Sunday, November 14, 2010

How to keep your private information... private

There's a lot of information on your computer that can be available without you knowing. Every website you've visited left a trace in your computer that can be recognized. All the files you have downloaded leave a trace even after been thrown in the recycle bin.

Not only these files are hidden deep within windows but when you accumulate a lot of them, they will slow down the speed of your computer. It might be some cookie, browsing history, recently visited documents, or temporary folders, they don't belong in your computer.

Here's how to make sure you don't share your personal information with the whole world:

  • If you are using Firefox, witch I highly suggest, go to "tool" on the top menu, click on "Clear recent history". This take a second and will already take care of part of the problem.
      • Get your computer scanned by Netduster, an incredibly efficient service.

        Be aware that these tools will erase all your private information including your internet history, temporary files, cookie, recent document, search engine autofill text box and more. This will render these functionality obsolete. But who would want some functionality that tell the whole world everywhere you went on the internet for the past few month.


        Thursday, November 11, 2010

        How to remove an unwanted toolbar

        After installing some program or game, you might end up with a random toolbar in your browser that you never asked for. Here's how to remove it:
        • Go on "Start" on the bottom left
        • Click on "Control Panel"
        • Double Click on "Add or Remove Program"
        • Look in the list, you should see your toolbar, select it and click "Remove"
        If the toolbar is not in the list, you might have to deal with a spyware or malware, Click HERE for my article on how you can get rid of those easily.

        My address bar is missing!

        One of the recurrent question I get from beginner is: "My search or address bar is missing, how can I get it back?" Here's how you do.

        If you are using Firefox:

        • Right click on an empty spot beside the "help" tab on the top of your browser page.
        • You will see a list of bar and tool bar, click on the "navigation toolbar"

        If you are using Internet explorer:

        • On the top menu in your browser, click on "view"
        • You will see a list of bar and tool bar, click on "address bar"

        Et voila!

        Tuesday, November 2, 2010

        Firefox or Internet Explorer, witch one is better?

        My definition of "better" is a browser that you don't have to worry if the last site you visited infected you with some spyware that you'll have to try to remove afterward. I highly suggest you stick with Firefox, a stable, user friendly and safe replacement of internet explorer.

        The reason Firefox is safer than explorer is that it doesn't use activeX. This feature of internet explorer attract spywares like honey attract flies, they love it. Without having to go too deep in the subject, the important thing to know is that Firefox allow you the same browsing capability, safer.

        Here's how you can change of browser without loosing your favorites /bookmarks
        1. Open internet explorer:
        2. On the top left, click on "File"
        3. Click on "Import and export"
        4. Click on "next"
        5. Click on "Export favorite" and then '"next"
        6. Highlight the top "favorite" folder and click "next"
        7. Save your favorite file somewhere on your computer
        8. Click "finish"
        This will create a file named "bookmark.htm"

        Now download and install Firefox. To import your bookmark, follow these steps:
        1.  On the top left, click on "Bookmarks" 
        2.  Click on "organize bookmarks"
        3. Click on "import and backup"
        4. Click on "import HTML"
        5. Select "from an HTML file" and click on "next"
        6. Retrieve the file you saved from internet explorer and click on "open"
        Et voila!

        Since I spent some time on the phone recently explaining this step by step process to a friend, I thought it might be useful to you.


        Monday, November 1, 2010

        Easy ways to get rid of virus

        Virus plague the internet everywhere. The risk is: you probably spent a lot of time accumulating relevant information on your computer, and it could all be gone in a blink of an eye. That's why you have  to take the right precaution. It will save you time, money and a lot of frustration.

        Here's the most simple ways protect your computer against virus:

        • Separate your hard drive (C) in two different partition (C and D). This should be done before installing your operating system. If not, some program like partition magic could do it without formatting your computer. This way, you can save all of your valuable content to the D drive and install the potentially dangerous program on the C drive. If anything happen, you can always format the C drive without losing your content. You might want to save the downloaded program on your D drive and install it on the C drive. This way, if you get a virus and have to format, you'll erase only the C drive. So not only you'll still have all you multimedia files but you'll be able to reinstall all your "healthy" program instantly.
          • Never open a program without scanning with a good antivirus first. Every program that you execute on your computer as to be analyze to make 100% sure they don't contain any virus. Do not worry about picture, audio and video files. If the file you want to scan is smaller than 5mb, use virus total to scan it. This web site is completely free, very efficient but unfortunately cannot scan bigger files. For any file over 5mb, use Anti-Virus Elite. A user friendly, extremely efficient antivirus used by 47 million people, the best tool keep your computer clean at all time.
            • Beware of peer to peer software like limewire, morpheus or shareaza. Not only do most of these type of software contain spyware in the program itself, but almost the majority of the files found using these software are infested with all the possible virus you can imagine. Take all the required precaution if you decide to use them.
              The problem with virus is that it doesn't leave much choice. You have to be protected properly by a good antivirus. To format your computer and loose all your information is a painful process you want to avoid it as much as possible. As long as you have the right tool and you're information is safe on another drive, you will be fine and you never get contaminated by some virus.

              Have Fun!