SAFE COMPUTING 2009

Here’s an updated list of ways to be safe and secure with your computer.

Vista update icon Install updates from Microsoft promptly. Look in the lower right corner for the gold shield (WinXP) or update icon (Vista).

Install updates to Acrobat, Flash, Java, and Quicktime promptly. Each will alert you from the lower right corner.

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AD BLOCKING WITH IE8

ie8toolbarMany of you have now gotten Internet Explorer 8, the latest version of Microsoft’s web browser. The rest of you can expect to see it soon, as it is pushed out through the Automatic Update system. (You’ve got IE8 if you have some extra buttons next to the “Favorites” button for “Suggested Sites” and “Get More Add-Ons.”) Here’s what I wrote about IE8 and its new features last month. […] continued

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UPDATE ON UPDATES

Vista is more than two years old and has achieved the dubious distinction that Windows XP achieved at about the same time: installing updates on a new computer has become an arduous, time-consuming pain in the butt.

I took two new Dell Optiplex 760 computers out of the box today. They ship with a lean, streamlined configuration that has virtually no craplets (unwanted software) to uninstall. […] continued

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INTERNET EXPLORER 8 UPDATE

Internet Explorer 8 is the latest version of Microsoft’s web browser, released in final form a few weeks ago. Starting soon, it will be offered to you by the Automatic Update system. The rollout will begin in the third week of April but it will not hit everyone at the same time – you may not see it for several weeks after that. […] continued

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INTERNET SAFETY TIP

Here’s a tip in case you find yourself staring at a suspicious window.

Most malware is installed on a computer these days by luring you to a poisoned web site that brings up a window in front of your browser, suggesting that you agree to let something be installed. The bad guys are showing tremendous ingenuity in getting you to the malicious web sites, so you might be following a link in an email message, a link from a Google search, or perhaps even seeing something generated by a hijacked advertisement on a legitimate web site. […] continued

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DANGEROUS TIMES

When our first child was a year old, we had a childproofing company come to our house and give us a presentation about the threats that might endanger our baby. By the time it was finished, we had closed the college savings account because it seemed so unlikely that he would survive into his teens. […] continued

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INTERNET EXPLORER 8

At 9am PDT on Thursday, March 19, Microsoft is scheduled to release Internet Explorer 8, with a number of new features and under-the-hood security improvements. I’ll let you know if I find anything exciting in the next week or so, after I’ve had a chance to check it out. In the meantime, take a look at Walt Mossberg’s generally complimentary column in the Wall Street Journal. […] continued

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ONE LAST IE7 TAB TRICK

If you click the wheel of your mouse on a link in IE7, the link will open in a new tab. (Click down like it’s a middle button, don’t just rotate the wheel.)

Did you know that? I didn’t know that. I thought I knew a lot of cool IE7 tab tricks, but I had to learn that one from my son. […] continued

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IE7 TAB TRICKS

Here’s a couple of tricks that might be worth learning!

When you click on a link in Internet Explorer, it’s not always easy to know what to expect – you might leave the page you’re on and go to the new page, but you might also open another copy of Internet Explorer in a new window. […] continued

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CLUTTER & CRUD

When I got back from vacation, I got a quick lesson from Microsoft about how we get unwanted programs that slow down our computers, and how our computers are changed behind our back. It’s nothing underhanded or evil, just a reminder that we have to read every screen carefully before we click OK. […] continued

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SBS 2008 & REMOTE ACCESS

Two issues have come up several times for my SBS 2008 clients connecting to Outlook Web Access or their office computers.

OUTLOOK WEB ACCESS

outlookwebaccessIf you go to your remote access web site (e.g., http://www.domainnamenet.com, or http://remote.domainname.com) and click on “Check email”, Outlook Web Access will appear and be fully usable, but it will time out and return you to the login screen after it’s inactive for a short time – ten minutes in my experience. […] continued

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WINDOWS 7 – THE JOURNEY BEGINS

Windows 7 is the successor to Windows Vista. The new version of Windows went into worldwide beta testing this weekend and you will probably be buying it on your new computers by early fall.

Why a new version of Windows? Funny you should ask.

Windows Vista has been on the market for two years. […] continued

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ANOTHER IE PATCH

This morning Microsoft released a patch for Internet Explorer to prevent an exploit that became publicly known in the last couple of days. The fear is that the bad guys will quickly come up with ways to demagnetize your credit cards and kill your pets if you don’t install the patch. […] continued

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WINDOWS & MESH UPDATES

Ho hum. Another day, another batch of updates.

Microsoft released its regularly scheduled monthly updates last night. Your computer may have restarted automatically last night or it will tonight.

If you are using Live Mesh, there is an update that reportedly improves a number of features. Mesh may prompt you to install it at some point soon – I’m not sure if it’s completely automatic. […] continued

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SBS 2008 – SSL CERTIFICATES

Let me give you a quick overview of the kind of issue that makes it fun to be a consultant.

When you go to a web site where any personal information is going to be exchanged, you’re likely to see the web site address change from http:// to https://. […] continued

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