could even have the ability to use xCloud, Xbox’s cloud gaming service. Of course, hardware will not be able to handle modern games but the option is still there and for some old PC titles available on steam like Commander Keen, for example, this is a great option. The console can emulate basically everything up to Dreamcast, including N64, PSP, and Playstation 1. It can emulate Nintendo DS also, but it can only do so with one screen. The only problem with this console is you will need to install and update Apps. You’ll need to learn about RetroArch, an app that lets you download emulators or cores to play games.

Retroid price

The last thing on the list is the price of the console itself. Going just under the 100$ mark this really makes it an affordable option for plenty of people that would like to experience retro handheld gaming or for ones like me, nostalgic gamers wanting to relive some era of playing games on the road.

Conclusion

Among Chinese handheld devices for retro gaming, Retroid Pocket 2 is really on top of what the market can offer. If you are looking for a great handheld retro console and are not afraid of little dive-ins into the OS and various configurations, Pocket 2 will reward you with plenty and wide emulation support.
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Quick Fix for Error Code 100

What is Error Code 100?

Error Code 100?? Whenever a Setup error contains error codes in the message, this indicates what the setup was operating on, let’s say copying files. The text in the error message will determine whether that it is fatal or not. An error code 100 is a system error that is displayed as ‘ERROR_TOO_MANY_SEMAPHORES’ or as a value 0x64. This error means that the system ‘cannot create another system semaphore.’ A semaphore is used in controlling access to parallel programming or a multi-user platform through multiple processes. This error can prevent certain features of your Windows to perform properly, like trying to get a print, copying files, deleting files, or any other routine computer activities.

Solution

Restoro box imageError Causes

Error code 100 can affect a wide range of activities that you normally perform on your PC. This error can occur for a number of reasons, of which some of the common ones include:
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  • When the account used for starting AOS does not match the database in SQL Server
  • When the AOS licenses have exceeded their limit
  • When the SQL Server database is incorrectly case sensitive
Though these are the common causes for error code 100, there can be other ways through which this error can occur. To find out the specific cause for error code 100, follow these steps:
  • Go to Start and select All Programs. Go to Administrative Tools and click Even Viewer
  • Click Application in Even Viewer
  • Locate the error message in the right pane by scrolling down
  • Click on the error message and see if the message applies to the error code.

Further Information and Manual Repair

In order to manually repair this error, you will have to work with your Network Administrator as they will have security privileges to take the steps. However, there are more than one ways to resolve this issue, for instance:
  1. Starting SQL Server Service
    • A likely cause of an error code 100 can be that your SQL Server service is not started. To activate it, follow these steps:
    • Got to Start and Click on All Programs, go to Administrative Tools and click on Services
    • Find SQL/MSSQLServer service
    • Right Click on it and click Start to activate the service
  2. Network Resolve
If you are connected to a network, then you can work with your network administrator to fix error code 100. Follow these steps to resolve this error:
  • Got to Start and then Run. Type dcomcnfg and press Enter
  • Locate Default Security and click it
  • Find Default Access Permissions and click Edit Default
  • You should locate System and Interactive, listed in the Allow Access. If they’re not listing, you can add them by clicking Add
  • Find the local computer in the list and click on Allow Access
  • Click Ok on the following three steps
  • Log off the computer and log in again.
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MS will release single office apps in MS Store
It seems that Microsoft is going to offer subscription and sales of individual office applications in the Windows Store. The office package will still be available as a package but for the first time, we will get single applications as standalone ones available for purchase. ms officeThis is a very interesting decision by Microsoft and I fully support it, this time users will be able to pay less and to choose only applications that they need instead of paying for the whole package and not using it.
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