Defeating Scareware

We have written about this subject before, but I have been researching this security threat and have new advice.   One of the more insidious malware exploits involves the use of the fake security pop-up.  There is an excellent article on IT World about this subject if you want to get a deeper view.

Basically, if you accidently visit a web site that is infected with this attack, you will see a pop-up window down by the clock that ...

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Customize Your Login Picture in Windows 7

If you have several users sharing the same PC, When Windows launches there is a list of User Accounts and corresponding picture icons.  In Windows 7 it is possible to use your own photo, or an image of your choosing to replace the system generated picture.  Go to Start, Control Panel, User Accounts.  Select Change your picture from the list.  This will take you to the Choose a new picture for your account screen.  Below the system generated thumbnail panel, ...

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Computer Security in 2010

As many of you know, I have taught a Community Education Class about computer security issues since 2002.  Over the course of time, the nature of computer security threats have changed, and the exploits have become much more sophisticated.  Instead of pimple faced script kiddies writing mass mailing worms in their mom’s basement, we now have sophisticated software exploits that are underwritten and managed by organized criminal gangs.  What they are infecting your computer with cannot really be called a ...

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The Lighter Side of Yahoo Answers

I occasionally post answers to computer questions on Yahoo Answers under the screen name bobwyzguy.  Many times I have had to bite my metaphorical tongue when writing an answer – some of the questions are just so clueless.  But I avoid the easy sarcastic shot, and leave a straight answer.

Well, PC World has posted and article titled “The 20 Dumbest Questions on Yahoo Answers”.  This is worth a read, especially if the pre-holiday crunch has left you all ...

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Windows 7 – Is It Worth It?

I have had a number of questions from readers of last month’s newsletter about Windows 7.  Are there problems or issues that people are having with Windows 7?  It is worth the effort and expense to upgrade?  Should I upgrade my existing PC or buy a new one?  To I have to upgrade?

To answer the last question first – no, you do not have to upgrade.  If you are running Windows XP or Windows Vista, and are happy with your ...

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Crystal Ball Gazing for 2010

Here is an interesting article from Trendwatching.com that discusses what it sees as the emerging trends of the new year and decade. (Yes – we are entering the second decade of the 21st century already.  Time flies.  Having fun yet?)

Here are the key points, with links to the longer article.  I think it is worth a look.

1. Business As Unusual

Forget the recession: the societal changes that will dominate 2010 were set in motion way before we temporarily stared ...

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Battle of the Smart Phones – Google vs. Apple

I am very interested in the gigantic Battle of the Smartphone Titans that has started between Apple (iPhone) and Google (Android).  This is a battle between exact opposites.  Apple is the epitome of a closed and tightly controlled development environment.  Google is completely open-source.  Apple manufactures their own handsets, Google lets anyone write to any handset.  Apple applications developers need to be approved to get into the AppStore, anyone can write applications for Android enabled smartphones.

The iPhone got the jump ...

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Fake Email from Verizon Downloads “Balance Checker” Trojan Horse.

Big alert for Verizon users.  Emails from Verizon claiming that your account is over its limit and advising your to download and install a “Balance Checker” program are a hoax.  The program will install a Trojan Horse program that will give computer criminals access to your system.  This email started going out about 1:30 am Friday (CST).

If you ran the program, you have security problems that will require professional help.  See the article on IT World for more ...

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A Funny Thing Happened…

I have been asked a few times how I got into the web design and hosting business.  So here’s my story.
I had no intention of having a web design and web hosting business. I was starting a computer support business and developed my own web site, mostly because I could, and I was too cheap to hire someone. Then I decided to offer a do-it-yourself web design class through the local Community Education program.
Inevitably, someone wanted help ...
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AVG 9.0 Certified For Windows 7

Those of you considering Windows 7 can use AVG Internet Security, our recommended security suite, with the new operating system.  For those of you upgrading from Vista, you will probably need to reinstall the application and register your license key again.  Your remaining subscription time will remain in force.

AVG recently released version 9.0, which is available to current subscribers as a free upgrade.  PC World magazine recently featured a laboratory comparison of the top security suites, and AVG came in ...

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