Monday, February 14, 2005

My Computer Advice:
PLEASE NOTE: You may need to copy and paste the web address link,
to go to the web site you are interested in.

Security Programs I recommend:
1. Spybot Search and Destroy. ( removes spyware, and adware ). FREE.
If you know your way around a PC, you can change it to Advanced Mode, which gives you many more options.

2. Ad-Aware SE Personal. ( removes spyware, and adware ). FREE.

there are optional add-ons ( plug-ins ) too.
3. Zonealarm Firewall. ( protects your computer from attacks ). FREE.
I have heard good things about another firewall called Kerio, from: , but I haven't tried it myself.
4. Grisoft AVG anti-virus. ( runs constantly on PC for anti-virus protection ). FREE.
I had some problems with the new version ( 7.0 ), it caused problems with sending & receiving e-mail, and they may have fixed it by now. So I am trying out Avast! from: , it seems to be a pretty good program.
5. SpywareGuard. ( protects computer from spyware ). FREE.
6. a2 Start Center. ( protects from Malware ). FREE.
7. Stinger. ( anti-virus program that only runs when you execute it, and then it will find & clean infected files. needs to be updated often, new versions come out monthly ). FREE.
8. Ad-Aware Cloak. ( this is used if for some reason you can't start Ad-Aware, you turn this on, and then run Ad-Aware ). FREE.
9. CoolWeb Shredder ( CoolWeb browser hijacker removal tool ). FREE.
10. Spysites. ( has a database of web site links that can be put in your restricted sites zone. it will prevent your web browser from opening those sites.) FREE.
11. Spywareblaster.( anti-spyware protection ). FREE.
12. CleanCache. ( cleans unwanted cookies, cache, etc... ). FREE.
13. iISystem Wiper ( similar to CleanCache ). FREE.
14. HiJack This! ( scans your registry, provides log of results, which you can post at their forum, which will then be analyzed by computer savvy people, they will then tell you if you have a problem ). FREE.
15. Firefox ( internet web browser, that has a built in pop-up blocker, etc... ) FREE.

Get Firefox!

It's now Ver. 1.0.1, it's a good web browser, with lots of plug-ins & extensions, such as one that blocks Flash, and another that blocks ads.
16. Mozilla ( similar to Firefox, but has a e-mail program, and web page composer ). FREE.
17. pop-up blockers, there are many stand alone pop-up blockers out there to choose from. there are also the free toolbars offered by the big 3 search websites ( Google, Yahoo, MSN ), and they have built in pop-up blockers. BTW, the Yahoo toolbar now has a antispyware program with it.
18. spam protection: I have used spam protection programs in the past, but don't currently. I mainly use special filters that I have created, and the block sender feature in Outlook Express. Most free e-mail web sites, have spam protection offered too, so I use that also. I also report all spam to , it is free, you have to provide the e-mail address that you can spam at. Follow all of the instructions that they provide.
19. I also use Roboform, you can use the free limited version. It will remember your user names, and passwords, form filling information, and it even has a password generator. Use this over the "other" program that has been around for several years. Roboform is safe.
20. I also recommend using a Digital Signature and Encryption for very important e-mail. You can get a certificate for free through . I think it's under personal e-mail certificate for e-mail. It does require the recipient to also have a electronic key or certificate to decrypt the e-mail that you have sent. I think you can also get it through something called: Pretty Good Privacy.
21. Microsoft AntiSpyware:
Please note: it's still in BETA, but it has worked for me.
22. Crap Cleaner:
it cleans out cookies, etc... .
23. X-Ray PC:
it's similar to HiJack This!
In regards to Spam, there are many programs out there that work to help you fight spam, you can try: ( I use the free version, which is just an e-mail address to report spam to, but there is a full version that gives you a lot more capabilities. You can also try POPFILE, which seems to work pretty well, get it from: .
Mozilla also has an e-mail program called: Thunderbird, it has a lot of built in spam-blocking features, so you might want to change to it. Go to:
FREE Online Anti-Virus scans:
I use all of these programs, and have had no problems, in fact they have helped protect my computer. I may haven't provided the direct link to the page on the web site containing the FREE program. Just search around at the web site.
This may appear to be overkill to some, but it pays to be paranoid, when it comes to the internet, and your computer.
I also recommend that you regularly check for updates for each of these programs, then download and install them. I also recommend that you run these programs at least weekly, but if you surf on the internet heavily, I'd suggest that you run these programs every day. Although, some are always running, to protect your computer.
Also, all of these programs are free, but if you can afford to upgrade to their more full version, do it.
There are lots of web sites, and message boards, and groups to be found, where the other members will be happy to assist you too. Just run a web search. But I always advise caution when taking & using that advice. Caveat Emptor! Search for groups & message boards at , , , etc...
Also, don't be mislead by hoaxes, etc... . Just do a web search to see if they are real. There are several web sites out there, that debunk hoaxes ( , ). Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn't.
There has been a current trend in regards to spoof e-mails being sent out to people, where the e-mail proclaims to be from a legit web-site, such as a financial institution, or an auction web site. They insist that you provide all sorts of personal data ( user names & passwords, pin numbers, Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, etc... ) to verify your identity. No legit web site will ever ask you for such information in an e-mail. Do not click on any links given in that e-mail. Forward that e-mail with the full headers to the abuse dept. of whatever legit web site that the fake one claims to be, so they can take the appropriate steps. Also, if in doubt, don't even open the e-mail.
You may want to try out SpoofStick from: ,
From the creators web page: What is SpoofStick?
SpoofStick is a simple browser extension that helps users detect spoofed (fake) websites. A spoofed website is typically made to look like a well known, branded site (like or with a slightly different or confusing URL. The attacker then tries to trick people into going to the spoofed site by sending out fake email messages or posting links in public places - hoping that some percentage of users won't notice the incorrect URL and give away important information. This practice is sometimes known as “phishing".
SpoofStick makes it easier to spot a spoofed website by prominently displaying only the most relevant domain information. It's not a comprehensive solution, but it's a good start.
My note: it works with IE, and with FireFox. If you are still in doubts, manually type in the correct address, and if you have a contact address or telephone #, contact the real website about your concerns.
There are a lot of FREE programs out there, they are called FreeWare, or Open Source , check out: , , I have found lots of free programs, that are comparable to programs that you have to pay for ( word processing programs, photo editing, etc... ), just check out these sites, and you should find what you are looking for.
It's my opinion that if a person isn't very technically inclined or experienced,in regards to computers ( and the internet ), they may be better off getting an Apple ( or Macintosh ) computer, they are far easier to use, and there are less problems with viruses, and spyware, that's just my 2 cents worth. Some may disagree with me.
Your comments & suggestions are welcomed. If you have additional information to suggest in regards to computer & internet advice, please send it to me.
you can e-mail me at: *********atgmaildotcom, I spelled this out instead of typing it correctly, because there are programs that will search web sites for e-mail addresses, and then you get added to a spammers list. this is a good idea for everyone, use one dedicated e-mail address for a "public" e-mail address. Then you type your address ( where it is publicly displayed on some web sites, such as some groups, and message boards ) like I did, or you could do this: , or , or, or even: The address I am providing, is not a real e-mail address, to all family & friends, you have my private e-mail addresses, please e-mail me there. Thanks.
P.S. You can also leave your comments at this blog, and I will reply when I can.
PLEASE NOTE: You may need to copy and past the web address link,
to go to the web site you are interested in.

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