Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Tutorial: Tweak IE for Greater Security

How to Configure Internet Explorer to Stay (More) Secure Online

The Internet is an amazing place. It is the world’s largest man-made object. It has changed and enhanced our lives in countless ways. Like most things, it has it’s “good side” and it’s “bad side”. I think you need to know: cyber-criminals are ruining it. And stealing billions of dollars a year in the process (that we know about.. think “tip of the iceberg”).

Earlier this week I posted a slideshow tutorial for the web browser Firefox (see, Safer Internet Surfing Cont. – Tutorial: Tweak Firefox for Greater Security) and today it is Internet Explorer’s turn. Instead of simply telling you “be safer”, I have a link to a step-by-step slideshow tutorial: How to configure Internet Explorer for secure surfing

“With assistance from the United States Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT), this slideshow will walk you through the steps to configure Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to limit the damage from hacker attacks.”

lockdown_ie

click for slideshow

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


Share this post :

July 24, 2010 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, how to, IE 7, ie 8, Internet, PC, privacy, security, software, tech, tweaks | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

License Winners Announced

The folks at Codyssey have generously donated 10 licenses for CodySafe Σ (Sigma) to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that. CodySafe is essentially a portable applications launcher and portable drive management tool for use with USB thumb drives, for making them into a “computer on a stick”. With it, you launch your “portable” programs and files from a Vista-like menu.

Publisher’s description:

“The CodySafe line offers a collection of best portable apps menu tools allowing you to carry computer applications with you, to launch them directly from the USB stick with ease and leave no “footprint” on the host PC. Its Drive Doctor feature keeps flash memory healthy; its ViruSense technology detects and prevents virus infection, and the Find-if-Lost tool allows storing your contact information to aid in recovery if you lose your USB stick. Along with all these options and tools the next generation – CodySafe Sigma – grants you instant access to hundreds of portable apps, fast search and launch option and nested grouping of apps.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I found it easy enough for beginners (I do suggest plugging in your thumb drive before launching the CodySafe setup though) and, I think even the free version is superior to either the PortableApps or U3 suites. I use CodySafe as my tech “PC repair toolkit on a stick”. I used  their free “Admin Swiss Knife Suite” version as a starting point, as it comes pre-loaded with many tools and utilities useful for solving PC troubles, then added more apps.
This is not the only use for CodySafe though! A friend of mine uses his CodySafe enabled drive mainly as a music library. CodySafe is very versatile. (To read my review, click here.)

CodySafe is free, and CodySafe Σ (Sigma) retails for $9.90. You can compare the editions here. T4E readers can receive a 15% discount on any CodySafe product: simply enter TechPaul15% in the coupon code box at checkout.

And the winners are….

CodyDafe Winners list

Winners will be sent an email containing the license key, with the subject CodySafe Winner. (You may need to check your Junk folder..) My congratulations to the winners, and my thanks to all who participated.

And, again, my thanks to the folks at Codyssey for making this giveaway possible!

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


Share this post :

July 23, 2010 Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

It’s Thursday Already? | Free eBooks | More

Folks, I do not have any e-Reader devices, such as Amazon’s Kindle, but I am a big fan and proponent of reading. Reading is not only fun, and a great method for learning, but life sort of has a way of rewarding those who take the time to actually read the information provided. Ahem. I received notice in my e-mail today that Amazon is offering 4 classic e-Books for free – here’s the links:

Pride and Prejudice Treasure Island Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Pride and Prejudice

$0.00

Treasure Island

$0.00

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

$0.00

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

$0.00

Tip of the day: RTFM (read the *freaking* manual). Sure, it is easier to buy a new gizmo, gadget, or doodad, bring it home and take it over to your geeky friend/relative/co-worker/neighbor and ask them to show you how to use it.
And, yes, the manual that comes with your gadget has too many pages.. and the grammar isn’t always the best.. but here is how you learn THE CORRECT METHODS for using your device.. and not your geeky friend’s best guess at how to use it.
Also.. those blinking lights and confusing menus and strange-looking icons are explained.

FAQ stands for “frequently asked questions”, and almost every device manufacturer has FAQ’s posted on their Website. These are the “How do I..?” and “What does xyz mean?” questions and answers that new users typically have. You will probably find the answer you’re looking for here, without having to go bother your geeky neighbor.
Some manufacturer’s call this page “Support”.

Owner’s manuals and FAQ pages can prevent you from making it into the PEBCAK Hall of Shame.

Today’s reco’d reading:
* Top 10 USB Thumb Drive Tricks
* Anti-Malware Software To Have Confidence In

Some news… Loyal friends know my regard for SUPERAntiSpyware. I received this info from my friend there: SUPERAntiSpyware is now included in VirusTotal’s premier file analyzing service

EUGENE, OR (July 21, 2010) – SUPERAntiSpyware.com, a Pacific Northwest developer of state-of-the-art security software, has announced acceptance into Virus Total’s (www.virustotal.com) independent file analyzing service.

VirusTotal provides an absolutely necessary service to spyware/malware researchers worldwide,” said Nick Skrepetos, founder of SUPERAntiSpyware.com. “This free service allows researchers and users alike to submit suspicious files and have them analyzed by over 40 of the top anti-virus and anti-spyware products. We are very proud to have SUPERAntiSpyware’s detection engine included. VirusTotal’s staff was extremely helpful and a pleasure to work with while integrating SUPERAntiSpyware into their service.”

Don’t know about SUPERAntiSpyware? Click here and find out. It is a Tech Paul reco fersher!


** Software License Giveaway Drawing Ends Tonight **


The folks at Codyssey have generously donated 10 licenses for CodySafe Σ (Sigma) to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that. So I am having a random drawing¹ contest from folks who “enter”. The drawing will close midnight tonight, Thursday, July 22nd, and the winners announced Friday. So act now.CodySafe is essentially a portable applications launcher and portable drive management tool for use with USB drives, and making them into a “computer on a stick”.  With it, you launch your “portable” programs and files from a Vista-like menu. For details (and to enter), click here.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


Share this post :

July 22, 2010 Posted by | computers | , , , , | 2 Comments

Tip: Keyboard Shortcuts – Manage Your Windows with Alt

There’s no doubt that knowing a few keyboard “shortcuts” can enhance your computing and save you time.. and make you appear the Über Geek to friends and coworkers. My favorite is Ctrl+Z, aka “Undo”. It has saved my bacon more than once!

Today’s tip focuses not on the Ctrl key, but the Alt key, and managing your open windows. Start today’s lesson by hitting your Alt+spacebar. Keep the Alt key depressed..

Alt_spaceIf you had a window open – your web browser, or Word, say – a little window will have opened. Here are some more shortcuts.

Alt+X will “maximize” your active window to “full screen” mode, and Alt+R will get it back to the size-adjustable “windowed” mode.
Alt+C will close the window. As will Alt+F4 .. if you can remember that.. (I remember “c”-for-“close”.)

Alt+Tab will switch between your open windows (jumping from Word to your browser, for example), which is a fast way to do your Copy (Ctrl+C) from here and Paste (Ctrl+V) to there operations. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist a few Ctrl’s…)

Using keyboard shortcuts takes a little getting used to, but once you do, you will (probably) never go back to reaching for the mouse. Try it and see how much quicker it is for yourself.

And remember folks: Ctrl+Z un-goofs many goofs.


** Software License Giveaway Drawing **


The folks at Codyssey have generously donated 10 licenses for CodySafe Σ (Sigma) to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that. So I am having a random drawing¹ contest from folks who “enter”. The drawing will close  midnight Thursday, July 22nd, and the winners announced Friday. So act now.

CodySafe is essentially a portable applications launcher and portable drive management tool for use with USB drives, and making them into a “computer on a stick”.  With it, you launch your “portable” programs and files from a Vista-like menu. For details (and to enter), click here.

Today’s reco’d reading: The Helplessness of a Father in the Internet Age

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


Share this post :

July 21, 2010 Posted by | computers, tech, Windows | , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Safer Internet Surfing Cont. – Tutorial: Tweak Firefox for Greater Security

The Internet is an amazing place. It is the planet’s largest man-made object. It has changed and enhanced our lives in countless ways. Like most things, it has it’s “good side” and it’s “bad side”. I think you need to know: cyber-criminals are ruining it. And stealing billions of dollars a year in the process (that we know about.. think “tip of the iceberg”).

If you are interested in Tech, and visit Websites such as this one, it will not be very long before you read about Firefox. And, it won’t be long before you see NoScript mentioned. Odds are, you already have (loyal T4E readers surely have!). Safer surfing is a popular topic here.

Today, instead of simply telling you “be safer”, I have a link to a step-by-step slideshow tutorial: How to Configure Mozilla Firefox for Secure Surfing

“With assistance from the United States Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT), we’ve created this slideshow to help you configure Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser to stay secure and safeguard your privacy while surfing.”

firefox_security

click for slideshow

 

Related: Block IFRAME For Added Protection

 


 

** Software License Giveaway Drawing **

 


 

The folks at Codyssey have generously donated 10 licenses for CodySafe Σ (Sigma) to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that. So I am going to do a random drawing¹ contest from folks who “enter”. The drawing will close  midnight Thursday, July 22nd, and the winners announced Friday. So act now.

CodySafe is essentially a portable applications launcher and portable drive management tool for use with USB drives, and making them a “computer on a stick”.  With it, you launch your “portable” programs and files from a Vista-like menu. For details (and to enter), click here.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

 


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


 

Share this post :

July 20, 2010 Posted by | computers, cyber crime, Firefox, Internet, privacy, security, tech | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Software License Giveaway Drawing: CodySafe Sigma

Folks, I am pleased to announce my latest software license giveaway drawing.

The folks at Codyssey have generously donated 10 licenses for CodySafe Σ (Sigma) to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that. So I am going to do a random drawing¹ contest from folks who “enter” by posting a comment (below). The drawing will close  midnight (Pacific) Thursday, July 22nd, and the winners announced Friday. So act now.

CodySafe is essentially a portable applications launcher and portable drive management tool for use with USB drives, and making them a “computer on a stick”.  With it, you launch your “portable” programs and files from a Vista-like menu.  Below, I will give you my impressions and some screenshots, but first…

CNet Editors say,
“Every now and again, a free utility or application stands out from the crowd. CodySafe from Codyssey is just such a tool..

CodySafe is handy, unique, fun, and free. It opens the door to a world of compact, portable, and efficient applications, and we recommend it.” (Read complete review here)

I know there are many portable app menus and launchers available, but this one may be the most feature driven, nicest looking portable apps menu I have experienced thus far.
~
Rick Robinette, What’s On My PC, CodySafe FREE – The Ultimate Portable Apps Menu

Why use a USB flash drive as a mere data shuttle? The free CodySafe is one of the cleverest ways you can find to turn a USB flash drive into what the developer calls a “computer on a stick.“”
~ Preston Gralla
, PC World, Editorial Review of CodySafe

Publisher’s description:

“The CodySafe line offers a collection of best portable apps menu tools allowing you to carry computer applications with you, to launch them directly from the USB stick with ease and leave no “footprint” on the host PC. Its Drive Doctor feature keeps flash memory healthy; its ViruSense technology detects and prevents virus infection, and the Find-if-Lost tool allows storing your contact information to aid in recovery if you lose your USB stick. Along with all these options and tools the next generation – CodySafe Sigma – grants you instant access to hundreds of portable apps, fast search and launch option and nested grouping of apps.”

This slideshow illustrates some of the features of CodySafe. Here, I am copying a program installed on my laptop to my “thumb drive toolkit” – in this case, the ZIP file tool, 7Zip, and I put it in the “Utilities” folder. (This is just to illustrate the method..)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“CodySafe Sigma enables you to manage, group, sort and launch programs directly from your USB drive with no need to install them on your computer. CodySafe Σ (Sigma) integrates the “Apps Depot” feature, enabling instant access to the world’s widest library of portable applications, one-click download and immediate installation of the application to your portable drive. You can quickly launch your programs, access documents, media files or explore the content of your USB drive.

The program includes an application manager that makes it easy to add new programs to the launch menu. Other features include a built-in hotkey manager to launch applications and URLs, applications instant search, autorun management, support for advanced script options and much more. CodySafe offers unparalleled convenience and ease of use, fitting any level of user proficiency.”

I found it easy enough for beginners (I do suggest plugging in your thumb drive before launching the CodySafe setup though) and, I think even the free version is superior to either the PortableApps or U3 suites. (Compare CodySafe editions, here. Read my other articles on portable apps here.)

Unless you have a true OS on your pen drive (aka “thumb drive, aka “memory stick”), “computer on a stick” smacks a bit of hyperbole – however , I do carry a tech “toolkit on a stick”. In fact, that was how I first came to learn of CodySafe, as their free “Admin Swiss Knife Suite” version comes pre-loaded with many tools and utilities useful for solving PC troubles. I used it as a starting point; deleted some apps (with a click) and added others from other sources – such as anti-Spywares – to build my own custom portable PC repair toolkit. This is not the only use for CodySafe though! A friend of mine uses his CodySafe enabled drive mainly as a music library. CodySafe is very versatile.

How to enter? Residents of the US and Canada may enter the drawing by simply clicking on “comment”, and entering a name and valid e-mail (so I can send you the key) in the form. Actually commenting is optional. And, I shouldn’t have to say this, but multiple entries will result in disqualification.

Again, I thank the folks at Codyssey for making this giveaway possible. Try it out yourself. (And then leave a comment. You may just win an activation key..) You can get started by looking at the applications list, here, or click any of the links above.

¹ All entrants will be placed into Random.org’s “randomizer”, and the top 10 results will be the winners.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


Share this post :

July 19, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, free software, gadgets, Portable Computing, software, tech, thumb drives, USB storage devices | 49 Comments

Saturday July 17th | Inspiration

Wow. It occurred to me that 2010 is more than half over. Time is compressing on me, and the days and weeks seem so much briefer than they used to..

Summer Fun

I found this image on Julie Cantrell’s website Julie’s Journal. She is the author of children’s books, and I hope parents will visit her site.. as a way to make up for me “borrowing” this image.


This video is a short 1 hour and 15 minutes long. It is Randy Pausch giving a “last lecture” at Carnegie Mellon.

He was a Computer Science professor and a pioneer in the field of virtual reality, but that’s not why Tech-for Everyone readers might appreciate it. This “lecture” has been seen by over a million people and is rated 5 Stars by viewers; and was turned into a book (which enjoyed more than 85 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, and there are now more than 4.5 million copies in print in the U.S. alone).

Watching it might change your life.


He was 47.

Mr. Pausch was the founder of the Alice project; a free program that teaches kids how to program a computer, and they don’t even know they’re learning programming.. they think they’re writing a story.
Amazing.
You can check it out at http://www.alice.org/

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


Share this post :

July 17, 2010 Posted by | advice, Digital Images | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments