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Archive for the ‘Security Help’ Category

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 Hacked

Monday, February 2nd, 2009 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

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


Wednesday, January 7th, 2009


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

Restricting Unwanted Web Sites

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Everyone knows there are a ton of Web sites out there that can be harmful to your computer, unsafe for your children and just simply unwanted by everyone. I’m sure all of you have come across a site you wish you would have never seen. People are always asking me how they can filter their Internet access so that those sites are blocked from their computer. While there are many… Continue reading

Google Flu Trends

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Google Flu Trends

Did you know that Google is not just a search engine company? Everyone knows about and all of the programs and features it offers to help the everyday computer user, but many people don’t know about the other part of Google called is a part of the company that uses its technology to help the world in many ways. The newest part… Continue reading

Wireless Security: Hacked

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

I have written several different articles about securing your wireless connections. Having an insecure wireless network is like getting a megaphone and announcing your social security number to your whole neighborhood. When your wireless network is not encrypted, anyone within range can gain access to your data fairly easily.

A few days ago, some bad news came through the line. It seems like one method of wireless… Continue reading

Twenty Years of Worms

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Twenty Years of Worms

You may not know it, but just yesterday, we celebrated a very sad milestone in the world of computing. On November 2, 1988, the first Internet based worm was released to the public. The worm wasn’t really intended to do any damage, as it was just there to try and find out how many computers were using the Internet. If only they were all that harmless!… Continue reading

Critical News: Security Patch

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Critical News: Security Patch

Please listen up! You don’t want to miss this important announcement!

Last Thursday (October 23, 2008), Microsoft released a critical Windows security patch, which is something they haven’t done since April 2007. And of course, it quickly started raising eyebrows in the technology community. The security patch fixes a vulnerability that allows a remote program to be run in Windows without any authentication. A worm that… Continue reading

Signs of Malware

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

You all know there are millions of malware infections out there today. It seems as if there are tons of new infections that pop up everyday. In the past, I’ve written about how antivirus software and anti-spyware software don’t always find all of the infections on your computer. After writing that article, I received several e-mails asking, “How do I know if I have a virus?” Well, today, I will… Continue reading

The Importance of Full Virus Scans

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

A reader asks: My antivirus software says it has “real time” protection. Since it’s always monitoring for virus activity, do I ever need to run a full virus scan on my whole system?

Well, the quick answer is yes. You still need to run a full virus scan about once a week.

Now, I’ll give you the long answer with full explanations!

Most antivirus… Continue reading

Checking for Infections with VirusTotal

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

As I’m sure some of you know, not all antivirus programs will find every virus. Some antivirus programs will call a virus by a different name, while other programs miss a virus threat altogether.

The makers of antivirus software do their best to make sure their product will detect every virus out there, but that’s not always 100 percent possible. While it would… Continue reading

Antivirus 2009

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Antivirus 2009

Just a few weeks ago, Erin wrote about a fake antivirus program called XP Antivirus 2008. That program forces itself onto your computer and starts causing all kinds of trouble.

Now, it looks like there’s another program out there doing the exact same thing. I have received several phone calls and e-mails about a program called Antivirus 2009. That program does the same thing XP Antivirus 2008 did… Continue reading

Spam: In Alphabetical Order?

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

So, tell me, how much spam do you get in a day? I know that if it weren’t for my spam filter, I would have over 50 spam messages in my Inbox everyday. The amount of spam you get depends on a lot of things. Of course, you will get more spam if you sign up for untrusted newsletters, post your e-mail address on Web sites or if you respond… Continue reading

Internet Explorer 8: More Security Features

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Internet Explorer 8: More Security Features

It seems as if Microsoft just keeps pumping more and more security features into Internet Explorer 8. A few days ago, Microsoft released the second beta version of IE8 for testing. The newest release includes even more security than what I’ve written about before. Let’s check it out!

On top of domain highlighting and anti-spyware being built in, Microsoft has added a feature called… Continue reading

Firefox 3: Too Secure?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Firefox 3: Too Secure?

Over the past few weeks, I have received many e-mails about an issue with Firefox 3. So, today, we’re going to sort this mess out!

How many of you Firefox users out there have seen this screen before?

I know I have. When I first saw that screen, I thought, “I better get away from this site!”

I would expect that if you saw a… Continue reading

New Spam: From CNN and MSNBC?

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

New Spam: From CNN and MSNBC?

I have received several phone calls this week from readers saying they have been getting a ton of spam e-mail from CNN and MSNBC. The e-mails have headlines indicating they are breaking news alerts from either of the very popular news companies. Now, I’m sure all of you are smart enough to know that CNN and MSNBC would not actually send out spam, but… Continue reading

August 2008 Windows Updates

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Can you please tell us what all was included with the Windows Updates for August 2008?

I would love to! I was going to do that today anyway, so I’m glad you asked. Just like this time every month, the Windows Updates for August 2008 were released this week and if you haven’t installed them yet, you really should do so soon. And just like the… Continue reading

Socially Engineered Attacks

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Socially Engineered Attacks

Do you use the popular social Web site of I’m sure if you don’t, you probably know someone who does. Facebook is one of the best Web sites out there for keeping in touch with friends and family. You can share your interests, pictures, ideas and happenings with everyone you know on the site.

Now, I’m sure if you’ve read any of my other articles, you… Continue reading

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