Today’s Geek Squeaks – October 2, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1 – (A Set Of Over 20 Software Utilities) – The number of optimization suites out there are numerous. Some you pay for; others are simply FREE. Today’s featured suite is Puran’s Utilities. You can download these FREE utilities individually or as a suite. Puran’s Utilities carries with it good ratings and reviews (SEE BELOW);

Squeak #2 – (Did you know that as PC Users we have a tendency to overlook the power supply?) –  Tips4PC has a great article up about choosing the right power supply. I know from my own personal experience that the power supply is a major component in our PC and is the most overlooked. The manufacturers, when they sell us a PC, often are guilty of this, as well; and, will sell us an underpowered unit (SEE BELOW);

Squeak #3 – (Google’s Good To Know Site): Many of us use the services and products that Google has developed. To help keep you safe and secure online, Google has created a “Good To Know” site that talks about security, privacy, identity theft, and how you can protect yourself (SEE BELOW); and,

Squeak #4 – (Microsoft Office As A Subscription): Many folks out there do not realize that you can purchase Microsoft Office as a yearly subscription (SEE BELOW)…

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Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!

See An Endless Stream Of Geek Squeaks’ [ HERE ]


Puran Utilities

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A set of more than 20 software utilities including but not limited to utilities that can help you get the best performance out of your computer. It also provides an automatic and a one click solution to keep your computer clean and error free… GET IT HERE


Choosing the Right Computer Power Supply

@ Tips4PC

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Power supply is one of the most ignored parts of computers. The average computer user will discuss configuration details of main memory, RAM, motherboard etc before purchasing a new or used PC, but ignore the importance of having a good power supply… READ MORE


Good To Know –
A Guide To Staying Safe and Security Online

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  • Explore quick tips and how-to’s that explain what you can do to stay safe and secure on the web.
  • Get advice from parents at Google and family safety experts on how to help your family safely surf the web.
  • Google works hard to protect you whenever you use the web.
  • What is a browser anyway? Find out how to chat online, search effectively and more.

MORE HERE


Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium 1yr Subscription

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Office 365 Home Premium has all the Microsoft applications, plus cloud services. Just sign in and you can get to your Office files, applications, and settings when you are not at home.

The 2013 versions of familiar Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint include new features that help you create, communicate and work efficiently from virtually anywhere… CHECK IT OUT HERE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

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Second Testing Cycle In A Row – Microsoft Security Essentials Has Failed Certification As An Effective Security Application

The title of this post tells it all; AND, as a matter of fact it is a direct quote from Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts where his article “Microsoft Security Essentials – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – But, It’s Over; You’re Gone” quickly opened my sleepy eyes this morning.

Microsoft Security Essentials – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – But, It’s Over; You’re Gone

I had been reading inklings here and there where Microsoft Security Essentials (also called Microsoft Defender on Windows 8) has been faltering here of late and I shrugged it off, thinking the software giant was on top of it; however, Bill’s article was the kick in the butt that I needed.

It is really concerning to me that my main level defense on my PC may be lacking and further concerning (and a lesson to be learned) that even the giant can have weaknesses.  As a matter of fact, I can remember many, many, many, many moon’s ago where Microsoft developed their own antivirus software and they eventually dropped the product. I sure hope that we are not heading in that direction again and history is going to repeat itself.

After reading Bill’s article, I have decided to take his advice and take a look at AVG AntiVirus Free 2013. When I was managing a network, years back, AVG was my antivirus (and anti-malware) software of choice; however, AVG even took a dip there for awhile; BUT, they are back in full tilt, as Bill’s article will highlight.

As blogger’s we can make a difference and I am sure once Microsoft starts to see these articles, we may see a change that will open the sleepy eyes of the giant.

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GEEK BONUS AREA

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Bookmarks4Techs – Over 500 Listed Tech Sites

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List Of All Articles Ever Posted At What’s On My PC

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Provide Real-Time FREE Protection For Your Home Or Small Business PC

If you are looking for a security software option, that is FREE; that is easy to understand and use; that uses minimal system resources; and is engineered by a company that we are all familiar with, then Microsoft Security Essentials is a good choice.

You will see me here on the blog pushing this software on a regular basis. It is a layer of defense that I have installed on all of my PCs; not because it is FREE, but because it does the job.

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up-to-date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology.

Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so you’re free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times.

Before installing Microsoft Security Essentials, we recommend that you uninstall other antivirus software already running on your PC. Running more than one antivirus program at the same time can potentially cause conflicts that affect PC performance.

** IMPORTANT **  –  When changing security software on your PC from one brand to another, it is very important that you completely uninstall the security software you intend to remove. The uninstaller built into windows will not cut it. I highly recommend you either visit the software maker’s site to get information to uninstall the product or use a third party uninstaller such as AppRemover.

The free AppRemover utility enables the thorough uninstallation of security applications like antivirus and antispyware from your computer. Remove computer stress. Simply, cleanly and effectively.

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GEEK BONUS AREA

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Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day.

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A Huge List of FREE Computer Security Products and Services

One of my favorite tech sites is Gizmo’s – The Best Freeware…  Today, during a visit I came across a huge list of FREE computer security products and services that is maintained on their site. The list is not a list of specific recommendations, but is a “comprehensive documentation of the security products available”…

I can tell you a lot of work went into compiling this list.  So, if you are looking at a solution for virus or malware protection, encryption, backup, to name a few; hit this list first. It will definitely save you a considerable amount of time and I can tell you, being familiar with software, the selections they have made have been tried, true and tested.  Great job Gizmos’s…

Gizmo's - Huge List of Security Products

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Technology News, Software, Apps, Wallpapers, Tech Products and MORE…
FEATURING TigerDirect – Best Computer Deals

Best Wireless Access Point for classrooms and events

Can My Phone Get a Virus?

Up to $50 Off Select HP Ultrabooks and Sleekbooks

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Infographic Depicting The Growth of the Internet In The Past Ten Years

I came across this infographic titled “The Internet – A Decade Later” (at Best Education Sites) that depicts where we were in 2002 in comparison to now (2012). I was an IT Manager at the time when networks and the internet were just ramping up to what it is today (and wireless technology’s was only a dream). I can remember being quite excited over it all, at the time.

Where were you and the internet in 2002?

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Technology News, Software, Apps, Wallpapers, Tech Products and MORE…

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Three must-have tools to enhance your Facebook experience!

A Backpack For Your Laptop

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GEEK SQUEAK: Why You Should Use Bcc In Your Email

Bcc = Blind Carbon Copy

Did you know that if you use the Bcc field in your email client to address and send an email to multiple users, the recipients will not see whom you sent the email to?

Many know this trick; however, I still find that many do not. When using the Bccfield to send your emails, the people receiving the email will not know who the other recipients are. It is not a trick of hidden magic. It is that the addresses of the other recipients are simply not shared.

I often receive forwarded chain emails; usually consisting of jokes, humorous movies, prayer requests, etc… Occasionally I will find one of these emails humorous or important enough that I will pass it on; HOWEVER, prior to doing this I perform some housecleaning steps.

I will remove any “FWD” text (usually in the subject line) and will remove any email addresses I find in the body of the email that reflects the email addresses of recipients who have already received the email. After performing these housecleaning steps, I will enter into the the Bcc field, in my email client, the recipient’s email addresses, from my address book, to send (or forward) the email. If the email client requires at least one entry in the “To” field, I simply enter my own email address.

The benefits of using the Bcc field is simply this. You are protecting the privacy of other people. Currently I have approximately (5)-five email accounts that I use for specific purposes, from a variety of email services, with one of those accounts being my primary email account. I am very protective of that primary email account address and do not want it thrown about for the spammers to get hold of or for strangers to see. For example, I have found people’s email addresses in forwarded emails that I know and have not seen for years. They are very surprised when I contact them; and, will often ask, “How did you get my email?”. I explain that I simply pulled it from a forwarded email.

Be courteous to others and learn to use the Bcc field in your email; AND, when possible avoid chain emails all together.

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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: An Internet Security Blog For Home Based Computer Users and Experts Alike

As a retired Information Technology Manager, that was surrounded by people in a State Government healthcare setting, at a time when networks and the internet were just starting to ramp up, there was a very valuable lesson that I learned along the way.

I learned to never talk over the heads of my user base by using computer, internet, or network terms (or lingo) to suppress their learning or make them feel I was above their level of comprehension. I looked at the job as; I was the coach and my user base was the team. When the internet and my network started to mature, the lessons (and education to my users and myself) paid off and actually served as a physical layer of protection to keep my network safe.

Following my career as an IT Manager, my user base changed to that of the home computer user (i.e. readers of this blog, friends and family) where explaining things to people, in understandable terms, is even more important.

One of the hardest topics out there today to explain is internet security and cybercrime. It is a topic that is not easily comprehended, unless you have expertise; and, explaining internet security and cybercrime to others (such as the home computer user) is something that is very challenging to do.

Internet Security

Myself, I have learned to depend on blogs such as Bill Mullin’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts and Tech Paul’s –Tech for Everyone to keep myself aware and alert. You will find that bloggers, such as these, make it personal and have that ability to get it across in teaching you how to protect your computer and yourself.

There is another blog, that I intentionally did not mention above, that now exclusively specializes in internet security and cybercrime. The reason for that is that the name of the blog, authored by Paul Lubic, Jr, has changed from Paul’s Home Computing Blog to the more appropriate title of Paul’s Internet Security Blog. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you bookmark this site.

Paul initially started out his blog by specializing in sharing tips, techniques and advice on home computers and the home computing environment. His blog eventually evolved into what his real specialty is and that is the topic of Internet Security. Paul has been in the technology field for over 40 years and has held positions as programmer, IT Security Manager, and Chief Information Officer. His great love is in cyber-security where he worked with the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia in the area of cyber-terror prevention and preparedness.

DO NOT let his credentials lead you to believe that he is going to talk over your head when it comes to internet security and cybercrime. It is quite the contrary. Paul Lubic, Jr. possesses the same traits that myself, Bill Mullins’, and Tech Paul possess; and, that is to explain things in a manner that you can understand and that you will ultimately will benefit from.  NOTE:  Be sure to check out Paul’s ever growing List of Terms .

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Today’s Technology News, Software, Apps, Wallpapers, Tech Products and MORE…

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Malwarebytes Pro Anti-Malware Lifetime

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Maintain, Optimize, Protect and Care For Your PC with ToolWiz Care

Every once in awhile, being an explorer (and tester) of FREE software, I will come across something that really gets me excited; especially, if it involves maintaining or optimizing the PC to make it run more efficiently. There are numerous maintenance and optimization suites out there right now, but I never heard of ToolWiz Care.

ToolWiz Care

Folks, after putting this utility suite through its’ paces, I have to say I am very impressed, especially for a utility of this magnitude being only at the version one level of development. The developers of ToolWiz Care have went to great lengths to come up with a package that covers all of the bases — from security utilities to protect your PC (and data) to utilities to maintain (and optimize) your PC.  I am trying to find out if ToolWiz Care can be made portable.

Everytime I use this, I find something else. For example, before I list the key features; after you install ToolWiz Care a very attractive (non-obtrusive) toolbar will appear on your screen that gives you the date, time, day, CPU Usage, Memory Usage, upload/download network activity. Double click on the toolbar and you can perform a Google search in the box that appears. This utility even offers eye protection. Now these things is just the candy! Let’s get to the key features of what ToolWiz Care can really do to help protect your PC, maintain your PC, and optimize your PC. Believe me, if you give this whirl, you will find more than what I have listed below.

As with any utility such as this, and not to scare you away, have some knowledge of what you are doing. I can tell you, I ran every utility in ToolWiz Care and did not experience any issues. If anything, it performed as it claimed it would perform.  I am very impressed with this.

Time Freeze

Time Freeze Keeps your system safe and protect your computer from unwanted changes.  NOTE:  This puts your PC into a virtual mode.  I am now using this to test software.  I’ll put the PC into the Time Freeze mode, test the software, come out of Time Freeze and my PC will be back to the original state prior to testing the software.

 Eyes Care

Eyes Care Protects your eyes with scheduled warning.


 Virtual Safe

Virtual Safe Creates a virtual safe which works like a regular drive where you can store files. The files stored in it are encrypted and cannot be accessed without the right password.

 Game Booster

Game Booster Concentrates every system resource for gaming purpose. It temporarily shuts background processes and other unnecessary Windows services & cleans out the RAM.

Password Manager

Password Manager Helps you create secure passwords that are extremely difficult to crack or guess. Also it can help you to manage your password, account and other private information.

 Password Generator

Password Generato Creates highly secure passwords with upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation symbols.


 Duplicate File Finder

Duplicate File Finder Allows you to scan all duplicate files in specified path. You can remove some of them and free up your disk space.

 File Undelete

File Undelete Ensures recovery of data permanently deleted from the Recycle Bin or with the help of SHIFT + DELETE key.


 Disk Doctor

Disk Doctor Helps you to check your hard disk both in I/O accesss and file system and give you a full report for the checking.

 Disk Cleaner

Disk Cleaner Cleans your hard disk from temporary files like those in the system temporary folder and the Recycle Bin.


 Registry Cleaner

Registry Cleaner Makes the PC system more stable by cleaning out the bad Registry entries.

 Registry Backup and Restore

Registry Backup and Restore Helps you to backup or restore your Regidtry with a simple click


 Registry Defrager

Registry Defrager Rebuilds PC’s Registry, making the entire system run quicker and smoother.

 Privacy Cleaner

Privacy Cleaner Protects the user’s privacy by deleting all activity history and surfing traces.


 Fast Defrag

Fast Defrag De-fragments the hard drive with it’s smart engine, keep the PC running efficiently and prevent the formation of other fragmented files.

 Checkup Module

Checkup Module Provides a full report of user’s PC system and allows the user to fix all problems with one simple click.


 Startup Report

Boot Report Provides a easy to read report that shows the start-up time of user’s system. It offers a detailed list of the processes loaded since booting.  NOTE:  Will also alert you when something new was added to the startup group that you were unaware of.

 Startup Optimizer

Startup Optimizer Allows the user to disable or delay the loading of any startup entries. It also provides the users with suggestions of standard processes.

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GEEK BONUS AREA

FREE Today Only – NoteCalendar (Android App)

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** Featured Tech Site – Pureinfotech  **

Tech Product of the Day – Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive

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GEEK SQUEAKS’ (#62) – Cool Camera, A Hot Trending Clipboard Manager, Future of SSD, Zombies and IT Nerds, and Defend Yourself On The Net

Camera With A Versatile Lens System

Panasonic Lumix Camera

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Free Clipboard Manager 2.00
Free Clipboard Manager that saves every text and image
that is copied in the clipboard!

Clipboard Manager

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Data Recovery Blog
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SSD

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Confessions of a Freeware Junkie
Zombies, IT nerds, bacon, oh my!

Zombies and Nerds

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Computer Tips
How To Defend Yourself On The Internet

Defend Yourself

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Computers & Accessories Index

Over 600 Bookmarked Tech Sites

MORE Geek Squeaks

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Geek Squeak (#108): WinPatrol 2011 is Top Gun

The NEW version of WinPatrol is worthy of the NEW What’s On My PC – Geek Squeak Trophy.

There is no method or madness to the trophy selection, but is typically given to those who exemplify the world of computers, information technology, and blogging.  More awards will be forthcoming…

WinPatrol

All I can say is that Bill Pytlovany, the developer of WinPatol is one classy guy who apparently has a heart of gold. This week all revenue from upgrades to WinPatrol PLUS were donated to shelter survivors in Japan. The chosen nonprofit is the organization supported by Rotary International called ShelterBox .

If you never experienced WinPatrol, I highly recommend this software as a “must have” install. It is definitely a Top Gun security app. Do not let the graphic below (which is techie in appearance) keep you from downloading this gem. All you have to do is download it, install it and that’s it. When a change occurs to any of your computer’s vital resources, Scotty the dog will bark. I’m waiting for Bill to implement a growl or two as a sign Scotty is warding off threats. Keep in mind, when you install new software, Scotty may bark and alert you. In that case I would pat Scotty on the head and click “OK”. Again, I highly recommend this software…

WinPatrol takes a snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you to any changes that may occur without your knowledge. WinPatrol was the pioneer in using a heuristic behavioral approach to detecting Zero-Day attacks and violations of your computing environment. WinPatrol continues to be the most powerful system monitor for its small memory footprint.

WinPatrol

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Gain Added Protection On Your PC with Immunet

Bill Mullins’ at Tech Thoughts, who was actually one of the people to get me started in blogging, recently posted an article about an exciting security product called Immunet 3.0, that I encourage you to read.

Immunet

I’m not going to get into great detail about Immunet because I want you to read Bill’s article first; but, I will tell you this, I installed Immunet on all of my PC’s; AND what is so cool about this security application (that will help protect your PC) is that it is a “companion security product”.  What this means is that it is engineered to run alongside your other security products. For example, I am now using Immunet alongside Microsoft Security Essentials, which is my primary level of protection. From my initial testing I can’t even tell it is on my system due it uses miminal system resources. My gut is telling me that this is definitely a security product to consider.

If you want good insight on this security product (which is totally FREE), read Bill’s article about Immunet 3.0 [ HERE ] .

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Surf Safely with Web of Trust

A tool (or browser add-on) that I use on my PC’s, in addition to my normal security software, to help protect me when I am browsing the internet, is no other than Web of Trust (also referred to as “WOT”).

If you use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera I highly recommend this installation. What it does is protect you from visiting web sites, when performing searches, that may be harmful by using a visual “traffic light simulated”  alert system.  If you see red (potential danger lurks ahead), if you see yellow (use caution) and green (go for it). In other words it is a visual rating system that is engineered to heighten your awareness of what sites are good and what sites could be bad. WOT shows the reputation of a website in terms of four components: Trustworthiness, Vendor reliability, Privacy, Child safety. I install this on any PC that I get my hands on.

I encourage you to watch the video below to see how it works and how you benefit from using the Web of Trust .

Web of Trust Video

You are probably wondering, “Who provides the ratings for all of these websites? AND “If this is a rating system, could not someone manipulate the ratings?”.

WOT’s unique tools are powered by our global community of millions of trustworthy users who have rated millions of websites based on their experiences. All websites’ reputation ratings in WOT are based on ratings from our users. WOT also uses information from numerous trusted sources, such as phishing and malware blacklists, to provide the WOT community with real time information.

When someone first hears about the concept behind WOT, their first objection is that someone could easily spam the system with tons of ratings and rate down their competitors or otherwise manipulate reputations, but that’s not true. In order to keep ratings more reliable, the system tracks each user’s rating behavior before deciding how much it trusts the user. WOT applies sophisticated algorithms to detect and eliminate any manipulation of reputation.

Like any security software there can be what is called “false positives”; however, from my experience this add-on tool is VERY ACCURATE and is a must for the everyday computer user.  You can learn more about the Web of Trust by clicking [ HERE ] .

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Guard Against Viruses, Spyware, and Other Malicious Software

If you are looking for security software to protect your PC that runs quietly and efficiently in the background (AND IS FREE), then look no further than Microsoft Security Essentials.

If you are a current user of Microsoft Security Essentials, be advised that Version 2.0 has been released. You can upgrade by either waiting for the upgrade to come to you (via the automatic updates) or you can download and manually install the upgraded version from [ HERE ] . If you go the manual route, the installation will automatically detect if you are upgrading or performing a full install.

The good about Microsoft Security Essentials is that it is a Microsoft based product that provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. I have been using Microsoft Security Essentials since its’ inception and I can personally attest that it is doing an excellent job in protecting my PCs.  It is very easy to use (and understand) and performs in a manner where it will not bog (slow) down your PC.

Microsoft Security Essentials

If you have a desire to give Microsoft Security Essentials a try, I highly recommend you remove the antivirus software you currently have installed on your PC.  To assist with the complete removal of any exisiting security software on your PC, I recommend using AppRemover to assist with the uninstall and removal process.

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The Ultimate FREE System Protection Tool

If you are someone that tests software; OR manages computers where there are numerous users (such as at a kisosk, classroom, library or at home with the kids); OR, you are simply are looking for the ultimate in computer protection, then look no further. The solution is a virtualization application called  Wondershare Time Freeze.

Recently Bill Mullins’ at Tech Thoughts brought Wondershare Time Freeze to our attention (see “For Added Internet Protection – Virtualize Your System with Free Wondershare Time Freeze” ). Since I have been following various virtualization apps, for quite sometime; I decided, following Bill’s review, to give Time Freeze a try.

Wondershare Time Freeze

Before I go any further there are a couple of important points to make here.

One, with any system altering utility, it is important that you have a backup image of your computer. A good FREE solution for that is Macrium Reflect.

Two, Wondershare Time Freeze comes in a FREE version and a PAID version that has additional features.

Click Here for Comparison

Time Freeze Comparison

After testing and using Wondershare Time Freeze, I would not hesitate in buying this software.

What is Wondershare Time Freeze?

Wondershare Time Freeze is what is known as a virtualization application. To the everyday computer user, do not let these big words give the illusion this is difficult software to use. It is not… The reason virtualization apps are not commonly used is because most people do not understand them and are afraid to try something that is completely out of the norm. To me, virtualization apps, if used properly, are the answer to ultimately protecting our PC’s from viruses, malware, dumb mistakes, etc…

How does Wondershare Time Freeze work?

In a nutshell, you install Wondershare Time Freeze on your PC, start it up, move the slider, with your mouse, from “OFF” to “ON”.  At this point you will be asked “Do you want to enable system protection?”. Click on “Yes”,  and be patient (a slight 10 – 15 second delay will occur while the PC is being switched from “real” mode to “virtual” mode.).

Time Freeze Slider

Once your PC is in virtual mode, you are protected. Your PC at this point is basically impenetrable. If you mess up anywhere on your PC (get a virus, malware, accidentally delete a file), simply reboot your computer. After reboot, your computer will return to the state it was in prior to going into virtual mode.  To see how this works, click on the video demo below.

Time Freeze Video Demo

I currently use Wondershare Time Freeze to test software that I review for What’s On My PC. I will put the PC into a virtual mode with Time Freeze and then install the software I intend to test. When I am finished, I simply reboot the computer to return to the state that it was in prior to my testing. I also use Time Freeze on my netbook, all of the time, to keep it in a time frozen state. The only time I do not run the netbook in virtual mode is when I perform routine software maintenance updates (such as antivirus definition updates, windows updates, etc.).

Now keep in mind and this is very important. While you are in virtual mode, any files you save or download to your main drive volume (usually the “C” Drive) will be lost when you reboot. A workaround that I use is that I save files I download (or work on) to one of my external drives.

To me, virtualization apps, such as Time Freeze are ideal in settings where multiple people use a PC (such as in a library, student lab, children at home, etc…). Simply run the PC in virtual mode and when the student or child finishes with the PC, reboot back into real mode and to the state it was in prior to going into virtual mode. Wondershare Time Freeze is great way to keep the configuration changes on a PC from being changed or altered.

Key Features of Wondershare Time Freeze

Wondershare Time Freeze is system protection software. It works easy and effective to create a free virtual system environment to keep your computer safe from all types of viruses and other malicious attacks. It provides the following advantages:

Virtual system as the shadow of the actual system: prevent threats of any viruses, malware, spyware and Trojans.

Simply reboot computer to return to the original state. Eliminates cost for system maintenance.

Surf internet safely, and play around with computer with NO trace left.

Prevent access to protected files and folders. Protect your privacy effectively

Manage the program with a custom password setting and keep inexperienced users from making change to your settings and configures

Compatible with Windows 7/XP/Vista/2000.

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New Site Added to Blogroll – Malware Removal Instructions

Just a quick note…  I recently completed a link exchange with a site that I would like to introduce called “Malware Removal Instructions” .

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Your computer is infected with malicious software? Do you have popups on your PC? If so, search this blog for removal instructions or find computer threats by category.

Malware Removal Instructions has been added to the What’s On My PC blogroll (at the sidebar of the blog) for your future reference. If you have never experienced a malware infection, I strongly encourage you to visit this blog to get a “look see” of what the talk is all about.  You will be amazed how malware evolves, changes on a daily basis, damages your PC, and can literally convince you into handing over your money.

Sample Article:

Remove fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (Uninstall Instructions)

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WinMend – FREE File and Folder Hiding Tool

Hiding files and folders in Windows can be easily done and easily undone, when you know how. The problem with the Windows process is that the folder and file hiding process was not designed with security in mind. The only purpose it really serves is to prevent you from deleting system files and folders on the computer that are integral part of the computer’s operation.  I do have to admit, there have been those occasion where I will hide a file at work as a temporary measure to keep prying eyes out; however, anyone with any computer savvy will know how to compromise this.

A solution that I have been playing around with for awhile is a FREE file and folder hiding tool called WinMend.

WinMend

The “cool factors” with this application is that the files and folders can be hidden instantly no matter the size of the data and the files/folders are invisible not only in the computer where the hiding was completed, but in any computer.

WinMend Folder Hidden is a free file/folder hiding tool. While ensuring the absolute system safety, this application can quickly hide files and folders on local partitions and/or on removable devices. The hidden files/folders will be safely hidden whether the drive is accessed in another operating system on the same computer or reinstalled on another computer. You can set a password for this application. Hidden data can be displayed and unhidden only when the user enters the valid password. The data is completely invisible to other programs or on other operating systems. However, please keep in mind that this application is for home use only. It’s not recommended for commercial settings where more strict confidentiality is required. Supports Language: English, French, German, Hungarian, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, Greek, Korean, Itanlian, Slovak, Vietnames.

I’m pretty certain there is a backdoor way, via the Windows command console, to compromise WinMend; BUT the advantage of hiding a file or folder is that someone is not going to go after something that they don’t know is there the begin with.

If interested, you can get WinMend [ HERE ] .

ADDENDUM

My personal experiment with WinMend on a flash drive:

What draws my attention to apps like this is trying to find a way to make it work from my flash drive.  In other words, can I make it become portable to the point that I can run the app from my flash drive, on any computer (even with admin rights), and hide the files on the flash drive?  For me, here is how I got it to work. I used a little program called “Universal Extractor” to unpack the WinMend install.  I then copied the upacked files over to my flash drive.  The first thing I did was rename the executable file (that starts WinMend) from “folderhidden” to “WinMend” so as not to give any initial clues that I had hid files or folders on the drive. I then ran the “WinMend” file to start WinMend from the flashdrive, setup my password and then used it to hide a folder on the flashdrive.  What I am finding, so far, it that it is working like a charm and on one PC at an off site location, where I do not have Admin rights, WinMend still worked.  Again, you may not have that same result and I am still testing this, but so far it is working and is a fast way to hide my data.  I’m putting this out there in hope that another tech may also try this and give some feedback.

ADDENDUM (7/31/2010)

As with any utility, such as WinMend, ALWAYS maintain a backup of your files…

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Is Your Webcam Spying on You?

Do you have a webcam looking back at you from your desktop or notebook computer?  Did you know it is possible from that very same camera that you could literally be spied upon?

I can remember back as early as 2004 where Sophos, a leading info tech security company, warned computer users about a backdoor worm trojan virus that was capable of of using webcams to spy on people in their home or workplace [ see here ] .

The W32/Rbot-GR worm (also known as the “Peeping Tom” worm) spreads via network shares, exploiting a number of Microsoft security vulnerabilities, installing a backdoor Trojan horse as it travels.

Today, I want to share with you a web clip (see excerpt below) referencing an article that Bill Mullins’ (at Tech Thoughts) posted about the dangers of webcams and how specially crafted software can reverse the tables from watching to being watched. Folks this is for real stuff and is espionage on a personal private level.

I encourage you to read the full article at Bill Mullin’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts [ HERE ] .  Just the title alone is enough to want you to read this article.

____________________________________________
webclip
A “What’s On My PC…” Web Clip!

“Big Brother” isn’t the only one watching you. “Uncle Nasty”
is out there prowling the Internet too!

July 23, 2010
by
Bill Mullins’

imageWidespread publicity, generated by the use of so-called “legitimate” spycam software in the ongoing “Pennsylvania High School Caught Filming Naked Teenage Students In Their Bedrooms”, class action lawsuit, and more recent reports from around the world of stealth webcam-activating malware being used to spy on young girls and boys, should be waving a bright red flag warning about the potential for webcam misuse. But, statistics show that most people pay little, or no, attention. [ READ MORE ]

webclip

____________________________________________

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SUPERAntiSpyware’s Detection Engine Now Part of VirusTotal

image SUPERAntiSpyware is one of the security products that you may have seen me writing about.  In brief, this product is capable of the following:

  • Detect and Remove Spyware, Adware and Remove Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, HiJackers, Parasites, Rootkits, Rogue Security Products and many other types of threats.
  • Light on System Resources and won’t slow down your computer like many other anti-spyware products. Won’t conflict with your existing anti-spyware or anti-virus solution!
  • Repair broken Internet Connections, Desktops, Registry Editing and more with our unique Repair System!

As a matter of fact, it is a mainstay security layer on my PC that runs, without conflict, with my other security software. For example, I run SUPERAntiSpyware Professional (the paid version) alongside Microsoft Security Essentials.

Today, I received some exciting news that SUPERAntiSpyware is now part of VirusTotal’s premier file analyzing service.

Here is the news straight from the horses’ mouth and a little about each service:

EUGENE, OR (July 21, 2010) – SUPERAntiSpyware.com, a Pacific Northwest developer of state-of-the-art security software, has announced acceptance into Virus Total’s (www.virustotal.com) independent file analyzing service.

“VirusTotal provides an absolutely necessary service to spyware/malware researchers worldwide,” said Nick Skrepetos, founder of UPERAntiSpyware.com. “This free service allows researchers and users alike to submit suspicious files and have them analyzed by over 40 of the top anti-virus and anti-spyware products. We are very proud to have SUPERAntiSpyware’s detection engine included. VirusTotal’s staff was extremely helpful and a pleasure to work with while integrating SUPERAntiSpyware into their service.”

VirusTotal

Virus Total is a free, independent service that analyzes suspicious files and facilitates detection of malware. The service utilizes anti-virus and anti-spyware engines from over 40 of the top companies to detect file submissions and provide detailed analysis and statistics.

SuperAntiSpyware

SUPERAntiSpyware, in use by over 30 million users worldwide, is an innovative product that protects users from Spyware, Malware, Adware, Trojans, Rootkits, Homepage Hi-Jackers, Worms, Dialers and Parasites. SUPERAntiSpyware focuses on detecting hard to remove spyware which other products often miss, or are unable to safely detect and remove.

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Geek Squeaksof the Week (#64)

Where does the week go? It is time for another round of Geek Squeaks’; a premier listing of tech links to articles that are crafted by the members of the What’s On My PC blogroll. If you are into information technology and computers, then it is highly recommended that you bookmark and follow these sites. I will guarantee you that you will walk away learning something that you did not know. For example, pictured is the ultimate tech beach chair to kick back and read Geek Squeaks’…

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
For Added Internet Protection – Virtualize Your System with Free Wondershare Time Freeze

My Technology Guide
Get a Chance to Win Free License of “Handy Backup Professional” worth $99 [Contest, Giveaway

GadgetsHolic
Genos CYCLOPS universal controller

RGdot.com
Trix: Freeware Efficiency And Productivity Utility For Windows

Mr. Reiner
Why the current computer security paradigm
is analogous to fixing a leaky dam

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites June 15

Laptops Review Central
Toshiba updates Satellite Pro line

TTC Shelbyville
Protect Me!

AKS-Feel The Change
Rotate your PDF document Permanently with RotatePDF.net

AskBillFirst
Adobe reports critical flaw in Flash,
Acrobat | Security – CNET News

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Defense Center

404 Tech Support
Avoiding IT Career Burnout

Tech-for Everyone
WinPatrol PLUS License Giveaway

Plato On-Line
BP Oil Disaster: It’s Everyone’s Fault?! –edited

Worthy Tips
Turns your laptop into kids friendly gadget with Smash Key

Rarst.net
MWSnap – old but useful screenshot tool

Netbook Freeware
BatteryBar: Free Software to Monitor Battery of Netbook

Lifehacker
DIY Laptop Riser Is a Convenient Surfing-in-Bed Companion

Confessions of a Freeware Junkie
Remote Control: Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Manager

I Love Free Software
PulpTunes – Access your iTunes Library from Any PC

thePC Security
Free Sandbox Software for Best Security – Trustware BufferZone

The Internet Security Blog
Best Free Internet Security for New Malware –
Microsoft Security Essentials

Canadian Tech Blogger
Google Adds A Caffeine Boost To Its Search Index

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
Windows XP Users: End of Support Reminder

TuneUp Blog about Windows
TechEd 2010 – All About Windows Troubleshooting

What’s On My PC
The easy way to print filenames in folders…

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Help Develop a Web of Trust

The biggest downfall of the internet is that it has provided a haven for the criminal element (organized crime) that will literally do a virtual “drive-by” of your PC  (if you let it) and rob you of your money and your pride. As with any crime, the criminal looks for opportunity; and in the case of computers and the internet the opportunity to commit crime is blatantly available.  It is sad when I hear people express fear of their computers and the internet due to the criminal element side; or I have heard where they have been victimized and have no idea of how it happened. In essence a web of distrust is being created…

Folks, please do not let this get you down. The fight is on and there are things you can do to protect yourself on the internet.  One of the options to help protect you when browsing the internet is an online FREE service called the Web of Trust (WOT) .

image WOT is a very simple browser add-on (that you install) that warns you of risky web sites before you click. For example, if you perform a Google to search, WOT will rate each search result for trustworthiness.

image

I install WOT on every PC that I get my hands on. It will not slow down your PC. When installed, it trains you to visually inspect every click you make in your web browser. Almost all internet crimes start as a result of a mouse click. In addition to WOT, you should always maintain your Windows’ updates, use  antivirus and antispyware software and keep your Windows firewall turned “on”.

The cool factor with WOT is that the you can register and become part of the WOT community and help develop a Web of Trust by rating the sites you visit.

WOT ratings are based on shared knowledge

Each community member can contribute to WOT. Share your knowledge to help other users surf more safely by providing ratings for sites that you have used. On the Security scorecard you can tell your story and reasons for the rating you have given, helping others to make an educated decision before interacting with the site. The system processes ratings and calculates the reputation for each website. Attempts to manipulate the reputation data are effectively countered through the use of sophisticated algorithms.

I could go on and on about WOT!  To learn more about this FREE browser add-on, please visit the Web of Trust website.

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First Week of April Brings Increase of Spyware and Malware

I received an email from the Director of Business Development, for SuperAntiSpyware, that was a reminder that the first week of April (coinciding with “April Fool’s Day”) brings an increase in spyware and malware infections.  Also included in this email was 6-(six) tips, that I want to share with you, to remind computer users to be extra vigilant during this period of increased spyware activity.

  1. Don’t open emails, files or attachments from people you don’t know.
  2. Be extra cautious opening emails, files or attachments from people you do know.
  3. Don’t be fooled by “scareware” tactics. Know what software you are using, and familiarize yourself with how it delivers warnings and alerts.
  4. If you’re considering giving your social networking activities a break, now might be a good time. No one will miss you if you take a week off.
  5. Stay away from websites that you haven’t visited before. Think before you click!
  6. Run multiple layers of security software. There are many free and effective solutions that will co-exist well with each other.

If you are looking for another layer of security protection, that will play well (co-exist) with the other security software on your PC, then give SuperAntiSpyware a try!

image

There are two flavors available: the FREE version [ Get It Here ] and the paid version [ Get It Here ] .  The difference between the two is that the paid version provides “realtime” protection, while the FREE version does not include real-time blocking or scheduled scanning.  Irregardless of what version you go with, this is a GREAT security software option to have installed on your PC that is endorsed by “What’s On My PC…”

SuperAntiSpyware – Advanced Detection and Removal

  • Detect and Remove Spyware, Adware and Remove Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, HiJackers, Parasites, Rootkits, Rogue Security Products and many other types of threats.
  • Light on System Resources and won’t slow down your computer like many other anti-spyware products. Won’t conflict with your existing anti-spyware or anti-virus solution!
  • Repair broken Internet Connections, Desktops, Registry Editing and more with SuperAntiSpyware’s unique Repair System!

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A Simple Easy-To-Use Password Vault

What I have found, as a result of following the software circuit, is that oftentimes software (during its’ lifespan) can end up being over developed and bloated.  As a result, the end user becomes frustrated and drops the software in search for something more understandable and simpler. I have found that to be the case with many of the software applications that serve as password managers.

S10 Password Vault iconRecently, I was looking for an easy-to-use application to store my usernames and passwords and came across S10 Password Vault. Initially I was skeptical, due I had never heard of this application; however, after a test run I knew I was onto something good.

S10 Password Vault is FREE for personal use, can be run as a PORTABLE APP or a FULL INSTALL, is small in windows size, is  not cumbersome, will autotype the usernames and passwords for you, and will generate random passwords if need be. The really “cool factor” to this password vault is that it will work with any program (that requires a username and password) and not just web site accounts. Another thing I found, that I was in search for is, I can use it as a bookmark manager and program launcher, as well (even though it is touted as a password vault). This is especially useful on my flash drive. I commend the author, Sten Herlitz, for developing a really nice (easy-to-use) password vault that is feature enriched and developed with the end user in mind.

Master Password Screen

Create Master Password

Folder Hierarchy Example

Folder/Account Hierarchy

Account Editor

Edit Account

Features of S10 Password Vault:

Customizable folder/account hierarchy

Launching of websites and programs

Autotypes info in websites and programs

Account matching via window titles

Custom account information fields

Drag-and-drop support

System tray icon showing lock state

Quick unlock using partial password

Auto-start when Windows starts

Print capability and “View All” mode

Export URLs to browser Favorites

Compact program (647KB download)

Highly secure 256-bit AES encryption

Single file protected by master password

Optional key file on USB drive

Strong password generation

Foils malicious keyboard loggers

Auto-lock timeout and automatic file backup

Secure synchronization between PCs

Secure folder sharing with other users

A portable version runs on USB drive

Digitally signed – no spyware/adware

No browser plugins or toolbars

Central configuration for businesses

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Protecting Sensitive Files on your Computer with AxCrypt

As we and our computers continue to evolve in this wonderful world of computer technology, it is necessary that our awareness is heightened when it comes to protecting sensitive files on our computer.  When I say “sensitive files”, I am referring to files that can shed a light about your identity, your financial status, your health, your tax forms, etc…  These are files that we hold close to us or should be holding close to us.  I have found that most people that use a computer do not take the necessary precautions to manage and protect these files and often forget about the files altogether (which is a really bad thing).

In today’s world, document processing, handling and management is predominantly in electronic formats, in combination with the hardcopy paper formats. What occurs is that we will take the hardcopy paper formats of sensitive documents and we’ll lock them up, often off site (in case the house burns down). Where we fail is when we let the electronic copies out there on our computers. For example, I recently purchased a home; and with any home purchase you are exposed to and presented with sensitive documents that reference the property transfer (i.e. settlement, contracts, etc…).  Nearly every document I was presented with was sent electronically to me via email (which is not really a good thing in itself).  Eventually I would “print & copy” and end up with a “hard paper copy” for my records; which I ultimately locked up for my eyes to see only.  Where I could have failed is if I did not take the necessary precautions to “lock down” those files on my PC.  Really, what’s the sense of locking up the “paper hard copies” when the electronic copies are laying there on your PC for anyone to see.  This is especially problematic if your PC is victim to an internet malware attack and your sensitive files are now being literally stolen.

Some things to consider:

1.)  If you maintain sensitive files on your PC, keep them in one folder on your PC.  You can call that folder “Lock Box”.  Under the “Lock Box” folder you can have sub-folders that contain the sensitive documents.  For example, you may have a folder called “Tax Forms”.  The reason for the “one folder” concept is that this makes management of the files easy (and in one place).

2.)  Routinely copy your lockbox folder to a flash drive or CD/DVD.  Take that copy and lock it up (preferably off site away from your house). If you use an online file storage option, I strongly encourage to use encryption software (as reflected in step 3).

3.)  Now the most important part.  Encrypt your “Lock Box” folder on your PC using encryption software.  There are numerous third party options out there.

What do I use for this purpose? Recently a fellow blogger at the “Crazy World of G” exposed an open source “FREE” encryption program, called AxCrypt that will get the job done.  I have used AxCrypt for years and it has not let me down yet.  The one really “cool factor” that I like about AxCrypt is that I can encrypt my folders and files and convert them to an “exe” (executable) file format.  Files encrypted and converted into the “exe” format allows me to take the file anywhere; however, to open the file requires a password.  I thank the “Crazy World of G” for motivating me to write about protecting our senstive files and using AxCrypt to get-r-done!

More on AxCrypt File Encryption for Windows

AxCrypt is the leading open source file encryption software for Windows. It integrates seamlessly with Windows to compress, encrypt, decrypt, store, send and work with individual files.

We have received 1,756,691 registrations, so it is tried and proven!

Features

Right-click integration with Windows Explorer makes AxCrypt the easiest way to encrypt individual files in Windows.

Double-click integration makes it as easy to open, edit and save encrypted files as it is to work with unencrypted files.

Many additional features, but no configuration required, just install it and use it.

AxCrypt encrypts files that are safely and easily sent to other users via e-mail or any other means. Self-decrypting files are also supported, removing the need to install AxCrypt to decrypt.

AxCrypt is translated into English, Danish, Swedish, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Spanish, French, Italian and Norwegian so chances are it speaks your preferred language.

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WinPatrol Plus Lifetime for 99 Cents – January 29th Only

This Offer has been extended through
Jan 30th, 2010

WinPatrol Plus – Lifetime License for 99 cents at WinPatrol.com.  The regular price is typically $29.95…

image

From Bits from Bill: This will be a one-day only “experiment” starting at 12:01 AM EST on Jan 29th and will last 24 hours. Will over 30 times the normal number customers upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS? If so, will other software developers notice?

What is WinPatrol?

WinPatrol takes snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you to any changes that may occur without your knowledge. WinPatrol was the pioneer in using a heuristic behavioral approach to detecting attacks and violations of your computing environment. It continues to be one of the most powerful system monitors while staying a single small program.

I have had WinPatrol monitoring my PC for years.  It places a small Scotty Dog in the system tray that alerts you, by barking, of potential changes to your system.  This is excellent software that adds another layer of protection to your PC.

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How to tell if your Gmail Account has been compromised…

I recently made a decision to use my Gmail account as my primary email client and have not regretted it.  Gmail is a little different than the email clients you may be used to with terms like conversations, labels, and stars; but, once you learn and get past that there is no going back ( in my opinion).  Oh, and not forgetting to mention, it is fast.

One really neat feature to look for when you log into your Gmail account next time is located at the very bottom of your Gmail pages.  It is called “Last account activity”…  (see below).

image

If you click on the “Details” link, you can find information about recent activity in your mail account (see below). Recent activity is a log of sorts that tracks the occasions your account is accessed. This includes any times that your mail account was accessed, using a regular web browser, through a POP client, from a mobile device, etc. A list of IP addresses from which the access was made, as well as the time and date, is also collected and made available.

image

Why is this important?

By using this feature you can determine if there are any signs that your account has been compromised.  For example, many users typically sign into their Gmail using a single computer (e.g. your computer at home). In this scenario, your IP address should start with the same two sets of numbers (for example, 168.18.xx.xx).  If you start seeing the first two sets of these numbers greatly varying from your typical IP address numbers, it means one of two things.  One, you recently accessed your mail from a different location or two someone else has accessed your account.

The whole point of this article is to point this feature out to you and to prompt you into using it.  The more you use it, the more you will understand it.  It just may save you from having your account hijacked.  In the event you suspect that your account has been compromised, I suggest you immediately change your Gmail password and security question.

To learn more about Gmail and its’ features, I encourage you to visit Gmail Support and The Official Gmail Blog .

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WOT now available for Google Chrome Web Browser

image (Web Of Trust) WOT –  a free Internet security add-on for your browser announced today that there is now a WOT add-on for Google Chrome (see Web Clip below). WOT, a very important level of protection, will keep you safe from online scams, identity theft, spyware, spam, viruses and unreliable shopping sites. WOT warns you before you interact with a risky website. It’s easy and it’s free. If you would like to test the WOT add-on for Google Chrome, you can download and learn more about it [ here ] . The add-on requires a current development version of Chrome (≥ 4.0.220.1). It’s been tested on the Windows version of Chrome, but should also work on Linux and Mac versions once their add-on support reaches the same level. To install the add-on, download the add-on using the Chrome browser.  The Chrome browser will automatically detect the download as an add-on and will prompt you for the installation.

webclip

A “What’s On My PC…” Web Clip!

Thu 08 Oct 2009 11:39:59 AM UTC — Deborah S.

Google Chrome Good news for all you early adopters: You can jump ahead of everyone else and try the first release of the WOT add-on for Google Chrome. This one is for the geeky among us, so if you’re game, all you need is a current development version of Chrome and the WOT add-on.

WOT icon in Chrome One small difference is where the icon is located. You’ll find it in the lower left corner. The rating window opens a bit differently too, but you’ll see it. Notice also that the add-on is released under the GNU GPL, so patches are most welcome.

[ Source: Web Of Trust ]

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Identify Poisoned Web Sites Before You Open Them

Detecting web sites in your browser that harbor drive-by downloads and phlishing attacks is a feat that is next to impossible to do without some type of active protection. These type of attacks are hidden behind the web links that you click “on”. What may appear to be a legitimate web link, could be a loaded gun.

I have featured articles in the past about the browser add-on called “WOT – Web of Trust” that provides a layer of protection in your web browser that alerts you about sites that may not be credible. I am an advocate of WOT, or any software for that matter that will protect the end user (which is you and me).

image Recently I have been experimenting with another browser add-on (for Firefox and Internet Explorer) called AVG LinkScanner. I have been using AVG LinkScanner, in conjunction with WOT, to further enhance my browsing experience and to provide an additional layer of protection from poisoned web sites.

image

AVG LinkScanner works in real-time by identifying active threats in the moments beforehand (before you arrive at the web site). It does not rely on “blacklists” of sites that have been identified and databased as poisoned sites.

Search-Shield scans search results and places a safety rating next to each link, so you know where it’s safe to click.

Active Surf-Shield scans the page behind any link you click on or any web address you type into your browser. If the page is poisoned, it stops you from opening it. (This happens so quickly that you don’t even notice it.)

image

AVG LinkScanner Features:

AVG LinkScanner® is the most effective protection against poisoned web pages.

It’s the only product that scans every web page just before you get there in real time, so it can identify short-lived threats.

Scans the pages behind all the links you click or type into your browser.

Scans the results of web searches in Google, Yahoo! and MSN so you know whether a page is safe before clicking on it.

Uses the intelligence gathered by a global community of online threat detectors.

Analyzes individual pages rather than entire sites because single pages may be threatened.

It doesn’t rely solely on a blacklist of bad sites that can quickly go out of date.

It can’t be identified by poisoned web sites, so they can’t take evasive action.

It doesn’t rely on opinion – it looks at what’s really on the web page.

Compatible with current products from other major security brands, so you can continue to use your existing software with AVG LinkScanner®.

Runs silently in the background – you won’t notice it until a threat is detected.

Minimal use of system resources – it won’t slow down your computer.

Easy to install and run.

Protects you immediately without need of a system scan.

Automatically updates whenever a new threat is found.

It’s quick and easy to install.

It works unobtrusively in the background and doesn’t slow your PC down.

It works smoothly alongside other major brands of security software.

AVG Search Shield now supports search engines other than just Google, MSN and Yahoo! Only dangerous, suspicious, or unknown links will be ranked; all unmarked links have been checked and found to be safe.

It’s completely free.

Works with most popular Windows OS including Win2k, XP, Vista (32 & 64 bit) and Internet Explorer (6.0+) and Firefox (2.0+) browsers.

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Easily Learn About Computer and Internet Security

If you are a computer user that is trying to make sense of it all when it comes to computer and Internet security; AND what you need to do to protect yourself, then check out OnGuard Online. Part of the fight against Internet crimes is educating ourselves and OnGuard Online is a great starting point.

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OnGuard Online is a Federal Government site that I highly recommend to everyone that heightens your awareness on how to avoid Internet fraud; how to secure your computer; and the steps you can take to protect your personal information. This site is especially useful to those that are new to computers and the Internet. There is even information available on computer disposal. The information on the site is presented in such a way that it is easily understandable and requires no technical expertise.

OnGuard Online features:

  • Expert’s Top Tips for Computer Security
  • Interactive Quizzes to Test Your Cyber Smarts
  • Videos about Online Security

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To give you a sampling, below is a clip from OnGuard Online that gives you “7 Practices for Computer Security” that I highly recommend. If you do not learn anything at OnGuard Online, please learn to

STOP – THINK – CLICK

before engaging in any internet activity that you have the slightest doubt.

webclip

A “What’s On My PC…” Web Clip!

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The Internet gives you access to information, entertainment, financial offers – frankly, countless products and services. At the same time, it can leave you open to online scammers, identity thieves, and more. Learn experts’ top tips for computer security.

STOP – THINK – CLICK

(Click on any of the links below to learn more.)

Protect your personal information. It’s valuable.

Know who you’re dealing with.

Use security software that updates automatically.

Keep your operating system and Web browser up-to-date, and learn about their security features.

Keep your passwords safe, secure, and strong.

Back up important files.

Learn what to do in an emergency.

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Chance for FREE LIFETIME SUPERAntiSpyware Professional License

Today, “What’s On My PC…” has reached the one year milestone for blogging. To celebrate this milestone, I want to give my readers a chance at receiving a FREE LIFETIME registration code for a leading antispyware product called SUPERAntiSpyware. I currently have available (10)-ten registration codes that can be used to activate the Professional version of SUPERAntiSpyware. In essence, (10)-ten people have a shot of getting a LIFETIME  license for FREE. The professional version normally retails for $29.95. I will explain further in the article on how you can have a chance at getting a registration code.

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Finding GREAT security software that is able to effectively give you the protection you need; and, at the same time NOT cause degradation in your PC’s performance is difficult to find. Many times we find ourselves investing in costly security suites that ultimately confuse us and cause our PC’s more problems than it is worth. Personally, I have found it is better to keep it simple and manageable. On my PC, I run a separate AntiVirus program, AntiMalware program and an AntiSpyware program; theory being that each of these will individually offer specialized levels of protection.  SUPERAntiSpyware Professional is one of those products that I have come to depend upon.

SUPERAntiSpyware.com is a highly focused team of professionals who have been developing software for well over 20 years. This security product is a stand-alone scanner  that  is designed  to efficiently detect and  remove spyware, adware, malware, rootkits, trojans, worms, parasites, dialers  and  other  types  of  potentially  harmful threats.

SUPERAntiSpywareBasics that you need to know:

Quick, easy installation and straightforward user interface.

Light on system resources.

Frequently updated  definition  database.

Repairs item damaged by an infection.

Prompt, Knowledgeable and Courteous Customer Service.

SUPERAntiSpyware is  available in both 100% FREE and Professional Versions. SUPERAntiSpyware is available in two versions to accommodate the user’s and industry demands. SUPERAntiSpyware  Free Edition is a 100%  free product that does  not require any form  of registration and  features  the same powerful and effective scanning engine  that our Professional version contains. The Professional version features Real-Time Protection, First Chance Prevention and Scheduled scanning.

How do you get a chance at a FREE registration code for the Professional version of SUPERAntiSpyware?

The “Registration Code” giveaway here at “What’s On My PC”,  for SUPERAntiSpyware is now closed. All available codes have been given out. I thank everyone for supporting my blog.  The codes were handed out to the first (10)-ten people who left a “Happy Anniversary” comment on the blog. NOTE: You can still download the FREE version from SUPERAntiSpyware.com that is fully functional with the exception of the realtime protection, first chance prevention and scheduled scanning.  With the FREE version you will manually have to update and run the scans.

NOTICE (7/26/2009) – If you missed the “Registration Code” giveway, you still have a chance to get a LIFETIME SUPERAntiSpyware Registration Code.  My good friend, Bill Mullin’s, at Tech Thoughts is running a similar promotion.  To enter the contest to win one of the lifetime licenses, simply add a comment at the end of his article “Free Lifetime License for SUPERAntiSpyware”. On August 8, 2009, all comments will be added to the online List Randomizer, and the first 20 names that come up, in random order, will win a free lifetime registration code from Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts .

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#7)

As always, this weeks’ roundup of articles by those on my blogroll (aka: Launch Pad) are absolutely remarkable.  Please note that I created a category on the blog, titled “Geek Squeaks”. You can easily preview past articles written by these authors by clicking on that category. The category listings are located on the sidebar of the blog.

If you are interested in a link exchange and to have an article from your blog featured on “Geek Squeaks of the Week, please leave a comment below and I will contact you… Thank you for another great round of articles…

Geek SqueaksGet $29.95 worth Paragon Drive Copy 9 Special Edition for FREE – AKSHAT

Oracle and Sun end of VirtualBox, OpenOffice and MySQL? – TTC Shelbyville

Social Bookmarking Buttons: 25+ Sets Of Free Stunning Web 2.0 Icons [Over 500+ Icons] – AllThatsNew

How to Remove Virus Melts – 411-Spyware.com

How To Watch TV On Your Computer – Tech-for Everyone

Learn a Foreign Language 10 Words at a Time – AskBillFirst

The Bare Minimum Processes Needed to Run Windows XP – Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

Medical identity theft is usually not given much thought – The Spyware Biz Blog

Documents search engines – Carol’s Vault

Jellybean: Free Wallpaper Shuffler – Snakebytez

Spyware Terminator v2.5 – Crazy World of G

Samurize – flexible system monitor with DIY interface – Rarst.net

9 Earth Day Free Stuff On Internet – Piyadas World

The Pirate Bay owners found guilty – Evilfantasy’s

LinkScanner Flags Dangerous Search Results – Lifehacker

Rename EXE files to Unblock Security Programs – Free PC Security

What’s On My PC… Free Layers of Protection – What’s On My PC…

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#5)

These links are a compilation of articles, for the past week, written by the friends to “What’s On My PC…” . To have an article featured on “Geek Squeaks’ of the Week” (every week) all that is asked for is a link exchange  with your blog or web site.

You will find that the articles written by these bloggers are comparable or better than many articles written in some of the top tech publications.

Geek Squeaks'Free Computer Courses – Tech-for Everyone

Is Windows 7 Just Vista? – TTC Shelbyville

Win a Free Rapidshare Premium Account – Techolar

WinPatrolToGo – A Great Addition to Your Geek Toolbox – Tech Thoughts

Everything – fast and powerful file search utility – Rarst.net

I Can’t HEAR You – Crazy World of G

Workrave – Schedule Your Work And Avoid RSI – Piyadas World

Is Thunderbird, Desktop Email Dying Out? – Lifehacker

15.4” LCD Screen Resolutions – WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Is The Way To Go – Is You GEEKed Up

The Truth About Security Software – Free PC Security

Conficker Eye Chart – Are you infected? – Evilfantasy’s Blog

My dream Blackberry: Storm with Trackball – Confessions of a freeware junkie

19 Amazing Free Graphic and Image Editors – Carputers News and Computer Tips

Safe Surfing with WOT – AskBillFirst

How to Remove “Trojan Detected” Popup!” – 411- Spyware.com

12+ Free Thinking iPod Touch/iPhone Puzzle Games Worth Playing – AllThatsNew

The easy way to print filenames in folders… – What’s On My PC…

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Avast! – Free Antivirus Software for Home Users

I have used numerous antivirus products over the years and have found that many of the “FREE” antivirus product options that are available are sufficient for home-based computer users.  What I look for in an antivirus product, is a product that will provide the needed protection without robbing my computer of its’ memory resources.  For the past 12 months I have been running the “FREE” edition of Avast! (called Avast! Home Edition) on my PC and have been quite pleased.  So far it has met the criteria that I desire (sufficient protection without slowing down the computer). I have actually seen computers overloaded with security suites to the point that the software designed to protect the computer actually becomes counterproductive.

Avast!

The “Avast! Home Free Edition” is produced by Alwil (a Czech-based company).  Alwil also provides a professional version with additional features.   [ CLICK HERE ] to compare the two.  You will find that the “free version” offers features such as:

Anti-spyware built-in
Web Shield
Anti-rootkit built-in
Automatic updates
Strong self-protection
Virus Chest
Antivirus kernel
System integration
Simple User Interface
Integrated Virus Cleaner
Resident protection
Support for 64-bit Windows
P2P and IM Shields
Internationalization
Network Shield

I applaud Alwil for producing such a fine product and making it globally available to everyone in an effort to prevent the global spreading of viruses.  If you are interested in downloading and learning more about Avast! Home Free Edition [ CLICK HERE ]. If you download and install the free edition you will be required to register the product (for free).  The registration process is explained on the download page.  Once you complete the registration process, a license key will be emailed to you.  The registration is good for one year and can be renewed annually.

Avast!

As an added note, if you opt to remove any antivirus software from your computer, to install another, always check with the software maker to determine the uninstall process.  To assist you with this process I encourage you to follow the links below:

AppRemover… Antivirus and Antispyware Uninstaller!

Uninstalling and Installing Antivirus Software

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