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Free Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware Solutions October 8, 2009

Posted by twiznc in Services & Software Recommendations, Virus, Spyware & SPAM Issues.
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Updated March 6, 2016

If a computer is connected to the Internet, it MUST have a current anti-virus/anti-spyware program installed and running with the latest “virus definitions” downloaded and installed in order to avoid being infected with malware.  This article covers the dangers of virus and spyware infections, steps to safely browse the web, and why an available FREE anti-malware product is an excellent alternative to the “name brand” internet security products (Norton, McAfee, etc.) for home users whose budget does not allow the expense of subscribing to those products.

Click here for a comparison of the major “paid subscription” malware protection products.

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Data Backup Solutions May 9, 2009

Posted by twiznc in Security, Services & Software Recommendations.
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Updated May 10 6, 2017

Data backup is critical for both businesses and home users.  Unless you would be okay with your computer disappearing from the face of the earth as you read this sentence (never to return), and not miss anything stored on its’ hard drive, then you need to have a backup solution in place and backing up your data on a regular basis.  This article covers the importance of backing up critical/valuable data on your hard drive, discusses both “on-site” and online backup options, and recommends some good backup solutions (some of which are FREE).

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Junk Email/SPAM Filters May 4, 2009

Posted by twiznc in Email, Services & Software Recommendations, Virus, Spyware & SPAM Issues.
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Updated March 6, 2016

This article discusses the problem of junk email messages (SPAM), steps you can take to avoid junk messages, and provides descriptions of and links to several  popular SPAM filters.

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Email and Instant Messaging (IM) Applications & Utilities May 4, 2009

Posted by twiznc in Email, Services & Software Recommendations.
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Updated March 6, 2016

Communications has become a key component of computer usage, primarily via email and Instant Messaging (IM).  This article reviews the various email and IM applications and add-on utilities, and make recommendations based on the personal opinions and experience of the author.

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Web Surfing Monitors & Controls May 4, 2009

Posted by twiznc in Security, Services & Software Recommendations.
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Updated March 6, 2016

Particularly useful for businesses and parents, web browsing monitors and controls allow the monitoring of web browsing activity, filtering of web sites that can be browsed, or limiting of when the Internet can be browsed.  In this article we describe and provide links to several recommended monitoring and control programs.  We invite any suggestions of programs to include in these listings. (more…)

Web Browsing Tools & Utilities May 2, 2009

Posted by twiznc in Services & Software Recommendations.
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Updated March 6, 2016

This article provides an overview of some of the most web-surfing tools including safe-surfing tools, ad blocking tools, Internet connection speed tests, popular password management apps, and automatic online form completion tools.

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Change network settings quickly and easily March 24, 2009

Posted by twiznc in Tips & Tricks.
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Updated March 6, 2016

NetSetMan is a small freeware (for home use) tool designed to allow you to change your computers network settings quickly and easily. Lets say you take your laptop to work (which requires certain network settings) but at home you have to change the network settings to match your home internet connection or home network configuration. Then you go back to work the next day and have to change the networks by to those of your employer’s network.  Once you return home, you have to once again set it all back to the way it was for home use.

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Four Solid Methods for Getting Back Your Lost Thumb Drive March 24, 2009

Posted by twiznc in Security.
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Updated March 6, 2016

USB thumb drives are extremely handy. However, being so small it is also easy to accidently leave it in a computer that is not your own, especially if the only USB ports on the computer are in the back of the computer.

LifeHacker.com offers four nice ideas for getting your lost USB drive back.  Click here to view the article.

Track Your Lost/Stolen Computer’s Whereabouts (or erase all data from it remotely) March 21, 2009

Posted by twiznc in Security.
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Updated March 6, 2016

What if your laptop or netbook computer physically disappeared overnight?  What would you do? What would happen to your data? How much business would you loose? Could someone steal your identity?  All kinds of bad things can happen if your laptop, netbook, or even your desktop PC was lost or stolen.  Good news!  There are tools that can at best get your computer back, or at least allow you to remotely delete all of the data on the hard drive.  Here are two tools that can help (one is FREE!).

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How to successfully send email from anywhere in the world August 1, 2008

Posted by twiznc in Tips & Tricks.
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Updated March 6, 2016

When using a locally-installed email program (like Outlook, Windows Mail or Thunderbird) with an Exchange, POP3, or IMAP email account the email program uses their Internet Service Provider’s SMTP email server to send email messages (this is not the case with Office 365, Gmail, and other web-based email accounts).  When traveling with a notebook computer, those users may find that although they can receive email while connected to a network away from home (like in an airport, a Starbucks, or another businesses’ offices), they can’t send emails.  But if you’ve got a free Gmail account (you can get one here) you can use Google’s SMTP server to send email messages.

To do so you will need to set up a POP3 account in your email program.  Click here for a guide for setting up a Gmail IMAP account in the major email programs (Outlook, Windows Mail, Thunderbird, Entourage, etc.).  By creating a Gmail IMAP account in your email program you will be able to send and receive messages from your Gmail account whenever and where ever you are connected to the Internet, even if you cannot send messages from your “usual” email account.

Note: If you want the emails that you send using the Gmail account (their SMTP server) to show your regular email address in the “From” and “Reply To” fields (rather than your Gmail email address) you will need to add your regular email account to your Gmail account and add a custom “From” address.  Click here for instruction on how to do that.