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Online Computer Tips Monthly Newsletter - November 2011

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Latest Virus/Security Alerts:

StubHub email scam

StubHub is an online ticket broker which is a subsidiary of eBay. They are reporting numerous people getting emails that appear to be from them for a receipt for tickets to a boxing match. StubHub first learned of the scam shortly after it started happening and within a few hours were flooded with phone calls. The email is meant to look like a StubHub receipt for an order for 2 tickets to a boxing match in Las Vegas. The amount of the receipt is for $2,766.95 which is meant to scare the recipients into clicking the link to get more information. The email has gone to StubHub users as well as people who have never purchased tickets from the StubHub website. The purpose of the email is to trick the recipients into clicking on the links within the email in an attempt to obtain information like credit card account numbers and passwords.

StubHub has placed a warning on its home page telling recipients not to click on any link in the email. It is advised that anyone who clicked any links in the email and entered their account information should go to the StubHub website and change their password right away.


Virus Help
Spyware Help

November's Poll:

Do you think tablets will eventually replace the personal computer?


October's Poll Results:
Would you buy a Mac over a PC if they were the same price?

Yes - 40%
- 60%


Tip of the Month:

Displaying more details in Windows Programs and Features

To uninstall programs in Windows Vista and Windows 7 you go to the Programs and Features tool within Control Panel. This replaced the Add/Remove Programs feature that was used in Windows XP but it pretty much does the same thing where it allows you to uninstall programs and turn Windows features on and off.

One nice thing about Programs and Features is the ability to see additional details about installed software on your computer by adding additional columns to the utility to show more information than what is shown by default. By default Programs and Features shows the name, publisher, installed on date, size and version of the software installed on your computer.

If you right click the heading of any of the columns and then click on More you will be able to add additional columns such as last used on, product ID and registered owner among others.

All Tips

Hot Product of the Month: Logitech Revue Companion Box with Google TV and Keyboard Controller

Details:

With Logitech Revue, you are in control of what's on TV. Logitech Revue comes with a companion box and an intuitive companion keyboard controller. All you need to do is connect your TV and cable via HDMI and your high speed Internet connection via Ethernet or Wi-Fi to the Logitech Revue, and you've got Google TV.

 

  • Works with your existing HDTV and cable or satellite system to provide seamless access to the Web, your TV, compatible DVRs, and Android apps
  • Controlled by a keyboard with a built in touch pad
  • Allows you to search for content from multiple sources without switching devices or rooms. Watch content from the Web and TV simultaneously with Dual View
  • Automatic updates that add new features and functionality to your system
  • Requires an HDTV with HDMI port, cable or satellite box with HDMI out, cable or satellite subscriptions service, and high-speed Internet access

 


 

 

 

 

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Important Windows and Office patches:

4 Microsoft patches for November but no Duqu fix

Microsoft released 4 security bulletins this month and only one of them was marked critical while 2 of them were labeled important and the 4th is listed as moderate. One thing that seems to be missing from this month's bulletins is a patch for the vulnerability affected by the Duqu virus. Microsoft claims to be hard at work on that patch.

The most serious of the updates is MS11-083, which could allow an attacker to take over a computer by sending a large number of malicious UDP packets to a closed port on a Windows system. The update patches a vulnerability in the TCP/IP stack in Windows 7, Vista, and Server 2008.

Microsoft also fixed a hole in Windows Mail and Meeting Space that could be used to trick the affected PC into remotely running random code if a user opens a file located in the same network directory as a malicious DLL file. Other items patched include a vulnerability in Active Directory and in Windows Kernel Mode Drivers that could allow a DOS attack if a user opens a malicious TrueType font file as an attachment from an email or browses to that font file on a network share.

 

More Resources

Interesting site of the Month:

Have you ever wanted to convert your images from one type to another? For example do you have some BMP files that you want converted to JPEGs? Now you can do your file conversions online using CoolUtils.com Image Converter. You can even convert your images to icon files (.ICO) so that you can use your pictures as icons for your desktop shortcuts.

 

Reader's Question of the Month:

How to backup programs and settings?

MSwhip writes in with a Windows question
Question: I have a system that contains some errors or virus or some malware which I do not want to spend time and effort trying to fix, so I decided to format the drive. I would like to backup the system before doing anything else. But I wouldn't want to use that image type of back up because that would restore the back up with all its errors and malware. Am I right?

So how can I backup and restore some programs and applications...like e.g. Firefox, OpenOffice, Adobe flash player etc, and also the drivers for Intel Chipset, printer, video and TV tuner cards, Windows Media Center with all its settings and all the rest of my installed software so that I could restore to the HDD once i reformat it?

I am running Windows 7 Home 64-bit. I have also downloaded Paragon Backup and Restore, Have also access to Acronis Free Image Backup(the one from Western Digital website), have Mini Tools Partition Wizard. And even EaseUS Backup and Restore. All of that cause I am trying to decide what to keep for future needs.

I would appreciate your input on this, whether point blank instructions over the steps to follow to do it, and/or indication as to where to read about all of this as in tutorial articles.

Answer: It is not reasonably possible to backup most Windows software because it puts entries in places such as the Windows folders, application data folder and the registry so you will have to reinstall your programs if you do a format. Some programs may have an option to backup your configuration but that will depend on the software.You can save your Firefox data by using MozBackup.

If you use any kind of imaging software you most likely will copy the issues to your image and have the same problem when you do a restore. You can try a Windows System Restore to go back to a point in time before you had these issues to see if it makes a difference.

When you reinstall a fresh copy of Windows you will also have to reinstall the drivers for your hardware but you should be able to get those online if you don't have the driver disks. If you don't know what make/model of hardware you have be sure to look in Device Manger and write down the information or take a screen shot before formatting.

Your best bet is to backup your files such as documents and photos to an external hard drive, CD or flash drive and then format your computer and reinstall Windows. Then install your drivers and other software.


All Questions

Tech News of the Month:

Number of Wi-Fi Hotspots to Quadruple by in the next 3 years

According to a report by research company Informa Telecoms & Media, the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots is expected to increase by 350% in the next 4 years. One reason for this is because wireless providers want to offload internet traffic from their mobile networks. By 2015 there will be around 5.8 million public hotspots covering the planet.

This growth has been commissioned by Wireless Broadband Alliance which includes AT&T, Boingo, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom and Google as its members. To handle the increased Wi-Fi coverage, they will need to use a variety of different technologies such as Wi-Fi, and traffic shaping.

The report also shows the increased growth of smartphone internet usage which will soon overtake laptops as the most popular way to connect to hotspots. Globally, smartphones account for 36% of all wireless connections and laptops account for 48% of the connections. The other 10% of the connections are claimed by tablets. But in North America, smartphones already outnumber laptop connections.

 

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