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Online Computer Tips Monthly Newsletter - December 2012

 Posted: Nov 19, 2012 -

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Latest Virus/Security Alerts:

Mcafee's 12 Scams of Christmas

So far this month it has been quiet on the PC virus front which is welcome news. It seems that many malware and virus creators are going after Android devices because of their rapid growing popularity.

So for this month we will get in the spirit and share security company McAfee's 12 Scams of Christmas. McAffee has put together the 12 most popular types of malware and scams that you should be aware of.

Here is what McAfee suggests you watch out for this holiday season or for that matter any time.

  • Social media scams
  • Twitter ads and special discounts
  • Malicious mobile apps
  • Travel scams
  • Holiday spam/phishing
  • Skype message scare
  • Bogus gift cards
  • Holiday SMiShing
  • Phony E-tailers
  • Fake charities
  • Dangerous e-cards
  • Phony classifieds

To get more information about these particular threats, check out McAfee's website.


Virus Help
Spyware Help

December's Poll:

Would you rather have a Windows 8 laptop or tablet?
Click Here to Go to This Month's Poll

November's Poll Results: 
Do you think Windows 8 will be a hit or a flop?

Hit - 75%
Flop - 25%

Tip of the Month:

Get rid of the Only secure content is shown - Show all content Internet Explorer popup

If you are an Internet Explorer user and are sick of getting the popup about only secure content being shown and having to click the Show all content button then there is an easy fix for that.

IE Show all content

This message can be annoying because you have to click the button each time to get all the content displayed on the page. You get these messages on certain sites because of how the content is being delivered to your browser and are most likely caused by the coding of the webpage.

To get rid of the annoying popup follow these steps

Open Internet Explorer

  1. Click on the tools icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Click on the Security tab and click on Custom level.
  3. In the Settings area find Miscellaneous and check Enable Display Mixed Content.
  4. Click OK
  5. Restart Internet Explorer, go to the website again and see if the popup is gone

IE Options

All Tips
Hot Product of the Month: StarTech USB 3.0 eSATA Hard Drive Docking Station with Cooling Fan


If you have a lot of external hard drives or are in the PC repair business and need to transfer data off of broken computers etc. then an external hard drive bay comes in real handy. The StarTech USB eSATA offers high speed data transfer while letting you swap out hard drives quickly without having to put them inside an external case. Plus the built in fan keeps the drives cool while you transfer your data.


  • Top slot-loading design with bay door
  • 2-year warranty and free lifetime technical support
  • High speed eSATA host interface
  • 80mm cooling fan with variable speed control (including Off)
  • Supports both 2.5" and 3.5" form factor hard drives (HDD) and solid state drives (SSD)
  • USB 3.0 compliant host interface with support for transfer rates up to 5 Gbps



Important Windows and Office patches:

5 Critical Updates for December's Microsoft Updates

It's that time of the year again. No not the holidays but actually for Microsoft's last batch of patches for the year. And you can rest assured that there will be plenty more coming next year!

This month there are 7 security bulletins with 5 of them rated as critical which is the highest rating you can have for a patch. December's patches mainly affect Windows, Office, Internet Explorer and Exchange Server. The Internet Explorer patch is very important especially since many of you will be using the internet to do your holiday shopping so it's in your best interest to make sure you don't have a security holes in your web browser.

One other IE issues are for possible security flaws in the way IE handles the Adobe Flash Player plugin. The update will address Flash libraries to patch holes in Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Server 2012.


More Resources

Interesting site of the Month:

If you are a guy (or girl) who loves stuff, that is all kinds of stuff then you might want to check out This site is all about tech gadgets and is geared more the male side of tech but that doesn't mean the ladies won't like it as well!


Reader's Question of the Month:

Changing file associations back to the proper program

Edward writes in with a Windows question
Question: Whenever I get an email with a PDF attachment my computer won't open it. If I click on it then it asks about searching for a program online to open it or choosing from a list. If I pick look online it doesn't work right and if I choose pick from a list then I don't see my Adobe program on there but it shows things like Notepad and Word. Also the icon is just a plain white icon and saving the file to my computer first doesn't help. How do I get it to open with Adobe like it used to?

Answer: It sounds as though your file association for Adobe Reader (PDF) files got removed but it's pretty easy to set back. I would try the select a program from a list of installed programs option again but this time click the Browse button once the window opens. Then browse to your Adobe Reader program which is most likely under C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader X.X\Reader or something similar depending on your version. Then find the AcroRd32.exe file and double click it. Then make sure to check the box that says Always use the selected program to open this kind of file and click OK. Now your computer should open .pdf files with Adobe Reader from now on.

All Questions

Tech News of the Month:

Potential massive bank attack in the works

Security firm McAfee has released a report warning that a massive cyber attack on 30 U.S. banks has been planned for the near future. And the goal of this attack is to steal millions of dollars from customer's bank accounts.

It's being said that there has been a Trojan virus created that will be used to funnel money out of bank accounts of banks such as Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank as well as others. There is already a name for this endeavor and its being called Project Blitzkrieg and has supposedly been tested successfully on 300 test bank accounts.

The attack is being backed by 2 Russian cyber criminals and promises anyone that helps a cut of the stolen money. These helpers are tasked with infecting computers with a strain of malware and then they are to clone the infected computers. After that they will get the users names and passwords and transfer funds out of the bank accounts.

Since the scheme has gone public the project seems to have disappeared or at least put on hold based on there not being any activity going on in any chat forums where before there was talk about the plot. Knowing about potential threats is helpful to banks because it helps them prepare for them and to prevent them from being successful.


Go to The OCT News Blog

Wallpaper of the Month:

Get in the spirit with these Holiday wallpapers

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