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Archive for the ‘Security Help’ Category



Use Adobe Acrobat Safely

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Q:
Can I use “Adobe Reader” and “Adobe Acrobat” safely?

A:
Adobe Systems Inc. recently acknowledged that all versions of its popular PDF software, including editions for Windows, Mac and Linux, contain at least one, or possibly two, critical vulnerabilities. Knowing this, is there a way one can use their Adobe PDF reader safely?

Yes. Fortunately, there is an easy way to stay safe until Adobe releases… Continue reading

Conficker Again?

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

So, it looks like the Conficker worm is still not quite ready to go away. Ever since April 1st when the Conficker worm failed to do its task, as some claimed it would, people assumed that the worm was not a threat. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Some recent research has found that Conficker is alive and well; infecting up to 50,000 computers daily!

At this point, the worm… Continue reading

Is Google Tracking me?

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Q:
I read recently that Google is tracking my interests for advertising purposes. Is this true and should I stay away from Google?

A:
This is a great question and I will be happy to let everyone know how this works.

It is true that Google just announced a new technology for Internet advertising that they call Interest-based Advertising. As I’m sure you can guess, this allows… Continue reading

The Death of Autorun

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Last week, Microsoft announced a pretty major change in security policy for windows XP, Vista and the upcoming Version 7 of their operating systems. Ever since the beginning, when you would plug in a device such as an external hard drive or flash drive, the “auto run” dialog box would appear. This box would many times offer you frequently used options for starting your device.

Well, this is all going… Continue reading

Why do People Make Viruses?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Q: Why do people make viruses?

A: This is a very good question! I know it seems like the maker of a virus gets absolutely nothing out of the deal, but there are some real reasons that hackers make viruses.

Here are a few to think about:

1. Personal problems - I start with this one because I think it’s funny. Some people make viruses because it… Continue reading

Web of Trust

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

These days it seems like there are more and more malicious web sites cropping up every day. These sites can either cause harm to your computer, or just annoy you and waste your time. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that feels that way, too. Well, now we can fight against malicious websites with a little add on for Firefox and IE called Web Of Trust (WOT).

WOT… Continue reading

Windows Activation Status

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Microsoft likes it when people activate their software. If you just got a new computer, chances are that when you first booted it up, Windows asked you to activate. It goes pretty quick, and in no time you’re off and running with your PC; carefree and without any activation reservations.

But what if you bought that Vista or Windows 7 machine

PCI Compliance

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Some seriously bad news for data security came out awhile back. According to the 2009 Data Breach Investigation Report, there were 295 million data records stolen (or breached) last year. That is more than the previous 4 years combined! Also, according to the report, 64% of these breaches were done by hackers, while 38% were done through malware.

These are some shocking numbers, and keep in mind… Continue reading

Xp Support Transition

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Perhaps in preparation for the upcoming Windows 7, Microsoft announced that Mainstream support for Windows XP will transition into Extended support, effective April 14th 2009.

What does this mean, exactly?

Not much for the average XP user, so don’t panic. Your operating system will function as usual and you’ll still get security updates through 2014 via Windows Update. The catch is that all other technical problems related… Continue reading

Conficker test

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Over the past couple weeks, I have been getting a lot of questions about the Conficker worm. Obviously, people are concerned about whether thay may or may not have this nasty little bug. Now, I have written a couple articles about how to remove conficker and how to avoid conficker, but how do you know if you really have this virus?

Well, just the other day, our good friend Andy… Continue reading

Neeris

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

It seems that in the world of computers, there is never a peaceful time. Just last week people were worried about the Conficker bug, now we have another one with some very strange similarities. This new threat is called Neeris, and the only reason I call it “new” is because it is starting to spread wider than it has in the past. In reality, however, this worm has been around… Continue reading

Windows SteadyState Part 3

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

This week is the third and final tutorial on Windows Steadystate. If you missed parts one and two, you can view them here: Part 1, Part 2 . Today we are going to cover the last two sections of SteadyState. These two area are called “Feature Restrictions” and “Block programs“. Lets dive in!

The first section is the “Feature Restrictions” tab. This tab goes beyond the options of… Continue reading

The Truth About Conficker

Monday, March 30th, 2009

I woke up yesterday morning, like I do most mornings, to my annoying clock radio. Well, that day was just a little more annoying than most, just because of what I heard when I woke up. To my surprise, I heard the “morning personalities” blabbing on about this terrible worm called “Conficker“. They were saying that the worm could possibly strike on April first and cause “all kinds of… Continue reading

Windows SteadyState Part 2

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Last week, I started telling you about a program called Windows SteadyState. If you missed part one, feel free to check it out here. Last weeks article talked about the Global Computer Setting of SteadyState. Today, I am going to talk about some of the user settings for this awesome program!

First, what you will need to do is launch Steadystate

Windows SteadyState Part 1

Monday, March 16th, 2009

A while ago, we wrote an article about a new Microsoft program called Windows SteadyState. For those of you that missed it, the article gave a quick description of the program and explained that it is a great way to secure your computer if it has multiple users. Expecially if those multiple users happen to be the kind that might mess up your computer!

Well… Continue reading

I was looking through our computer tips archive the other day and found an article about computer HOSTS files. The article explains exactly what a HOSTS file is and how it can be used to block malicious Web sites. At the very end of the article, there’s a short paragraph about how you can download a custom HOSTS file that will automatically block many of the known… Continue reading

Checking HTML E-mail Links

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Almost all the e-mails you get these days come in an HTML format. Those e-mails are the ones with pictures, links and anything else besides text. WorldStart’s Computer Tips newsletter is an example of an HTML based e-mail. Those types of e-mails are great for making easy to read and visual based messages, but they also pose a security threat.

The issue with HTML based e-mail is… Continue reading

Weak Password Statistics

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Okay, be honest now! How many of you out there still use weak passwords? You know what I mean! I’m talking about the infamous passwords like “1234,” “password” and “qwerty.” I hope most of you are answering, “Not me!” But I’m second guessing, because I read an article a few days ago that just blew my mind.

Recently, a study was done on 28,000 passwords that were stolen from a… Continue reading

Every Web Site is Malicious?

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Every Web Site is Malicious?

I was going to write this week’s security article about the patches Microsoft released yesterday (February 10, 2009), but they weren’t very exciting this month. So, instead, I’ll just start this tip by saying if you haven’t already installed the patches, you should do so now. You should always install your Microsoft updates. Even if they’re boring, they’re always absolutely necessary!

Okay, now that I’ve… Continue reading

Google Privacy Concerns

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Google Privacy Concerns

Ever since the Google Street View program was released in May 2007, many people have been complaining about the privacy issues associated with it. Apart from seeing their houses on Google’s Web site, people have reported seeing themselves on the Internet as well. Now, I’d say that’s taking it a bit too far. If you agree, here’s how you can keep your home and yourself a little… Continue reading

Monster.com: Hacked

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Monster.com: Hacked

With the economy the way it is these days, I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who are looking for jobs. Many people who are on the job hunt begin their search by using the Web. Often, the first place to start looking for a job on the Internet is the very popular job site of Monster.com.

Unfortunately, in times like this, when people are… Continue reading

PayPal Security Key

Monday, January 26th, 2009

PayPal Security Key

PayPal has recently introduced the new PayPal Security Key service and that’s what I’d like to talk to you about today! The PayPal Security Key service is essentially designed to add an additional layer of security to the existing PayPal authentication, which uses a username and password. If a user signs up with the PayPal Security Key service, they’ll be authenticated by using not only their username… Continue reading

The Future of Passwords

Sunday, January 25th, 2009


Who out there has way too many passwords? I know I do! In my average day, I log in to about 15 different areas with different passwords and usernames for all of them. Now, I know that may be higher than what most people do, but it still shows that passwords are everywhere in our lives.

The issue with passwords is they can be stolen… Continue reading

Worm Infects Thousands of Computers

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Worm Infects Thousands of Computers

I often find myself saying, “Please keep your computer up to date!” Well, today is another one of those days, but it may be too late for some of you.

As you may or may not recall, back in October 2008, Microsoft released an emergency security patch to protect computers from a worm that could exploit the Windows Server service. That service, while it sounds… Continue reading

UnChrome

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

UnChrome

That’s right, I said UnChrome! I don’t know about you, but I don’t use Google Chrome very much anymore, because I’m a bit concerned that Google is collecting my information and storing it. Don’t get me wrong, Chrome is a great Web browser, but I just don’t feel the safest using it. Luckily, the other day, I stumbled across a great piece of software called UnChrome. Apparently, Google Chrome… Continue reading

Securing Your E-mail – Part 1

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Securing Your E-mail – Part 1

Did you know that when you send an e-mail, it’s not secure? I’m sure you’ve heard people say you should never send personal information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers and sensitive files through e-mail, but do you know why? Well, today, I’m going to explain all of that and give you options for sending e-mails that are safe for sensitive data… Continue reading

Windows Updates: December 2008

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Windows Updates: December 2008

It’s that time again! Yep, the Windows Updates for December 2008 were released on December 9, 2008 and if you haven’t already installed them, I urge you to do so soon. This time around, it looks like there were six vulnerabilities labeled as “critical,” while two of them were deemed “important.” There were also several exploits revealed, which were taken care of by the… Continue reading

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