Looking after your Computer

by: Iona D'Souza

If you are going to work and do a lot of browsing on the Internet, the first thing you need to learn is how to take care of your computer.

It is far better that you take the trouble to look after your computer regularly, rather than have it freeze or crash when you lose everything on it, at which time you’ll have to pay out a lot to have it fixed.

Here are some tips to prevent disasters:

1) Set your virus checker to update itself automatically. This way, it is always updated with the latest protection.

2) Scan your computer daily when you finish working on it.

3) If on a certain day you happen to download many pages, software, programs, zipped files, exe files, etc., immediately after downloading everything, scan your computer. This way, just in case a virus existed in anything you downloaded, you will catch it in time before it infects your entire Hard Drive.

4) Use your online scanner to scan your computer once a week.

5) Use your adware/spyware checker once a week.

6) Do not open any attachments in emails from people you do not know.

7) Do not open any attachments even from people you do know, if you are not expecting anything from them.

8) A virus could replicate itself to everyone on the address book and send itself out by email, without the owner even knowing this has been done.

9) Do not download free music on the Internet – these free sites are always infected.

10) Do not download any free games from the Internet.

11) Adult sites are particularly prone to viruses.

12) Back up all your data on a daily basis. Use floppy disks, flash drives, memory sticks, zip disks, CD-Roms, etc.

13) Print out contracts, payment forms, agreements and all legal documents and file them away in a ring-binder.

14) Try not to keep anything to do with your finances, payment details, payment processor passwords, credit card details, etc. on your computer.

15) A hacker could easily access all these details, if they are anywhere on your computer.

Sadly, despite all these precautions your computer might still get infected, as the people who invent these malicious programs are getting even sneakier.

When this happens, the easiest way to rid your computer of a virus is by rebooting your computer. This is not as difficult as it may sound, and if you learn how to do this yourself you could save yourself hundreds of dollars in repair bills.


5 Mac Security Tips You Can’t Live Without

by: Paulo Fretowski
So, you’ve bought a new Macintosh, and now you may be wondering how to make it safer. There are several things that you can do which will protect your Mac from viruses and hackers. Macs are already very difficult to hack, but don’t let that fact allow you to become lenient with your security.

1. Download all of the software updates available. This seems like a no-brainer, but some Mac users forget to download the newest updates. You can even set your computer to automatically download new updates. However, some dial-up users encounter trouble when trying to downloaded updates. If you are a dial-up user, the best suggestion is to leave your Mac on overnight and let it download. Apple releases many programs that fix bugs in iLife applications, and in Mac OS X. Probably the most important of these updates are the security updates. Apple periodically offers security updates for its operating systems (Panther and Tiger).

2. Be careful what you download. Some people use P2P downloads for Macintosh (I.E. Poisoned). Be careful when downloading using a P2P because you do not know where the music or file is coming from. Some P2P users specifically make corrupted files to send via music downloading programs. Generally, it is a good idea to stick to iTunes, because those files are ACC Protected and offered through Apple so they certainly won’t have viruses.

3. Choose the best and safest Internet Browser. Safari comes standard on all new Macs as part of iLife. However, some people do not enjoy Safari as much as others. Some say that Safari is not as safe from hackers as other browsers. Safari can also be a problem if you are going to a web page that requires a version of Internet Explorer or Netscape to view it. You can download Internet Explorer and Netscape for Mac, but again, some believe that these browsers are not as safe from hackers. Many people believe that Mozilla Firefox (my personal favorite) is the safest browser to use because of its customizable features. Firefox is available for downloading on the Macintosh.

4. Don’t be afraid to buy anti-virus software. If you have to download files from the internet as part of a job or hobby, then it is probably a good idea to have some sort of anti-virus software on your Macintosh. Apple provides a wide-variety of anti-virus software that is constantly updated.

5. Finally, keep an eye on those e-mail attachments and instant messages. Some hackers have programmed viruses to IM you from one of your friends’ screen names. Don’t click on any link without knowing what it is first. Most e-mail providers use virus scans automatically, but you should always be extra careful when downloading an attachment. If it is from someone you do not know, don’t trust it.

Apple computers are very safe from hackers, but they can always be improved. Keeping a computer safe, and running well requires a great amount of time and energy. Just remember that if your computer is safe, your Apple experience will be much more rewarding.


How to Avoid Getting Ripped-Off Online

by: Jim Edwards

Online security is one of the top catch phrases these days, but hardly anybody knows what it means and worse, most home computer users think security only applies to corporations and online businesses.

Most people think online security means simply protecting your credit card data from fraud and theft, but it actually goes way beyond that.

The potential for mayhem and just plain disruption of your life doesn't just mean credit card fraud - it can mean having your identity stolen, your life disrupted and spending hours cleaning up after an online 'vandalism' attack.

You must protect yourself from everyone from the teenage computer hacker to the organized crime syndicate using computer worms and keystroke logging viruses.

The great news is that a number of simple techniques should protect you against the vast majority of threats, since the evil doers will simply move on to easier pastures.

Update your anti-virus files

The widespread 'Bad Trans' worm logged keystrokes and transmitted potentially sensitive data such as credit card and social security numbers to the 'bad guys'.

Though this virus contained a high level of criminal intent, it was easily blocked by anyone with up-to-date anti-virus files.

If you don't have anti-virus software with current virus definitions installed, you leave the door wide open for security problems.

Install a 'Firewall'

A firewall helps prevent unauthorized access to your computer by 'hackers'.

It closes off the entry points (called open 'ports') carried by virtually every computer connected to the Internet.

A common misconception is that firewalls are only for people with cable or other high-speed connections.

Even if you use a dial up connection to get online, a firewall can help you detect and prevent people from logging on to your computer, stealing files or even using your computer to break into others!

You can take a free test of your computer's security by logging on to and clicking 'Find out today if you are safe'. The results may surprise you.

Use secure sites

Only give sensitive data such as credit cards, social security numbers and important passwords over a secure connection.

This means the little yellow lock appears in the lower part of your browser and nobody but the website you are connected to should be able to read the data you send.

Change passwords often

An easy way for you to protect your sensitive data and email is to change your passwords on a monthly basis, or even more often depending on how frequently you use computers away from home.

If you log on to your email at the library, in 'cyber cafes' or any other remote computer then the possibility exists that computer could have a key-stroking virus present.

This means everything you type into the computer (passwords, birthdays, social security numbers, credit cards) could be logged and used by someone else.

** Change your passwords at lease once a month.

Though not fool-proof, these security tips should help reduce your vulnerability and keep you safer online.


Tips For Safer Computing Online

by: BB Lee

by BB Lee (C)2004

New computer viruses threaten the unwary user everyday. Hackers
jeopardize your online security with invasive computer techniques to
steal your passwords, personal information, even identity.

Unscrupulous marketers bait you with free software that unleashes
spyware, trojans, or worms, on your system.

While other marketers bombard you with popups at every turn. And
others send unsolicited spy emails asking you to click links to unsafe websites that install threating software on your computer, or try to download your private information.

These are only a few of the security issues involved while online.

Read through the following list to arm your computer and protect yourself against these vicious and often malicious online attacks.

1. Install a good anti-virus software.
Here's a good free anti-virus software...
Fr** AVG Anti-Virus......
New - AVG Fr** Edition is now available for all single home users
worldwide! More detailed information can be found in the AVG Free
Edition License Agreement.
Click Here To Download:

2. Install a personal firewall.
This personal firewall is one of the best online....

3. Install a good pop up blocker.
Google has a free pop up blocker so does Yahoo. The only drawback
is you will have to download and install their toolbar.

4. Know Privacy Policy.
Read the websites privacy policy before releasing personal information.
Note do they share or sell your information with third parties. If they do you might reconsider releasing your personal information.

5. Passwords.
Never use easy to guess passwords like your favorite color, your social security number, your birthdate, words less than six characters. Mix up passwords with combinations of numbers and symbols.

6.Virus Warnings.
Don't forward virus warnings you receive in emails. It's not your
job to warn others. And you might be circulating a fake warning
designed to scare receivers into downloading trojans or removing
important files on their computer.

7. Keep It Secret.
Don't give your password to anyone. Be wary of emails asking you to give out your personal passwords for accounts online. Or emails asking you to click a link and enter your password on the site. This site might be a fake sent by hackers "phishing" for victims.

8. Primary Email Address.
Don't divulge your primary email address on unfamiliar sites. You
might be bombarded with unsolicited emails by marketers who
sell your address to third parties online.

9. Free Accounts
Set up several free email accounts with a psuedo name to handle
spam, when you register with unfamiliar sites, or to use on chat and message boards.

10. Chat Line And Message Board Warnings.
Don't release personal information on chat lines or
message boards. This is one way many identity thefts occur.


BB Lee is Editor of SmallBizBits News.
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About the author:
BB Lee is Editor of SmallBizBits News.
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