(updated 11/17/2012)

Tips, news and views, for 05-15-2006...


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Topics...

A safer house, change, anti-this and anti-that ...


05-15-06...

Anti-this and anti-that...

External connections to reach the Internet and retrieve email have exposed PCs to the many-faceted dangers of viruses and malware (malicious software, including adware and spyware), and to connection-related problems addressed by Internet security programs.

A computer virus may cause loss or corruption of data- and system files, and, in its effort to propagate itself, can cause your PC to not behave as expected or intended. No one intentionally installs a virus program, and viruses tend to stay low and keep themselves hidden so they can continue to propagate.

Malware is different in that it is often disguised as a program users deliberately install to accomplish something - to enhance or clean a PC, to enhance mail, or to enhance searching and surfing on the Internet.

Since most PCs are now regularly connected to the Internet, both viruses and malware often bring in more of their ilk and install them behind-the-scenes, without a user's knowledge and approval. A PC gradually becomes more non-standard until it barely resembles the original environment. It is often only when a PC is quite literally infested with viruses and malware that a user realizes that something's wrong. The last straw is usually a blocked Internet connection or a PC that is running so slowly that the user simply cannot carry on.

Previous tips have contained much more information on this topic. Today's tip is just a warning - that the free, and pay-as-you-go, anti-virus, anti-malware and Internet security programs being offered by Sympatico, Rogers, AOL and others have serious drawbacks.

The first drawback relates to monthly charges that can greatly exceed the cost of purchasing a decent anti-virus program for a year's use. The second drawback, which is the main reason for publishing this tip, is the slowness being caused by all these "helpful" programs running in the background.

With "anti-this" and anti-that" running constantly, a PC can be very slow in accomplishing even the simplest task. Start-ups take several long minutes, and every subsequent activity is scrutinized by multiple examinations before a user is permitted to open a file or visit a website.

If you think that your PC runs more slowly than you think it should, or if you think that your PC does not do what you think it should, you are probably quite right. Here are some preventative recommendations...

1) Backup your data!

2) Update your version of Windows to the latest available.

3) Update to a decent anti-virus program with an annual renewal option.

4) Run a malware removal program like Ad-Aware on a regular basis.

5) Mind what users of your PC are doing with your PC - especially regarding the Internet.

6) Beware of email senders who send unoriginal content and who do not BCC:.

7) Look at what is installed on your PC, and consider removing the unnecessary.


05-15-06...

Change...

Change yourself, and you change the world.


05-15-06...

A safer house...

At home-air-purifier-expert.com, you will find descriptions of many common household pollutants, along with tips on use, storage and disposal. The information is presented in such a way as to both debunk and inform, and it is not overly biased towards the products the site actually sells.

The list of products described is extensive - from aerosols to window cleaners. Now, we are unlikely to give up most of the products listed, but it does help to realize how dangerous the environment in our own homes is, and perhaps there are some things we could give up altogether or at least handle with more care.


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