An American Editor

November 26, 2016

Important: Facebook & LinkedIn Ransomware

Ars Technica reports a security flaw in Facebook and LinkedIn that can cause ransomware to be unleashed on your computer. Please read:

Are you feeling Locky? —
Locky ransomware uses decoy image files to ambush Facebook, LinkedIn accounts

for the details. Of course, the best protection against ransomware is to not download anything and to never open a file or attachment, but that is not real in today’s world. Consequently, I highly recommend two software programs. I use both and have no financial or other interest in either program, other than being a long-time user of each.

The first is BitDefender Internet Security, which includes ransomware protection. There is a special Black Friday deal which is accessible here:

BitDefender Black Friday Deal

The second is Sandboxie, which allows you to open nearly any program automatically in a sandbox. The result is that even if malware is downloaded, it is downloaded to a sandbox, not to your main operating system files. Even if opened, the files are in a sandbox and thus can be checked and deleted without ever exposing your computer to permanent harm. Sandboxie offers an inexpensive lifetime license.

Sandboxie Lifetime Licensing

Be safe, be aware.

Richard Adin, An American Editor



  1. Thanks for the heads-up. I had no idea they were having security issues.

    Also, I think you have a typo here:
    Of course, the best protection against ransomware is to not download anything and to never open a file or attachment, but that is real in today’s world.

    Should that be unrealistic?


    Comment by Alexis Chateau — November 26, 2016 @ 6:36 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks, Rich, for the links. Forgive my asking, but since BitDefender has no contact info on their site that I can find, would their software override the Norton I have in place, or would they play nicely together? If you have a contact # or email for BitDefender, I’d be glad to have it and would then ask them directly about this.


    Comment by TigerXGlobal (@TigerXGlobal) — November 27, 2016 @ 1:54 pm | Reply

    • Because it is an ad that I gave you a link to, the contact information is not prominent. If you scroll to the very bottom, which is a bit of scrolling, you will find “Contact us”. BitDefender is available 24/7 by telephone, which is how I usually contact them (which is very rare as regards tech issues and is usually about trying to get a renewal deal), as well as by email. The telephone number is 954-928-2780.

      To answer your question, no, you cannot run both BitDefender and Norton. To run BitDefender, you would have to uninstall Norton then install BitDefender. You cannot run more than 1 antivirus program at a time. It will cause all kinds of nightmares. It is not just BitDefender that cannot play nicely with Norton — it is any quality AV program does not play nicely with any other AV program. There is good reason for this, but that is an unnecessary conversation here. You simply have to decide which program you want to use.

      I used Norton many years ago when the company was still owned by Peter Norton and in the early Symantec years. I drifted away from it because it became bloated, tech support became problematic, and it greatly slowed my computers as it took system resource priority. I switched then to Kaspersky, which was always number 1 or number 2 rated (it swung back and forth between Kaspersky and Norton), which I found better but still problematic for me. Then along came BitDefender, which originally was a lesser rated program. (As to the ratings, it is worth noting that the usual cause for the ratings disparity was interface design or ease of use, not effectiveness. There was no truly discernible difference in effectiveness among the top 5 to 7 programs.)

      BitDefender offered what I needed and wanted and I especially liked the 24/7 free tech support. Also, at the time I switched BitDefender was the only one that offered coverage for up to 3 computers for a price that was half that of Norton and Kaspersky, yet provided equivalent protection. I have stayed with BitDefender because it has grown the way I wanted it to grow (needless to say, without my personal input :)) and it rapidly became a number 1 rated program. In the end, as for ratings, there is no difference in reality between the AV protection you get from Kaspersky, Norton, and BitDefender. Each does something a little better or a litter worse than the other, but unless you have very special needs, and are truly a geek, the differences are imperceptible.

      For me, however, I do not switch because I have found that BitDefender’s malware protection has been excellent, especially with ransomware. None of the programs are 100% perfect — they can’t be. I like that BitDefender is constantly updated in the background. It checks hourly for updates and when available, installs them in the background. Occasionally I am notified that I need to reboot, but usually not.

      Anyway, I do not know what Norton offers these days. I do know that the problem of bloat and slowing of the computer was fixed by Norton some time ago. You should compare features, not AV protection (there is no real difference) and then decide. But if you switch from Norton, you need to completely uninstall it before installing another AV program. You will get a warning to that effect (if memory serves).


      Comment by americaneditor — November 28, 2016 @ 3:22 am | Reply

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