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Q: I use Microsoft Security Essentials as my “seatbelt” for protection, plus I am as careful as possible. Is this enough or should I get Trend Micro. Not both, right? — Jonathan
A: I have an old computer with (Windows) XP that is running very slow (I think it has a virus). I would like to get a new computer and transfer things to the new computer but I’m afraid it will transfer the virus. What should I do? -- Maureen
"By saving frugally, we reap liberty, a golden harvest.” The Spartan King, Agesilaus, spoke those words 24 centuries ago, and they are still true today. Here are some financial goals to consider when choosing your New Year’s Resolutions.
Microsoft has announced the launch date for the new Windows 8 as the last week in October. Big deal, huh?
I was probably about 11 years old when I had my first experience with Internet safety.
If you ever watch old mystery movies, there is usually a scene where a guy is walking down a side street on a rainy night when he hears a “Psst. Hey fella. I have a secret to tell ya” coming from a dark alleyway. Well I am giving you the same “Psst. I have a secret to tell you.” It is an easy way to tell if your computer is running well and your Internet is slow and some simple things you can do to fix this.
By now, the majority of New Year's resolutions have fallen by the wayside and if remembered at all, they are recalled in sentences like, "What was I thinking? Every time I organize my office, I cannot find anything for weeks!" So how about a few things that are easy to do and will make a difference in your computer life?
Q: Would an iPad work as a computer for my first-year college student, or should I just get them a laptop?
‘Hi, Mike? I was deleting a bunch of programs to give myself more free space on my hard drive and now the computer is getting a bunch of errors and is not running very well. Do you think I deleted something I should not have deleted?"
Q: I’ve heard that you can install software on laptops and smartphones that will allow you to track them if they are ever lost or stolen. Which ones do you recommend? — Clifton
The hacking of a Dallas-based marketing firm, which exposed millions of e-mail addresses to potential misuse, has raised the concerns of various security experts who now think unwary consumers will fall for scams in their inboxes.
A relatively unknown company called Epsilon came forward last week and confessed that its email database had been hacked. But this was not just any database; this was one used by industry heavyweights like Disney Destinations, banks such as Citibank, Capital One and Chase, and stores like Walgreens and Kroger.
The red-faced company isn't saying how many addresses were taken but their blue-chip clients were forced to start notifying consumers that their email addresses were compromised and to be on the lookout for "phishing" attempts in the coming days, weeks, months and years.
This is the danger of this kind of attack. My email address is well-known so I get tons of spam, perhaps thousands a week. But few people know where I do my personal banking. So when I get an e-mail from "XYZ Bank" asking me to change my online banking password I am easily convinced to delete it because I don't have an account with XYZ Bank.
Now, however, millions of emails are now associated with their correct relationship. A spammer can craft an email saying your Citibank account is overdrawn and to "click here" to see an important, encrypted message about your account. And bingo, you're infected with a Trojan that steals all of your passwords and banking data from then on.
Or you have a prescription problem at Walgreens and click here to resolve it. Bingo, you're infected. Or click here to enter your credit card info because your card was declined. Think you're too smart to do that? You may be but tens of thousands of people do that every year in response to fake anti-virus pop-ups and other scams.
These "phishing" attempts (named for their goal of using bait to "fish" valid information out of you) are remarkably successful in many cases because the emails look official and use scary things to con an immediate response out of people before they can think more clearly. Oh gosh, my checking account is overdrawn? That can't be! Click. Walgreens declined my debit card? Why? I have plenty of money in that account! Click.
And this is not limited to the companies I named. According to a press release, Epilson has more than 2,500 business clients and sends out -- wait for it -- 40 billion emails a year. This theft will take years to recover from and consumers need to be very careful not to respond to any requests for information in their inboxes. Your bank, a store ... no one needs to ask you your password or any personal information. If they need it, they already have it because you gave it to them.
Your bank does not lose your password. (It may lose your email address ... but not your password.)
Chandler police are warning residents not to get stung by well-orchestrated scams, according to a news release.
Should I install a security suite on my Mac? - Susan
A longtime client e-mailed me to ask if I recommended having a certain program run on a scheduled basis. The program happened to be a registry cleaner that she was considering purchasing. A few days later I received an e-mail from a reader asking virtually the same thing. The programs were the same so it sounds like a marketing ploy. This got me thinking about how long it had been since I had written a column on which programs I feel are beneficial for your computer maintenance and which ones may cause more harm than good. Please keep in mind that every PC tech has their own areas of expertise, so their advice may differ from mine.
Q: Is it really true that it's safer to search using Bing or Yahoo than it is to use Google and if so, why? - Anna
These days everyone seems to be divulging some deeply held secrets from their past; some events hidden from the public eye for fear the revelation of these hideous deeds would bring their whole world crashing down. Jesse James and Tiger Woods come to mind as purveyors of such secrets. In keeping with the "coming clean" feeling now spreading across the country, I need to bare my soul to all of our faithful readers and clients. My personal secret is that even though we keep a very tidy home (my wife made me say that) my office is the least organized room. This came to mind rather blatantly the other day as I was stepping over two partially rebuilt computers, an array of keyboards and around a monitor just to get to my desk. I knew I had to come clean and make a fresh start of it so I decided that tomorrow I would clean my office.
I need to apologize to the guy in the cool looking blue Mustang convertible at the corner of Piedmont and 48th streets the other day. I truly was not calling you an idiot, but rather someone on the radio, really! I can appreciate why you may have had an uncontrollable spasm in your hand as a response to what you thought I had directed toward you but, honest, it was the radio.
I received a call the other day that went something like this; “Hi Mike? Do you guys do exorcisms?”
Q. I'm pretty sure a horrific virus infected the hard drive on my wife's computer. We need to have some way to back up our information, and I'm wondering if a similar virus would infect an external hard drive. - Stephen
Lawyers can make their clients' files available to them on the World Wide Web - but only if they take proper safety precautions, the Ethics Committee of the State Bar of Arizona has concluded.
Lawyers can make their clients’ files available to them on the World Wide Web — but only if they take proper safety precautions, the Ethics Committee of the State Bar of Arizona has concluded.
Q. I have a 2-year-old Windows computer that’s running really slow, and I’m trying to decide whether to update it or replace it since computers seem to be getting really cheap these days. Any suggestions? — Gene
Ken Colburn: Before you get too hyped up about the 64-bit revolution, let's make sure you aren't "buying a car based on the tachometer."
Ken Colburn: The need for good protection software against the thousands of malicious software attacks is critical, especially since the cleverness of the attacks is on the rise.
There are two guys everyone should know and trust: your car mechanic and your computer guy. Both of these people can take you to the cleaners and you will probably never know it.