Over the last few weeks I have had a large increase of IT support calls from home computer users that are unable to connect to the internet with internet explorer. Many have stated that this has happened immediately after viewing a post from their Facebook account. A few have also mentioned that their friends who also viewed the same message had also lost connectivity through their web browsers. The symptoms and removal of this facebook virus is below:

Symptoms

The symptoms of this facebook virus happen immediately after viewing a posted message on your facebook account. Your internet explorer will not be able to reach any web pages from the internet, yet you will still receive emails, and be able to ping sites by name (i.e. open a command prompt and type “ping  www.madcomputersolutions.co.uk “) If you receive a response from the site, then follow the virus removal instructions below.

Facebook Virus Removal

Open ‘Internet Explorer’

From the top menu bar select ‘Tools > Internet Options’

Select the ‘Connections Tab’ and click the ‘Lan Settings’ button

Note: This particular virus adds your localhost IP address as a proxy server (127.0.0.1) If your are using a company computer contact your IT administrator before attempting any of the changes below.

Ensure that the ‘Proxy Server’ box is unticked as shown below

Facebook Virus removal Facebook Virus removal

Click ‘OK’ twice (You may have to close and restart your internet explorer)

Your internet browser should now be working again.

Disclaimer

MAD Computer Solutions provide this article and repair advice “as is” and does not guarantee your problems will be resolved. You use this site and the information at your own risk.

Discover more about virus, malware and spyware, plus check out common virus removal software at www.virus-removal-birmingham.co.uk

How to Increase Traffic To Your Blog.

There is no point in writing a blog if nobody knows it exists, so finding visitors to read your information is paramount in the success of your blog. Having been an author of my own blog for 12 months, I have discovered a few great ways to promote and increase the amount of visitors. Some will help create a steady flow of new visitors, and some will only create a temporary solution (alphainventions), giving you plenty of new visitors quickly.

Using Tags To Increase Traffic

The first tip to increasing traffic to a blog is something that many of you have already been doing, but in case you haven’t I will include it. Each time you add a new post to your blog site it is important that you fill in the “Tags” as this will allow your content to be shown under that category. Your blog will also be indexed by Google and other search engines using the keywords provided. If your blog is talking about Web Design then having the following tags would help promote your blog:

Web Design, Web, Design, Web Designer, Website, Web Sites

Add your Blogs RSS Feeds to Feedburner.

There are many different web sites that offer to promote your blog using RSS feeds, many free and a few that will charge you a small fee. Google now provide you the opportunity to add your blog to Feedburner free of charge. This will help you to promote your new content quickly. Visit http://feedburner.google.com for more information.

Using Twitter 

If you haven’t used Twitter then you are missing out on a lot of extra blog traffic. Twitter allows you to announce simple messages to people who are following you. It also allows website URL’s which are a great way for you to mention your latest blog article, and present a link for interested parties to visit your blog. Visit http://www.twitter.com and sign up for your free account now. Once signed up follow http://www.twitter.com/madcomputers .

Facebook and Other Social Networking Sites

Just like Twitter, many social networking sites allow you to add web links to status updates. Announce your blog update on your status update and you should see your traffic increase as friends and family visit your blog. To make things even easier you are able to use http://www.ping.fm which will update many of the social networking sites all together, saving you time. Some useful sites worth looking at are:

http://www.facebook.com http://www.linkedin.com http://www.ecademy.com http://www.bebo.com www.friendsreunited.com

Alphainventions and Condron

I mentioned earlier Alphainventions as one of the ways to receive a quick boost in traffic. Both alphinventions and condron will allow your blog to be shown to thousands of bloggers over a short period of time, which will bring you plenty of visitors. All you will need to do is visit http://aphainventions.com or http://www.condron.us and add your blog. It only takes a few minutes and the increase in visitors to your blog will be sure to amaze you. I hope that with the above tips your blog will be receiving plenty of new visitors. There are many other ways to increase blog traffic, but the ones above are sure to get you the desired results.

Useful WordPress Plugins

If your blog is hosted on your own server the extra tools available are ideal to boost your search engine rankings, bring in many visitors, and even earn an extra income from Google Adsense and affiliate programs. One plugin “Addthis” is a perfect tool to have installed, as it allows you (and visitors) to promote your blog through most of the social media sites with a simple press of a button.

Optimise Your Blog by installing the SEO-All-InOne plugin to help boost your search engine rankings.

If you are looking to host your own blog then consider MAD Computer Solutions who provide an affordable blog package including:

  • Domain name
  • Hosting
  • WordPress installation
  • Theme Installation and configuration
  • Plug-in advice and configuration
  • Training
  • Advice on how to maximise your earnings from your blog.

Many Thousands of Web Sites Hacked by “Forex” Hacker

Thousands of web sites, possibly tens of thousands have been hacked over the last few days, and many website owners are totally unaware. Each website may only have one altered web page which will have been edited to show a standard WordPress page with random text. Amongst the random text will be links to other compromised web pages on the internet.

Hidden Website Code

The hacker has created the code so that your web page is still shown as normal, only showing the WordPress page if there is an added code to the page address. i.e. http://www.domain.com/index.php/?fezp=10. The hidden page will have links to other hidden pages on other websites, using variations of the word “forex” as the anchor/keyword

Most of the sites that have been attacked are using PHP, and includes many ecommerce sites that are using OScommerce.

An example of a compromised web site is shown below:

example

One way to discover if your web site  has been hacked is to check your incoming links by using tools such as http://www.linkdiagnosis.com . Any infected links will be shown (the forex anchor will be shown), and it will also provide the information to find any hacked pages on your own website.

Have You Been Hacked?

Even if you think your site is safe, it may be worth checking as my own IT Support site was hacked, and was only discovered because I constantly check my links.

I had a telephone call today from a potenial customer who owned a PC with the dreaded blue screen of death (BSOD). They had spent the last 2 days uninstalling programs and files, as well as searching the internet for a fix to the problem, with little success. Finally they called me for a quote to repair the PC, and possibly upgrade the memory.

After discussing what may have caused the problem, and whether they would prefer me to collect the PC or work on it at their home, I supplied them a quote for two hours work which also included the memory upgrade and collection/return at £78. At this point they decided that my computer repair costs were too expensive!

Having seemingly missed the memo about free computer repairs, I had another look around at the prices charged by a few other local businesses. Most of my competitors actually charge more than MAD Computer Solutions, and a fair few do not even support home customers. One large computer chain only repaired computers on their premises, their flat rate fix price higher, and could arrange for a collection via courier (at the customers expense of course). Oh, and a 7 day turnaround!

It seems that people forget many of the overheads that are required to run a business. Apart from 15% VAT there are costs for insurance, transport, accountants, equipment and training, not forgetting that the engineer needs to be paid for his time.

Many plumbers and heating engineers charge substantial callout fees on top of the cost for completing the work. Car mechanics expect a reasonable rate of pay for their labour, why not the same for the engineers who fix your computer?

Rant over. Have a nice day

As 2009 arrives I would like to say a big thank you to all of the new friends that I made during 2008. It was quite an exciting year with the launch of MAD Computer Solutions, bringing affordable IT support and web design to the West Midlands.

Without the support that I have received from friends, colleagues and the business networking community, I am sure we would have struggled to keep in business.

A big thank you, and Happy New Year to all.

Many times over the last few months I have been contacted by laptop users with various hardware faults, mostly the fault is with the with laptop LCD screens. The biggest problem when asked about a cost for a repair is whether or not it is cheaper and quicker for the customer to buy a replacement laptop.

With many new laptops costing less than £300 they are fast becoming disposable items once outside the warranty period. There are also lots of companies offering free laptops to consumers when they purchase other items such as broadband, be it for home use or mobile connectivity.

To repair a faulty laptop it takes time for an engineer to dismantle and diagnose the fault, order the component (which is usually expensive), followed by the time to replace it. The price to carry out this task is either close or more than the actual cost to purchase a replacement laptop.

While IT support is still required for laptops within warranty, it is fast becoming a headache for computer repair companies when dealing with these issues.

So much for a greener environment!

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