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What did we learn from Internet Doomsday, besides it being a bigger dud than Y2K?

You've probably heard about DNSChanger or the so-called Internet Doomsday by now. Fortunately it was a bigger dud than Y2K. This is mostly thanks to the FBI putting in place special servers for over a year while computers were identified and cleaned by users and internet service providers. There's probably only a dozen infected computers in the Heber Valley.

What should we learn from this?
Up to date computers with the best anti-virus software can still become infected.

The thing between your ears is the best anti-virus protection. Use common sense when browsing.

With that said, even reputable web sites are hacked and a become a temporary source for malware.

If your search results in several links. Look at the links and try to find one you recognize. If something is free that you usually have to pay for, it's probably illegal and highly prone to infections.

What can you do?
Periodically run a Full Scan of your computer for infections that may have been missed back when the infections were too new for your software to catch. Or came in through a back door.

Download anti-virus program you haven't used and do a scan every once in a while. Such as or Microsoft Security Essentials. Differnt programers, find different solutions. You can also do a custom install of AVAST and un-check all real time shields. Then do a full scan or a “Boot Time Scan”.

Make sure your computer is up to date. Sometimes automatic updates don't work. I've seen computers set to update at 3:00 AM (the default), but the computer was set to not wake up, so they are actually 2 years behind.

How to check for updates:
XP: Go to and click on custom. Clicking on custom will show you updates for hardware as well as 3rd party software. It's a good idea to check this periodically.

Windows 7: Click on the start menu and type update. Open "Check for Updates".

What should you NOT DO:

Do NOT Install two real time anti-virus programs. Anti-virus programs are one of the biggest resource hogs. Older computers may become almost unusable with properly installed anti-virus software. When a second program is installed even the fastest computers can come to a screeching halt. It's OK to install multiple programs if only one is active. It's also OK to run two programs with different tasks, such as Anti-virus and Anti-malware. However if you notice a major slow down, just stick with a complete anti-virus program, it'll catch most malware anyways.

Do NOT Postpone windows updates more than a day. Your anti-virus can't fully protect you if you have security holes.

Don't skip Java, Flash, or other 3rd party programs either, they have been a source of some widespread infections. They pop up at inconvenient times. It's OK to postpone until lunch or the end of the day, then do a reboot.

If you have questions, call your computer guy or gal. If you don't have one or they're busy, I'd be happy to help, just give me a call at (435) 654-7575. My company Bad Dog Computing is now upstairs in the Clock Tower building in Heber City.

BY BRYAN BRESNAN   07/09/2012

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