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Online Computer Tips Monthly Newsletter - July 2012

 Posted: July 23, 2012 -

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Latest Virus/Security Alerts:

Phone calls from fake Microsoft employees reported

There is a new phishing scam making its round but this time it's taking place over the telephone, or at least it starts that way. Cyber criminals are posing as subcontractors for Microsoft and are trying to get access to data stored on home computers. What they are doing is calling people and claiming to be from Microsoft and telling them that they have a security breach or virus on their computer.

Once they gain the trust of the person they get them to reveal username and passwords. Then they will get the person to disable firewalls and security programs on their computer so they will be more vulnerable. Then they will trick them into installing malware on their computer so they can take it over remotely.

Microsoft has always said that they will never make unsolicited phone calls to help users with computer problems and if you get one of these calls you should hang up right away.

Virus Help
Spyware Help

July's Poll:

Do you do regular virus\malware scans on your computer?
Click Here to Go to This Month's Poll

June's Poll Results: 
Do you do regular virus\malware scans on your computer?

Yes - 83%
No - 17%

Tip of the Month:

Run Internet Explorer 9 in Private Mode on Startup

Many people like to use private mode or InPrivate as Microsoft calls it for Internet Explorer which allows you to browse the internet without your computer keeping any history of the sites you have visited or any URLs you have typed into your browser.

If you use InPrivate mode more often than regular mode then you may want to enable InPrivate mode to be the default setting every time you open Internet Explorer. To do this, all you need to do is create a new shortcut for IE on your desktop that you can use to start it in InPrivate mode without having to do it manually each time. Then you can use your regular IE shortcut to use IE in normal mode.

To create this new shortcut simply right click a blank spot on your desktop and choose New -> Shortcut. In the location box type in or copy and paste from this page the following text depending if your version of Windows is 32 bit or 64 bit.

For 32 bit versions of Windows use this text.
"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" –private

For 64 bit versions of Windows use this text.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -private

IE InPrivate Shortcut

Then you will click on Next and type a name for your new shortcut such as Internet Explorer Private Mode and click on Finish. Now whenever you want to use IE in private mode simply double click your new shortcut.

All Tips
Hot Product of the Month: Logitech Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Adapter


If you have a device that can transmit audio via Bluetooth and you want to improve your sound output so your music and videos sound better then, the Logitech Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Adapter is for you. It lets you transmit audio from a laptop, netbook, tablet or smartphone that can transmit audio using Bluetooth and plays them through speakers that you attach to the device.


  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Better sound without wires: Listen to movies, music and games through external speakers
  • Get a reliable audio connection without having to dock your mobile device or wire it to your sound system
  • Easy setup
  • Plug the adapter into any pair of powered speakers
  • Plug the adapter into any A/V receiver or bookshelf system using standard RCA or 3.5 mm jacks






Important Windows and Office patches:

16 flaws to be fixed in July's patch Tuesday

Microsoft has patched 16 vulnerabilities in this month's round of patches. Out of the 9 security updates, 3 were rated as critical and the others were rated as important. These updates affect all versions of Windows as well as Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 as well as Office 2011 for Mac. Internet Explorer 9 was also affected in this month's patches. Normally Microsoft puts out patches for IE every other month but this time they felt it was important enough to put out patches this month as well and may continue the trend from now on.

More Resources

Interesting site of the Month:

If you have a question that you can't seem to get an answer to then you may want to give Ask Me Help Desk a try. They offer answers on a wide range of topics from taxes to cooking to family law. You will need to register to ask a question but you can still search the site for your own particular question.

Reader's Question of the Month:

How to create a data CD in Windows 7

Deinise writes in with a Windows question
Question: I have a bunch of pictures I want to put on a CD to give to my friend for a slideshow that she is doing but I don't see that I have any software on my computer to do that. It's a Dell running Windows 7 home premium that I got a few months ago. How do I put these pictures on a CD or do I need to go buy some CD burning software?

Answer: Most newer versions of Windows come with built in CD burning software. Even Windows XP will let you burn CDs without any additional software but unfortunately not DVDs. So this first thing you should check to see is how much data you want to burn so you know if it will fit on your CD or if you need to use a DVD. If you only have blank CDs then you can use multiple CDs if your data is over 700 MB in total size.

To burn a CD in Windows simply find your files using Windows Explorer and highlight them all and drag them to your CD\DVD drive and let go. You can also right click them and choose Send to -> DVD drive. Then you will be prompted to name your disk and choose what type of disk you want to create. If it’s not a CD-RW disk and you don’t plan on adding more files to the disk later then you can choose the “With a CD/DVD player” option and be fine. After you add your files simply right click anywhere in the blank space on your CD and choose “Burn to Disk” and it will tell you when it’s done and most likely eject the disk too.

All Questions

Tech News of the Month:

Windows 8 retail may not be available for purchase

If you plan on upgrading to Windows 8 when it comes out and would like a retail copy of the latest Microsoft operating system then you may be out of luck. A couple of Microsoft insiders say that full retail copies of Windows 8 will not be made available for purchase. This won't be a problem for users who want to do an in place upgrade but if you want to do a new Windows 8 installation then you may be stuck buying an OEM version of the software. OEM versions are normally used by hardware makers and computer manufacturers who bundle the operating system with the computer itself.

One good thing about OEM version of Windows is that they are generally cheaper than the full retail versions but they are locked down to installations on only one motherboard so you can't reinstall it on a different computer or if you change or upgrade the motherboard in your computer you won't be able to reinstall it again. Plus OEM versions don't get the typical 90 days of support that retail versions do.


Go to The OCT News Blog

Wallpaper of the Month:

Cool off with these beach wallpapers

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