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Archive for the ‘Security Help’ Category



Email Safety

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Email Safety

The WorldStart newsletter is delivered via email, and replies to it arrive in one of several inboxes that I monitor each day. When a response is called for, I reply, in an often vain attempt to answer readers’ questions. Some of the replies to the newsletter are, to

Dealing with Buffer Overflow Errors

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Receiving a buffer overflow (also known as a buffer overrun) error may not seem that dangerous, but it’s a serious security risk. A direct result of bad programming, buffer overflow errors occur when too much data is stored in a space designed for less.

Think of it this way. If you pour a large jug of water into a small glass, the excess water will spill… Continue reading

SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition is a great program for locating and quarantining spyware in your computer, and it is also really simple to use. As we all know, Spyware can become a major pain, causing many issues within your computer.

Some of the many great features of this program include a Quick Scan, Complete Scan, or even a Custom Scan, which will check for malicious files in areas that you… Continue reading

Avast Free Antivirus

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

I’ve been an AVG antivirus user for several years now, and will probably continue to use it on my own computers. However, after having some problems installing the latest version of AVG on someone else’s XP computer, I decided to try Avast instead. That’s one the beauties of the abundance of freeware available today. If you’re having problems with an uncooperative program, you can… Continue reading

Website Safety Check

Monday, January 10th, 2011

I received an email from one of our readers about URL Void, a website she’d discovered that checks website safety, and I thought it was worth passing along to you.

At URL Void, just type an internet address (URL) into the field, click the Scan Now button and, within seconds, a report on the site comes back.… Continue reading

Finding Hidden Folders

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

This tip describes how to hide, locate, and secure folders in Vista and Windows 7. Continue reading

Spokeo: Privacy and Frustration

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

I recently discovered Spokeo, an online reference that contains more personal information than most people would probably like to see gathered in one place. Spokeo describes themselves as, “Not your grandma’s phone book”. I’ll say. The information available for free includes address, phone number, street view of your home (if available), estimated income (we found this estimation to be way off), estimated value of your home (again, not very… Continue reading

Smart Carpet and McAfee In the News

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Caregivers get Smart.


Caregivers of elderly and disabled friends, relatives, and patients are eagerly looking forward to getting “Smart”, thanks to Mizzou University of Missouri’s electrical and computer engineering professor, Harry Tyrer, Jr.

The professor has invented the “Smart Carpet”, a computerized flooring system that uses embedded sensors to monitor walking activity and then sends the data to a computer that… Continue reading

Spybot Search and Destroy

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

This program is used for removing those pesky adware / spyware files on your computer. By now, most people understand the vast threat out there when it comes to malicious files that are sometimes tied to programs you download. If you are not aware of the potential threats I will give a bit of an overview.

Spyware is defined as a type

Robert, from Stockton California asks:

I installed Microsoft Security Essentials, which shut off Windows Defender, and it won’t turn back on. Which one is the best protection?

Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender are both anti-malware software that are made by Microsoft.

What is the Difference Between Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender?

Windows… Continue reading

Enabling Macros in Word 2010

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Don, from Roanoke VA asks:

I’ve got a problem with the MS Word 2010 application. Every time I open the program I get a security warning just below the ribbon stating that macros have been disabled (click enable content.) Could you explain this macro, and how do I make this action enabled by default. I can’t seem to find a solution under the file tab>options.

Blocking Unauthorized USB Devices

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Note: This tip may not apply to all versions of Windows.

In terms of computer security and privacy, USB devices are usually the weakest point. Even the strongest firewall or security software can be bypassed just by plugging in a USB drive.

With the growing amount of data a single USB flash drive can hold (up to 128 GB) and the increase to data… Continue reading

Removing Google Redirect

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Dennis asks:

How do you remove Google-Redirect? What program do you recommend for a novice?

Hello Dennis, and thanks for the question. The Google Redirect Virus is a Trojan that attacks computers that have Google set as their home page, or use Google as their search engine. As you probably already know that is a lot of people, as Google is a very popular… Continue reading

Darik’s Boot and Nuke

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Serena, from North Carolina, asks:

I am looking to get rid of my computer, but I want to make sure that everything is off of my hard drive (banking info, etc.). How can I do this and be sure?

Serena, you are right to be cautious. Many people think that formatting a hard drive is the best thing to do in this situation. However, this still leaves behind… Continue reading

Advanced System Protector

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Advanced System Protector Personal Edition is a free spyware remover, available from Systweak. In addition to spyware and malware removal, it offers plenty of scanning options, including scheduling. However, the free version doesn’t provide any real time protection (referred to as shields). To download, click on the blue Download button. You will then be taken to a second page, and given the option to continue downloading the free version… Continue reading

Disabling and Enabling the Registry Editor

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Note: This tip only applies to Professional editions of Windows. That includes Windows XP Pro, Windows Vista Pro, and Windows 7 Pro. This will not work on Home editions.

The Registry is the heart of a Windows operating system. Almost all Windows configuration settings and options are stored there.

The Windows Registry is accessed through a system application called: the Registry Editor. It allows… Continue reading

Setting Up Automatic Updates

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Ryan B. from Spokane, Washington asks:

I have a question about updates. I have an antivirus and firewall program installed and they always notify me when they have updated everything; I figure that’s good since they are the most important. I also have Windows Update. I am very busy and get tired of having Windows Update nagging me

Removing McAfee

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Walt from OK asks: How do I remove McAfee from my computer completely so I can install a different anti-virus?

McAfee offers products for home and business users alike. Both can be removed from any computer, but sometimes it takes more than just a few steps. Products available

Google Alarm and Ghostery

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

When I was a kid, all of my friends had big brothers. They were always spying on us; when we had a slumber party, when we were talking on the phone, when we were at a slumber party talking on the phone…”Total lack of respect”, a friend of mine complained when she caught her brother under her bed.

I never had a brother, big or little. Thus… Continue reading

Internet Security

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

The Internet has been called the “new frontier” and in many ways, it is. This “information superhighway” has caused concerns with personal privacy, and connected computer systems around the world (resulting in additional security measures), have provided hackers an opportunity to prey on innocent victims everywhere.

Here are a few of our tips to protect yourself and your computer while surfing the web. 

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Security Certificates

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Ted asks:

I have a really weird problem. This afternoon I went to log in to my Facebook account and I got this warning that it was a bad website. I started going to other sites and got the same thing. Yesterday my computer was fine, and today I am getting “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate”. What’s going on?!

Aren’t… Continue reading

How to Get Rid of About Blank

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Ray asks:

What is “about blank” and how do you get rid of it? Do I need to?

Thanks for the question Ray! About:blank is a two edged sword, it seems. On one hand, about:blank is part of every browser. If you open your browser now and type about:blank into your address bar, you will most likely get a blank white page. If you… Continue reading

Keep Your Computer Safe

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Henry R. asks:

I have been reading your articles on malware and I realize that I need to take precautions, as well as be informed. Do you know of any programs that will do all of the things needed to make sure this stuff doesn’t get on my computer? And if it does, what program can I use to get rid of whatever it is?

Malware Causes Plane Crash

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

So we talk a lot about malware here at WS. In most cases it’s a warning about new types of attacks or how to remove a specific type of bug or maybe a new program that helps to remove these nasty little pieces of software.

In any case, the worst situation that one could face when it comes to malware is getting their computer destroyed or having their identity stolen.… Continue reading

Secure Your Wireless Network

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Many would like to have a secured network, however most have no inclination as to how they would accomplish such a goal. What they may not be aware of, is that there is two major layers of security to a network that protect computers against attacks. Each individual layer adds additional protection to stop people from gaining access to your network. More importantly, it prevents them from having access to… Continue reading

Rogueware

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Dean F. Asks:
The other day I had a box pop-up on my screen that said my computer was infected (it didn’t say with what) and that I needed to do an immediate scan with their online scanner and then purchase the program to get rid of it. I thought it was from Microsoft, but I didn’t click on it because I have my own anti-virus and anti-spyware protection

Securing your Drive with Bitlocker

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Securing and encrypting your files is often either expensive or uncertain. If you own Windows 7 Enterprise or Windows 7 Ultimate, however, then you already have a free way to secure your drive, included in your operating system. These versions of Windows 7 include BitLocker, Microsoft’s drive encryption software – and if you own a business, work in an office, or just want file security, encrypting your files… Continue reading

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