We all do it: we have a single username and password that we use for our every account we have on the Internet. The only problem is, all websites are not created equal. When you log into your bank the connection is probably encrypted, whereas the connection to a gaming site, blog or forum probably isn’t. The Problem No big deal, right? Wrong! Hackers can easily sniff unencrypted passwords out of Internet traffic. You may [...]
Fragmentation is one of the primary ailments that infects a slow computer. You might have heard the word before. Someone might have even taught you how to fix it. But most of us don’t know what fragmentation is, how it occurs, and–unlike a virus or spyware–why we’re stuck living with fragmentation in our lives. Without getting into too many technical details, let me explain what fragmentation is.
As a small-time computer consultant I’ve dealt with dozens of customers who bring me computers loaded with viruses and spyware. I’m of the school of thought that a reformat is never neccessary, that–given enough work–any infestation can be overcome. But there is a point of diminishing returns, and I’d like to know where others think that point lies. I’ve arbitrarily decided that at my current rates it’s no longer worth my customer’s hard-earned money to [...]
My friend Dan over at Outsmart Technology wrote a fantastic article about choosing the right antivirus package. As a followup to Dan’s article and my own article yesterday explaining what a virus is and how your computer actually becomes infected, I wanted to voice my opinion about so-called “total protection” packages being sold by the top names in personal computer security. That opinion is, stated bluntly, that their software is bloated, junky, and not worth [...]
It happens at least once a week: a client, friend, or relative calls me in a panic and proceeds to explain, often in colorful terms, that their computer is acting strangely and they’re afraid that they’ve caught a virus. I listen calmly, then make a trip to their home or business to diagnose the problem for myself. In my experience one, maybe two of these calls out of ten actually result in the discovery of [...]
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