Time for updates... and Spyware checks... and spam troubles
Not just Windows has updates... Microsoft Office has patches too. Click here to check to see if your Office needs them.
I'm still recommending changing from Internet Explorer to the Mozilla Firefox browser for regular day to day Internet surfing. The browser is free and has a nice import wizard to bring your favorites in, etc. It also blocks pop-ups, fights spyware, and "plays nice" with Internet Explorer. You can download it free at http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/.
Spyware is the number one problem I see. There are several options to fight it. Unlike running multiple virus checkers which I strongly don't recommend, because it will cause serious system stability problems, it IS a good idea to fight spyware with multiple tools.
1) Use Spybot, and if you have kids, have it update and run on each computer startup.
2) Use Adaware... it catches some things others might miss
3) I love Yahoo's new toolbar. I hate toolbars, but this one works. You can get it at http://toolbar.yahoo.com . It can cause problems in spyware infected PCs once in a while. When certain spyware is removed, it can "break" Windows XP's internal connection (winsock) to TCP/IP which is used for Internet and most computer network communications. There is a repair tool you can download here. It is a zip file that you will need to unpack before using.
4) Microsoft is working on a new tool too. You can get the Beta here. Reports say that it is not as good as Adaware so far, but also might block new infections.
You can use zonelabs free online spyware scanner to see if you have a spyware infection.
Viruses and worms are still being devised and spread, so keep the virus checker updated. Symantec has a list of the latest threats. http://securityresponse.symantec.com/
As I've mentioned previously, you can get free online scans at
and find removal tools at http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/tools.list.html
Here is another interesting Internet Explorer vulnerability test.
and bad news on spam...
Reminders for this month...
1) Back up your data!
2) If your hard drive is 3 years or older, think about replacing it. New ones are pretty inexpensive and include "cloning" software. Most hard drives fail within the 3-5 year window.
3) Clean and dust. Carefully vacuum the vents and drives, even if you don't feel comfortable opening the case.
4) Use antistatic spray or a mixture of fabric softener and water in a spray bottle. Dry air with static electricity can break keyboards and occasionally more expensive items.
That's it for this month...
Until next time... Happy Computing !
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