Online Computer Tips Monthly Newsletter - January 2012
January 17, 2011
Latest Virus/Security Alerts:
Facebook phishing attack targets logon and credit card information
Security firm Kaspersky Labs is warning Facebook users of a new phishing attack that tries to steal your Facebook login and then goes after your credit card information after that. How it works is that it will try and trick you into going to a phishing website and if it succeeds it will then log into the user's Facebook account with its stolen credentials and change their name to "Facebook Security"and change their profile picture to a Facebook logo.
The compromised account will then send out a message to all contacts saying: "Last warning: Your Facebook account will be turned off because someone has reported you. Please do re-confirm your account security by" and then give a link to click on which will spread the scam to the user's contacts.
When the user clicks on the link they will be taken to a website that looks just like Facebook and be shown form that says "Please Confirm Your Identity" which asks for the user's name, email address, password, and other personal details. After the user fills out the form, the information can be used by the attacker to access their Facebook account. Next, the user's will be presented with another form that asks for their credit card number, expiration date, security code and billing address in order to "verify" their account.
Keep in mind that Facebook will never ask for any type of credit card or address information when it comes to your account so if you see something like this you can delete it or report it to Facebook.
December's Poll Results:
Do you use an inkjet or laser printer at home?
Tip of the Month:
Check the Safety of Websites with URL Void
With the ever growing number of malicious websites popping up on the internet trying to do things such as plant spyware on your computer or steal personal information you need to be even more careful when doing your online browsing. Thankfully there are companies out there that are working hard to keep you and your information safe.
One of those companies is called NoVirusThanks and they offer a free service that will scan websites to see if they are dangerous to your computer. Their site is called Urlvoid.com and it allows you to scan a website address with many scanning engines such as Norton SafeWeb, Google Diagnostic and PcTools Browser Defender to see if the website may be a threat to your computer.
All you need to do is go to http://www.urlvoid.com/ enter the address of the website you want to check and click on the Scan Now button. Then the site will be checked with the multiple scanning engines and you will be presented with the results of the scan.
Keep in mind that even if the site shows clean after then scan doesn't mean that it's a 100% safe. URL Void is meant to give you a good idea of the safety of the site but you should still use your better judgement.
Hot Product of the Month: Harman Kardon Soundsticks III
The harman kardon SoundSticks III system is a 3 piece, 2.1-channel multimedia sound system that brings a new level of excitement to music, games and movies with its exceptional sound clarity, enhanced color scheme and bare minimum of wiring. The SoundSticks III is incredibly capable with 40 watts of powerful amplification, a down firing powered subwoofer, eight full-range transducers and compatibility with a variety of multimedia devices
Compatible with all devices with a stereo minijack output
Outstanding bass performance
Touch volume and mute controls
Subwoofer volume control
Four 1" full-range transducers per channel powered by a 10-watt
amplifier for room-filling sound
One 6" low-frequency transducer powered by a 20-watt amplifier
for outstanding bass performance
Compatible with all devices with a stereo mini-jack output
Touch volume and mute controls
Subwoofer volume control
Important Windows and Office patches:
8 Microsoft vulnerabilities patched for January 2012
Microsoft's January Patch Tuesday fixes 8 vulnerabilities this month including Windows Media Player, .NET and a SSL/TLS fix.
The SSL/TLS weakness could enable an attacker to intercept encrypted Web traffic on Web servers using SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 protocols.
One of the critical bulletins fixes a Windows Media Player flaw that could be exploited in a drive by website attacks. An attacker could exploit one of the flaws by getting a person to run a malicious MIDI file using Windows Media Player. The Windows Media flaws affect Windows Media Player, Microsoft Windows Media Libraries and Microsoft DirectShow, the application program interface (API). The update applies to all supported versions of Windows.
There is also a fix labeled important this month for the .NET framework. This vulerability can be exploited remotely using a Microsoft Office Word or PowerPoint document that contains a malicious embedded ClickOnce application. It can allows an attacker to run malware as soon as a user opens a Word or PowerPoint file.
Have you ever wanted to know how to fix that broken household or electronic item so you don't have to throw it away and buy a new one? Check out FixItClub.com and see if they have the answer you are looking for.
Reader's Question of the Month:
How to setup a background wallpaper slide show in Windows 7
Tammy writes in with a Windows question Question: I have Windows 7 at work and noticed that one of my coworkers has their desktop background display as a slideshow of their personal pictures. Mine right now is just a scenery background but I would like to do the same thing with the slideshow of the pictures that I have on my computer but don't know where to go to change it. Can you tell me how to do this?
Answer: All you need to do to setup a background image slideshow is to right click on your desktop and choose Personalize. Then click on the Desktop Background link on the lower left of the window. From there make sure that the picture location is where you keep your pictures. By default it goes to My Pictures. You can click on Browse to find the folder where your pictures are. Keep in mind that it will use all the pictures if you don't select the ones you want by putting a check in the box next to it. If you only have one picture selected the slideshow option will be greyed out. Now under the Change picture every section choose how often you want the picture changed and click on Save changes and you should be good to go.
According to a Microsoft spokeswoman at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft is looking at an October release date for the commercial version of Windows 8.
Public Relations Director of the Windows Business Group Janelle Poole said, "Windows releases come round about every three years and this year will be three years in October since we launched Windows 7." Microsoft has always been unwilling to say exactly when it will release Windows 8, but Poole's remarks at CES seem to give a good idea.
Windows 8 will offer new features such as touchscreen navigation and commands as well as support for tablets. The tablet support is one of the biggest reasons for Microsoft to come out with the new OS so they can better compete in the tablet market. Windows 8 won't be able to run all the programs that run on Windows 7 using the touchscreen capabilities, but you will be able to use a mouse and keyboard for these non-touchscreen capable programs.
Windows 8 also aims to provide better power efficiency, security and compatibility with ARM-based chips.