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Online Computer Tips Monthly Newsletter - June 2011

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Latest Virus/Security Alerts:

Fake Windows Security Alert Malware

Security firm Sophos has warned of fake antivirus software posing as security updates from Microsoft. Cyber criminals have managed to replicate a version of the Microsoft Update page to fool users of Firefox. The same web site is also known for hosting a fake Windows XP and Windows 7 scanner. This type of "scareware" will try to make you to buy a fake security product to make your computer 'safe' from the bogus virus alerts it says it finds on your computer.

This drive by page is a very convincing replica of the real Microsoft Update page, but only appears for Firefox users. This is your first sign that that something is wrong since the real Microsoft Update site will only run on Internet Explorer. So if you are prompted to do some updates from the Microsoft Update site while in Firefox close your browser and run some spyware scans.

 

Virus Help
Spyware Help

June's Poll:

How much RAM do you have in your computer?



3GB - 4GB
5GB or more

May's Poll Results:
Does your computer us an AMD or Intel processor?

AMD - 23%
Intel - 77%

Tip of the Month:

Enable Hidden Windows Features

Windows Vista and 7 come with a lot of nice new features compared to older versions of Windows such as Windows XP. But many of these features are not enabled by default so you may not know they even exist. Some of these features include a variety of games, DVD creation software, faxing capabilities, a telnet client and an XPS viewer.

It's very easy to enable these features so you can start gaining all the benefits they offer. Simply go to Control Panel and open Programs and Features. Then click on Turn features on or off and it will bring up the available programs that you can enable. Any item with a + sign next to it means there are sub options for that item. If there is check box next to the item it means it's already installed. If the box is filled solid then that means that some of the sub items are installed but not all of them.

Windows Features

Now you can go through the items and enable any features you want to use. If you don't know what a particular program does then you may want to research it online first before enabling it.


All Tips

Hot Product of the Month: RTX All-in-One Cordless Skype and Landline Phone

Details:

The RTX Cordless Skype phone doesn't require a PC to be used. Simply connect the base station to your internet connection, and then you can talk for free with your Skype friends or call other landline numbers as you would with your regular phone. The phone has superior Skype optimized sound quality and uses DECT cordless technology to achieve a range of up to 300 meters outside or up to 50m indoors. It is easy to install, easy to use and can even be used as a conference phone.

 

  • Cordless Skype phone and ordinary phone in one
  • No PC Required - Connect directly to your LAN port
  • 1.8 GHz DECT using authentication and encryption
  • Easy to install, easy to use
  • Backlit color display - Intuitive Skype graphical user interface


 

 

 

 

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Important Windows and Office patches:

Windows Server patches for May

It will be a busy month for IT professionals since Microsoft will be releasing 16 fixes in June. There will be 9 security bulletins rated critical and 7 rated important this month.

All of the critical fixes are aimed potential RCE attacks in Windows. The first critical bulletin is a Windows operating system patch affecting every supported version of Windows. The second critical bulletin will be applied to the .NET Framework and Microsoft Silverlight on all versions of Windows. The third bulletin will be used to bring greater security to Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010. The other bulletins are for Windows OS level and .NET patches for all supported versions.

As for the important patches there will be a wide ranging RCE fix for Microsoft Office. This second important fix is for a flaw in Microsoft Excel and InfoPath. The third important item will be a Windows fix addressing all Microsoft supported iterations. Other important patches are designed to prevent denial of service (DOS) attacks for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008.

Visual Studio, SQL Server 2005 and 2008, and InfoPath 2007 and 2010 issues are addressed by another fix. One other important patch on the slate will be an elevation of privilege fix for Windows components Windows Server 2003 and 2008.

 

More Resources

Interesting site of the Month:

Listen to your favorite music and discover new artists with Pandora Radio. Pandora is personalized internet radio that can help you discover new music similar to the music you like based on what you choose to listen to on the site. Once you type in a band you want to listen to, Pandora will launch a streaming Pandora station with music they think you might like.

 

Reader's Question of the Month:

How to open Office 2010 files with Office 2003

Cindy writes in with an Office question
Question: I have Office 2003 at home but use Office 2010 at work. I often take work files home on a CD or flash drive so I can work on them at home. I will save them as Office 2003 files so I can work on them on my home computer but sometimes I get files from other people in 2010 format and don't want to have to re-save them just to bring them home. Is there a way around this?

Answer: Microsoft offers a free download called the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack which lets you open and save Office 2007 and 2010 files with their newer XML format. Once you install the software and open a newer Office file it will do a conversion allowing you to open the file in Office 2003 or Office XP.


All Questions

Tech News of the Month:

Are we ready for IPv6?

Since we are almost out of IPv4 IP addresses many organizations have been thinking it's time to start testing IPv6 which will give us 340 undecillion IP addresses. IPv6 Day on June 8 showed companies are using IPv6 but the level of adoption is still disappointing. That situation won't change until ISPs and network hardware manufacturers get up to speed. The Internet Engineering Task Force found out that the Adoption will be slowed by lack of tools, poor firewall and router support.

Facebook successfully tested out IPv6 on their networks without any problems showing it shouldn't be hard to make the switch once the right equipment is in place. Other large networks had successful tests as well with minor delays in service after things got back up to speed once the switch was made. Comcast was the first cable operator in the US to begin trials of IPv6. Most newer operating systems like Windows XP SP3 and up, Mac OS and Linux have IPv6 built in as well as most smartphones.

IPv6 uses 128 bit addresses and can connect an almost virtually unlimited number of devices. IPv4 uses 32 bit addresses and can support 4.3 billion devices connected directly to the Internet. This could also mean that IPv6 would allow for faster, cheaper Internet services.

 

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