Comment On A Current Affair Story About Computer Security

The following is a copy of an email I sent to a Current Affair after their story on Cyber Security shown last week. There were a few anomalies in your story tonight on cyber security.The first was the omission of keeping your operating system up to datewhich any cyber security expert “should” tell you is your first lineof defence and the NUMBER ONE way to prevent infection but the keypoint that was missed.Number two is keeping your software up to date.Out of date software isa security risk.Number three is , don’t open email attachments unless you are 100%sure you know the person sending them and that they have actually sentit to you.Number four is turn off html in email , and view emails in plain textor switch to a web based email program.Number five is make sure your firewall is on and working .Yourbroadband router is your best firewall and… Read More

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Why Do I Have To Do Windows Updates?

Windows Update

I have seen a few people lately that have had their computers infected with virus's , spyware , malware.

There is a common theme in all these cases apart from the users behavior that caused them to become infected.
They had not kept up to date with Windows Update.

Windows Update is your first line of defence and automatic updates should be turned on.
Why are Windows Updates so critical to the prevention of virus's and infections in computers?
Virus's are written to exploit vulnerabilities in the operating system.
Windows Updates are released to amongst other things patch vulnerabilities in the operating system.

Therefore it makes sense to keep Windows Update's automatic update turned on along with your anti virus solution so that they can assist keeping malware etc at bay.

However remember it is also your actions that can help you not get infected as I have previously posted

Virus and Spyware Prevention 

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Will Multiple Hard Drives Prevent Computer Infections?

65595_harddrive3A myth that floats around is that if you have your operating system on one hard drive and your documents on another hard drive you will be immune to your documents being infected by virus / malware infections.

This is wrong.

If your computer can see the hard drive then so can the virus.
Virus's can spread over multiple hard drives and networks ( worms ) .
Remember virus protection starts with your behavior.
No amount of hard drives can protect you.

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What To Do If Disaster Strikes

I believe that if the worst happens with your computer you should have an organized plan to get you up and running as quick as possible.

The worst to me is a full reinstall of the operating system , applications and documents.

First , can you find your operating system disk , if you received one with your computer , if not many computers have a "F Key " trigger at start up to reinstall the operating system and bring the computer back to the point when you bought it.

You should keep your operating disk and your application discs ( office etc ) all together with any relevant instruction manuals.

Make sure you also have the installation keys for all your applications.

So here is the order in which you should perform your recovery.

  • Install your operating system
  • Connect to the internet , make sure you have your user name and password for your router and or internet connection
  • Log onto ONLY Windows Update if you have a Windows machine
  • Perform all updates , and reboot and check until there are no more to install.
  • Then install your antivirus solution and update that until it is stable.
  • Install your applications and check again for updates after installing

When you have no more updates and everything is installed you have the foundation for a stable computer system.

Here is where you could as a great backup solution is to take an image of the hard drive.

An image will allow you then to restore your computer to this exact state in the future if things went wrong again.

Drive image

A good free program for this is DriveImage XML which will enable you to take a " snapshot " of your drive.

Read the instructions and make sure you can do an image restore and that you are comfortable doing it.

Once your system is restored then restore the backup of your documents.

Remember that organization and a plan will help you take some of the pain out of the process.

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Network Apple Computer To Windows Network

The one thing that people forget when networking an Apple computer to a Windows network is making sure the workgroup name is the same as the Windows workgroup name. Windows 7 and Windows Vista usually use the Workgroup Name So how do you do this on your Apple Computer? Open Network in the Settings panel Click on the Advanced tab Open the Wins tab Type workgroup in the workgroup name Press Ok Then press Apply as it returns to the Network panel Also make sure you have the correct settings to share files

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The Apple Announcements Key Points

This post will be a work in progress on the Apple announcements  There are 3 main points to the Apple announcements overnight   Lion iOS5 iCloud   Lion the new operating system for Apple will be here in July and will cost $32 and be available for download from the App store , however it is a 4GB download. iOS 5 will be available in the spring in Australia  iOS 5 Key Points   A new Notification Center Tabs are finally here in Safari A Reading List in Safari for later consumption of web pages Reminders  Changes to Mail Updates and activation are not tied to a computer for iOS devices Twitter integration iMessages Wireless sync to iTunes Improved multitouch multitasking   Links to Apple Announcements Lion iOS5 iCloud

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What To Be Careful Of If You Are Changing Domain Name Hosts

I recently changed hosts in Australia for 2 domain names I have and ran into a string of errors that ultimately brought down 2 web sites ( not Adelaide Techguy ) and brought down the associated email accounts as well. Here is what to look out for: Make sure your contact details are correct with the new domain name host Make sure all the old contact details from the previous host have been changed and updated to the new ones by logging onto your account and checking. Make sure the new domain name host is actually controlling the domain and that there are no links back to the old domain host If you have redirections on your domain names , check they have no relationship to the old host Take note of your expiry date for your domain ,so that you know when your domain needs renewing as you should… Read More

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