Monday, February 28, 2005

Testing Your Defenses (Part 1)

Make sure you test computer's defenses, to make sure you're system is protected from attacks. offers a service called 'Shields Up!' which allows you to test your Firewall ability to protect your computer.

To test your firewall:
  • Goto the Shields Up!
  • Press the Proceed button
  • Click "All Service Ports" button.
You will then see a web page that should be full of a 1024 green squares. If you see any blue or red squares, this could be an indication, that you might a vulnerability in your firewall.

Note: If you have a router with a hardware firewall, the test results will be related to it. To correct any security issues, you can rectify by updating the router's firmware or by properly configuring the router's firewall. See your router's manufacture web site, for more information on how to secure your firewall.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Wireless Update Rollup is Available

If you use Windows XP wireless networking on your computer, you should download this update if you've had problems with long delays in connecting to wireless networks, problems with WPA encryption, and other wireless networking problems.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Free eMail Notification (Software)

ePrompter automatically checks and retrieves your email messages from up to sixteen password protected email accounts (from sites like: AOL, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.). The program allows you read, delete and respond to any of your messages, without ever launching your email program or visiting the web site.

For a list of web site's that this product supports

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Media Player Update Protects Against Spyware

Microsoft has released an update for Windows Media Player (WMP), which can prevent spyware and viruses from being installed on your computer. This update prevents virus and spyware from being blocking a flaw in WMP's Digital Rights Management (DRM) feature.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Displaying the Quick Launch Toolbar

If you need quick access to some of your programs, you can enable the Windows Quick Launch toolbar. By default, it is disabled, to enable it:

- Right-click on an open area in the Taskbar
- Select Toolbars
- Select Quick Launch

Friday, February 18, 2005

Google New Search Toolbar for IE

Google has release a new beta version of their toolbar for Internet Explorer. Besides the current features which let you search the web and block pop-ups, some of the new features include:

- Automatic spell checking in web forms.
- Language translation services.
- Turn street addresses into links to online maps.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Free Classic Games

Personally I am not a big fan of the modern games, they look great, they sound great, but they too dam hard to play. I still enjoy the classic, because they're fun to play and their understandable. Neave Games has classic games: Space Invaders, Tetris, Asteroids and more. These games can be downloaded, or played online in your browser.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Windows Antispyware Will Remain Free

Search Windows security reports: "Gates called spyware something 'we have to nip now,' and with that, he said the company will make Windows AntiSpyware available for free. Microsoft acquired the technology when it bought Giant Company Software Inc. in December. Roughly 6 million customers have downloaded the antispyware beta, which became available in January."

This is great news, because Windows Antispyware is a great product. I have been using it since it came out, and it has worked great for me and my systems. I have had no spyware infections since I have started using it.

I will say that it is not the most intuitive product I have ever used, but it has replaced the need to run several other tools to get similar protection. If you have not downloaded, I would suggest that you do so.

Note: This product is still in Beta, so use it at your own risk.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Security Basics (Video)

Watch this video to get started learning about how to improve the security of your computer and your personal information online.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Netcraft Anti-Phishing Toolbar

The Netcraft has created an anti-phishing toolbar for Internet Explorer. The toolbar displays the operating system, web server software and country the web site is hosted in. This can help protect you against web sites are employing a form of URL spoofing.

URL spoofing is a technique commonly used in "phishing" attacks, in order to hide the real address of the web site your visiting. Phishing attack are fake web sites which are created to look like a real site that belong to of a legitimate company (such as a: bank or credit card company). These fake web sites that are designed in order to steal your personal and private data.

After you download and install the toolbar, to active it all you have to do:
- Launch Internet Explorer.
- Click on the View menu, and select Toolbars and check the Netcraft toolbar.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Prevent Startup Programs from Loading

Sometimes you may need to prevent your startup programs from loading when you log into your computer because they might be causing some type of problem. To do this, log into your computer like you normally do, the immediately hold down the Shift key before the Windows desktop can display. You have to be quick, or you could might miss your opportunity to do this.

Note: This operation will only prevent from programs in the Startup folder from loading, it will not prevent programs from loading that are specified in the registry.

Update Your System, or Else

If you don't keep your operating system, and applications up-to-date, you leaving your computer open to different security vulnerabilities, system problems, etc. Microsoft recently twelve security bulletins, eight of them are rated 'critical', three of them are marked 'important', and one is marked 'moderate'.

These patches fix security flaws in the Internet Explorer, Media Player, MSN Messenger and Microsoft Office. Attackers can use these flaws to take over computers, view sensitive data or launch malicious code.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Triumph Over the 1040 with Tax Software (Review)

PC Magazine is featuring a review of the following tax file software suites (see below), to help you triumph over your tax return

- TaxACT 2004 Deluxe
- H&R Block TaxCut Premium for 2004
- TurboTax Premier 2004

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Launch XP Utilities from the MS-DOS console

You can launch any Windows XP utilities from the command line or the Run... commnad by typing the file name of the utility, and pressing the Enter key. Below are the file names for some popular Windows utilities:

- compmgmt.msc: Computer Management
- devmgmt.msc: Device Manager
- dfrg.msc: Disk Defragmenter
- eventvwr.msc: Event Viewer
- lusrmgr.msc: Local users and groups
- secpol.msc: Local security settings

Monday, February 07, 2005

Deals on the Web

Free IT Training Videos
Catch: these videos are only a part of a complete series that you can buy. Still not a bad deal to get free information, even if it not complete.

Nero 6.6 OEM for Free
Catch: You have to pay shipping and handling fees (about $7-$10).

DELL UltraSharp 2005FPW 20.1-inch Wide $549.00
Catch: None that I am aware of.

Viking 128MB USB Storage Device for $6.99
Catch: $10.00 mail-in rebate.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Free Windows XP SP2 CD

Microsoft now is offering a free CD containing Windows XP Service Pack 2 (including shipping and handling). If you're use dialup, it can be difficult to download 70-200MB depending on the updates you need and the options you choose. Updates this large are even slow on broadband connections.

Having the SP2 on CD is great if you need to loan it out, or need it around just in case you're reinstalling the OS. System Requirements To install Windows XP Service Pack 2 via CD, you need:
  • Windows XP Home, Professional, Media Center, or Tablet PC Edition
  • 233Mhz CPU or faster
  • 64MB of RAM or more
  • 1.6GB of available space on your hard drive for the installation
  • CD-ROM drive

Thursday, February 03, 2005

SphereXP 3D desktop replacement

The SphereXP is a 3D desktop replacement for Microsoft Windows XP. Taking the known concept of three-dimensional desktops to its own level. It offers a new way to organize objects on the desktop such a icons and applications.

It is something that you have to see to believe.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Google is Offering Free Photo Management Software (v2.0)

Google is giving away its Picasa software for free. Picasa is a photo editing, management and sharing application that allows you to edit, find, share your pictures.

The new released includes Gmail/Blogger integration, CD burning, a new collage-generating tool, and some more photographic editing features.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Free Encrypted Email

Do you want to easily communicate securely and privately over email. Ciphire Labs in Germany is offering software that makes it easy to encrypted e-mail communications. New Scientist wrote an article about the product.

Once the software is installed it performs all the complex tasks of encrypting your e-mails. The software works with most email clients, and is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Note: This service will only work if you and the recipient are running this software.