Mar 14

ToolbarsBrowser toolbars can be very helpful.  They can make short work of internet searches and keep some of your favorite utilities close at hand.  However, some toolbars are not what they seem.  While some are helpful amenities, others can compromise the security of your PC.

Commercial toolbars, like those from Google or Yahoo!, help you perform searches with ease, seek out deals while shopping on-line and are, in general, good citizens of the on-line community.   Unfortunately, they have also been mimicked by questionable programmers for less worthy purposes.  These toolbars arrive on your hard drive bundled with other downloaded software or perhaps from a banner ad or pop-up ad that you may have accidentally clicked.  Maybe you received a false update warning and were convinced to answer it.  Some websites are even capable of installing these annoyances in what is called a “drive-by” installation, where you are not even aware that it’s happening.

Why do programmers take the time to write and distribute something that seems so trivial?  Unwanted toolbars are a way to put your computer at risk.  They don’t look like they are harmful to your PC, but in reality, they are creating a portal from your system to the Internet.  Through this portal, other malware, spyware or virus programs can be installed on your PC without your permission or even you knowledge.  They can also upload information, like your browsing or shopping habits, to third parties via your internet connection.  This allows advertisers to target their ads to you based on what you’ve looked at on-line.  It’s an attempt to use your own interests to lure you to their sites.  Toolbars can record the data you enter into on-line forms, like passwords and private information. Even the toolbars that are not truly malicious are quite often spam creators and ad generators.  Advertisers pay the toolbar programmer to take you to specific sites.  Toolbars, even the benign ones, sap your PC’s memory, slowing it down and limiting its resources. Continue reading »

Mar 06

adware  A firewall is one of the most common means to protect your PC against dangerous malware and other risks to your system.  It is essentially a barrier between your PC and the Internet, a guardian or gatekeeper against invasive or malicious programs.  A firewall is a system (or a network of systems) that can be thought of like a doorman operating a swinging door.  The door swings one way and information is allowed in.  It swings the other way and information is allowed out.  A firewall is set by its owner or system administrator to obey certain rules regarding what is allowed to transmit in either direction.  It is the doorman, both operating and guarding the system.

A firewall cannot make its own judgments about what should or should not be allowed to pass through it.  That is up to the user.  You need to do some research to find out what is going to work best for you but most commercially available firewalls come pre-configured in a way that works for most typical users.  It can be installed either as hardware or software and can be customized based on your usage and your security needs.

A hardware firewall is a device that is installed between your computer and your internet connection point.  For instance, if you have a cable modem, the firewall would plug into the cable modem and your computer would be plugged into the firewall.  A software firewall is installed like any other program on your hard drive, either by CD or download.  Software firewalls may also be built into your operating system, like Windows XP.  You customize either one by using filters.  Filters are the rules that the doorman in the earlier analogy uses to decide what is allowed in or out. Continue reading »

Feb 03

gmail emblemIt seems that anyone and everyone from Chandigarh, India, is an “author wannabe” and Internet marketing genius ( I say this facetiously in case you are taking this seriously). For the last few months, this article directory and others, have been infected by a swarm of daily sign-ups from this particular region.

Last names like Kumar, Singh and Sharma are very popular and keep showing up on a daily basis,  only to be deleted by me as soon as I can find them. Their “modus operandi” is to sign-up using a gmail account, submit usually between one and five PLR (private label rights) articles, then repeat the process under a different gmail address. I am sure that they have auto-submission software and submit this type of rubbish to hundred if not thousands of different article directories. I can only speak for myself and other article directory owners  that I communicate with on a regular basis.

When they try to setup and account and fill in their information, they become even more laughable. They usually pick a pen-name like piffy or zippy or bnm7…no imagination whatsoever. How many people can actually take an article seriously if the author cannot even attach a real name to his/her supposed original article. This seems to expose a real weakness in Google’s Gmail system. In reality gmail is promoting spam. How these characters can pump out email address after email address is comical. Continue reading »

Oct 22

Windows registryThe last thing you want to do is be connected to the Internet or for that matter, networked into another computer that is Internet accessible without any form of computer security in place.  You need to safeguard your computer at all costs to avoid spyware, adware, malware, spamming, viruses, worms trojans and 100′s of other things and terminology that deliver havoc to your computer’s operating system.  The purpose, intent, directive, mission, modes’ operandi (whatever you want to call it) of operating system disruption is multifarious in nature.  It could be criminal intent, malicious, prank, spying, diversionary, bridging, dominating, altering and (once again) a thousand other tactics.  The bottom line is if you don’t value your computer’s operatability you’ll be a victim of actionable intent that could result in the loss of a perfectly good computer, your identity, financial data, privacy or all the above and more.

You took the time to learn how to use your computer and hopefully along the way you also learned not only how to keep it optimized but you and it safe as well.  If you think problems only happen to everyone else, you are living in a vacuum!  Your computer is an IP address that has nothing to do with your face, character or honest disposition.  Your computer is electronic in nature and it depends upon you to keep you both functional and secure.  Yes, the computer is brilliant but the one thing that sets you aside from the high speed logic of your computer is that at this point in time; you have the additional intelligence it has not and that is - common sense.  With this in mind, that makes you the doctor and the computer a patient needing care, concern and nurturing. Continue reading »

Oct 11

pc securityWe are constantly reading articles in the press and online about how peoples online security has been compromised from things such as phishing emails to Paypal scams, well if you are tired of all these, we can share 6 top tips to keep you safe online. Ensuring you do not fall victim to any of them.

1. Use a firewall on your home or work PC, a study found that 70% of US home owners of PCs did not have an up to date firewall installed, there are some free online, just Google Free firewall software. The firewall protects the ports on your computer that can be attacked from someone online, by restricting access to the programs on your computer.

2. Install an anti virus program, this will detect when you download anything that contains a virus or if it is has a Trojan horse (as in Helen of Troy-the virus hides in a zipped file, waiting to attack…) it is too late if you open the zip file. Most free anti virus programs will give an audible sound when 1 has been detected, so that you can delete it. Continue reading »

Apr 21

spam banSince the introduction of the Internet to the public, spam has been in existence and has become more and more of a growing concern and problem. Everyone who uses the Internet, especially with an email account has probably experienced a form of spam. I don’t actually think it is possible anymore to have a email account where no spam is received without the help of a spam filter.

The problem of spam on the Internet has reached a sorry state of affairs and drastic action is needed before the situation escalades even further. By just changing a few Internet ‘habits’ you could prevent a certain amount of spam from reaching your inbox.

For many of us Internet use is part of our daily lives. Many of us work in an environment where using email and the Internet is part of our job description. Due to this it is important that you follow some ‘guidelines’ of how to use the Internet and especially email without opening yourself up to the chance of receiving more spam.

These ‘guidelines’ should include the following: Continue reading »

Feb 07

Spyware is part of an overall public concern about privacy on the Internet. Experts in the field of Internet privacy have a consensus that Internet privacy doesn’t actually exist.

It has been noted that spyware infects nearly 90% of Internet connected PC’s, with the main bulk of it coming from the installation of software. By installing certain software you could be placing media plugins, spyware, backdoor santa’s and Trojans on your PC; all of which are being placed there without your permission. Continue reading »

Feb 05

This guide is for Expert Computer Repair personnel.  The average user may have a hard time following this guide as we do not go into detail on how to perform many detailed tasks.  This article makes a great addition to any computer repair shop manual and is also great for training. Continue reading »

Oct 30

By: Jim Pretin 

spam no moreWe’ve all had this experience:  You login to your email account, excited to read messages from friends, relatives, co-workers, or your girlfriend perhaps.  You view the link to your inbox, and it says you have five messages.  Fervently, you open your inbox, your heart is racing, you sit up in your chair a bit, leaning forward closer to the computer as you get ready to enter a new dimension.

What do you find when the page finishes loading?  Well, you see a spectacular cornucopia of diverse, informative topics referenced in the “subject” for each email:

“Erectile Dysfunction?  Look no further - Viagra, 90% off!”

 ”Get a 200 year mortgage!” 

“Reverse the aging process, regress back to infancy!” 

“Make 10 million dollars per hour stuffing envelopes!”

Continue reading »

Oct 29

By: FrankBauer

 Quit some time ago, I don’t remember where exactly, I read about a technique to stop receiving spam for good which worked very good for me and it will soon work for you as well.

Here is the quick run down

1. Stop using any email address that currently receives spam. Yeap it’s tuff and harsh, but will 100% sure kill all your current spam.

With any body that you want to stay in contact with, give them a unique email address of yours as described below in point 5.

The next step is to setup a system to protect you from future spam. Note that the following instructions all have to be followed in your servers cPanel area.

Continue reading »