Free Tools - SpyBot Search and Destroy

21 July 2009

SpyBot is another application used to remove adware and spyware. The real advantage of this is that it also helps to remove malware, back up the registry, remove key loggers, remove trojans (and related problems) and remove usage tracks.

SpyBot also enables a function to immunise your computer.

The immunisation permanently blocks threatening ActiveX controls, tracking cookies and unwanted downloads.

You can download SpyBot Search and Destroy from www.download.com/Spybot-Search-amp-Destroy/3000-8022_4-10122137.html?tag=mncol

SpyBot should also be run on a “once a month cycle” to minimise the risk to your computer.

When you open the application you should download any updates, do a full computer scan and then immunise your computer from any web browser problems that could occur.

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Free Tools - AdAware

20 July 2009

AdAware is an application that will remove any adware and spyware from your computer.

The type of sypware that is common would be things like key-tracking software, which can be used to find usernames, passwords, email addresses and credit card numbers.

Spyware is installed without the permission or consent of the computer owner.

Adware is unrequested adverts that will be downloaded direct to your computer.

Adware is often found in freeware or shareware applications that you download, and the adware is their source of revenue.

Often adware can be detected when a lot of pop-ups or advertising banner ads start appearing on your computer.

Going to “add and remove programs” will never completely remove adware or spyware.

To remove them you will need a specialist “adware and spyware” removal tool, like AdAware.

You can download AdAware from
www.download.com/Ad-Aware-Anniversary-Edition/3000-8022_4-10045910.html?tag=mncol

I recommend running AdAware about once a month.

Having adware and spyware on your computer is not always noticeable straight away; however, you will often find your computer is not running to its full potential.

Adware and spyware can often be downloaded/installed without the user’s knowledge and so running AdAware once a month will eliminate any ongoing problems.

Once a month simply start the AdAware application, check for updates, and then run a full scan on your computer.

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Free Tools - AVG Anti-Virus

19 July 2009

AVG Anti-Virus I've found to be the best anti virus software out there, plus it's free.

You can download AVG from www.download.com/AVG-Anti-Virus-Free-Edition/3000-2239_4-10320142.html?tag=mncol

When you first download AVG Anti-Virus you need to install it and then set it up.

AVG runs in the background of Windows meaning as soon as a virus is detected, it will flag it up straight away.

Everyday when you start up your computer, AVG will run a quick script to check if there are any updates available, and then will download them straight away, this wont effect your day to day working.

You can run complete scans with AVG, but this isn't usually necessary, as it will alert you instantly when a virus is detected.

As well as protecting your computer from viruses, AVG is also used to scan all of your inbound emails.

Also available from the same manufacturer is AVG Internet Security which offers antispyware, anti-rootkit, anti-spam, firewall, safe downloads, safe instant messaging, safe search, safe surf and free support. But this is a paid version, up to you, but I've never had a need for it.

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How do I know if I have spyware or adware?

18 July 2009

A few common symptoms of having spyware are:

  • Web browser home page has been hijacked (changed without your permission)
  • New toolbars on your web browser(s)

The most common symptom of being infected with adware would be:

  • A lot of pop-ups appearing for no reason
  • Your computer's desktop image being changed without permission

As spyware and adware is evolving it's becoming even harder to detect – you may not even notice the symptoms, but that doesn't mean that you're not infected.

It's still worth downloading a spyware and adware removal application to be sure and also to minimise risk in the future.

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How do I know if I have a virus?

17 July 2009

You will often find that your computer is running much slower than usual and quite often it will get increasingly slower as time goes by.

Have a look at your web browser's history and see what websites you've visiting.

If you've been downloading numerous files or if you've been on questionable websites then it is highly likely that a virus or trojan horse may be present on your computer.

It may not even be affecting your computer, but just lying dormant in the background, or maybe you're a carrier who's simply passing the infection onto other contacts on your computer.

Which ever way you look at it, if you don't have anti-virus software in place, its well worth downloading one.

Acquiring an anti-virus program will minimise the risk or viruses for the future, and also eliminate any viruses you may currently have.

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7 tips to starting up on Twitter

9 July 2009

When you first start on Twitter you will have no followers and it will seem like a big up-hill struggle.

But don't give up straight away - like anything it will get easier in time and you sill start seeing the benefits of Twitter as a micro-blogging tool.

Here's my 7 tips to starting on Twitter:

  1. Twitter search - Find like minded people and start following them. If they also see benefit then they're likely to also follow you back.
  2. Link to your Twitter profile - You can link from your website, email signature and anywhere else you can place the link.
  3. Use RT - RT is commonly tweeted and means Re-Tweet. The aim of a Re-Tweet is that other people may also tweet the same as you and so others will help to build interest.
  4. @ Tweets - An @ tweet is replying to someone else's tweet. Replying to someone else shows that you're an active user and then you can start discussion and maybe a mini community.
  5. # Tags - # Tags, or hashtags are the way of also building a mini community within Twitter and these are great ways to join conversations with twitterers of the same interest.
  6. #FollowFriday - #FollowFriday is a hashtag that a lot of Twitter users use on a Friday and it's basically a way of introducing some of your Twitter followers to your other Twitter followers. If you ask some of you Twitter followers to introduce you then this may build up your followers.
  7. Subscribe to RSS - For every Twitter search that you make it generates an RSS feed that you can subscribe to. Making a conversation using a hashtag can then also be followed using teh RSS feed and so if you're seen to be an active, useful, knowledgeable user then this will again encourage others to follow you.

Once you have the followers you're after then you just need to be sure that you keep your tweets interesting.

Adding a link into your tweet is also a good way to generate traffic back to your website, and so it's a good way to generate a bit of hype and interest of an upcoming project on your website...

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Dual monitor cloning with Windows Vista

25 June 2009

When you plug a second monitor or TV into a Windows Vista computer it will notice the new hardware and will give you an option of how to use the new hardware.

Initially you will have the option to extend your desktop or to clone your desktop.

Extending your desktop

This is where your desktop is extended over both monitors and you can drag windows from the main computer/laptop over to the secondary monitor.

An advantage with this will be when hosting an event you can open files from your primary monitor and display them on the secondary monitor - this way the people you're hosting to won't see what you're doing on the primary monitor.

Cloning your desktop

Cloning your desktop is when the secondary monitor will display exactly the same as your primary monitor.

This is useful when you're teaching people how to use a piece of software or showing someone how to do something - everything you do will be seen by everyone who's also viewing the secondary monitor.

You can change your monitor settings by going to your desktop, right click, and from the menu click "Personalize".

Pick the link at the bottom of the list "Display Settings".

This will bring up another window where you can change your monitor's resolution, number of colours to use and also view a secondary monitor.

If you click on monitor 2 then it will show the settings for the other monitor - but the only way to make the secondary monitor active is to extend your desktop across the two of them.

Currently in Windows Vista there is no way to clone monitors.

nVidia has it's own firmware that allows you to set monitor cloning, but this is not ideal having to use a third party application in order to do something that Windows Vista should have built in anyway.

As of yet I have not heard how to configure monitor cloning for other graphics cards such as Radeon or any of the others.

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Top Gear's The Stig revealed

21 June 2009

Top Gear is the BBC's greatest car TV show.

Hosted by Jeremy Clarkson and co-hosted by James May and Richard Hammond, the TV show has thousands of people tuning in for every episode.

The Stig, the un-named star of Top Gear, tonight put an end to all the questions as to who is The Stig?

Back in January The Telegraph announced that it was a professional stuntman and Le Mans racer Ben Collins.

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/4286448/Who-is-the-Stig-The-answer.html

But tonight we find out that they were in fact wrong.

So who is The Stig, Top Gear's un-named star?

The Stig tonight entered the Top Gear studio, sat down with Jeremy and removed his helmet for the first time ever on television.

The Stig is... Michael Schumacher.

But is it always Michael Schumacher?

Questions are already spreading wildly all over Twitter:

  • How do we know it's always the same person?
  • How have the BBC kept The Stig on the pay roll?
  • Is Michael Schumacher really The Stig or is it a wind up?
  • Michael Schumacher can't be The Stig, they should have shown this on April fools day!
  • Wait a few minutes and the real Stig will walk in the studio, there's no way that Michael Schumacher has been The Stig all this time...

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Security warning with a wireless keyboard

14 June 2009

Many people are switching back to using old, wired keyboards rather than a wireless keyboard because of a new security risk.

Someone has come up with a way of decoding the wireless keyboard signals between the keyboard and the computer.

Being able to pick up these signals and then decode them will enable the monitoring of every key stroke and may lead to personal data, bank details and passwords being found out.

What first started out as an experimental project, is now thought to be exploited to crimals/hackers.

And the only answer for this - is to switch back to the old fashioned wired keyboards.

To read more detail you can see the whole article at -
www.webuser.co.uk/news/284210.html

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Flaw in Firefox on the Apple Mac

12 June 2009

When using Firefox on an Apple Mac you should make sure that you have Java disabled.

Java applets on Firefox when using an Apple Mac computer are able to cause a malicious attack.

The malware that attacks the Mac would be automatically downloaded without the user's knowledge.

Once on the Mac the malware allows others to take control of your computer and have the ability to delete files.

At last count Apple has been aware of this problem for 5 months, yet still has not made a fix for this.

I accept that Firefox may not be an Apple product and that they want to only maintain their own software - but the fact is that Firefox is an ever growing web browser with a massive fan base and so Apple should really think about this and make the fix.

To read more detail on this you can read the article I found - www.webuser.co.uk/news/283003.html

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