Tech – for Everyone

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

Don’t Want IE 9? How To Turn Off The Update Nag

For those of you not ready to switch to IE 9, or want to go back to IE 8, this article (written back when Microsoft was moving us from IE 7 to IE 8) tells you what you need to know.. I simply updated it by changing the number!

IE 8 9 is an “Important” Update, Yes, But I Don’t Want It

Sometimes we need to tell Windows Update to stop prompting us to install a particular Update.

When Microsoft has released important and/or critical Updates (aka “patches”) for us, Windows has various ways of letting us know, including a System Tray icon. [note: The normal route for accessing Update choices is Start >Windows Update, or Start >Programs >Windows Update. Click “View available updates”.]

I am a big fan of Updates. I (almost) always install them the moment I become aware of them. I use Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector to keep an eye on all my installed programs’ update state.. and I recommend you do too. Updates are ‘good’ and you want them.

Tip of the day: Manage Windows Updates prompts.
Currently, Microsoft Update is annoying me by continuously nagging me that there are Updates available. And when I click on the icon to see just what these updates are…

.. and I see that there is just one Update Microsoft wants me to install (the others only rate “optional”) — Internet Explorer 8 9.
Now, I understand why Microsoft wants us to be using a more secure browser (and I understand why it’s considered “important”) and I will upgrade from IE7 8 on most of my machines — but not all. Not yet.

So I right-click on the Update I don’t want to be nagged about and then click on “Hide update”.

That’s it. I’m done. Windows Update will no longer prompt me to install this (now) ‘hidden’ update. At a later date, to see Updates that I’ve hidden, I just click on “Show hidden updates”. I can undo my change.

Note: This technique can be used on any Update — such as troublesome Updates that cause incompatibility issues, such as a BSOD. If a Windows Update install causes you trouble, and you need to uninstall it, the “Hide” tip won’t help you (it’s too late). Please refer to the 3rd answer in this article, IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*, to see how to remove Updates.
After you get that Update uninstalled, (then) use the Hide feature to prevent Windows Update from re-Installing it on you again.

To uninstall IE 8 9: Uninstalling IE 8 9 will automatically restore your older version (IE 8). Please see Microsoft’s official How To, here, How do I uninstall or remove Internet Explorer 8? How do I install or uninstall Internet Explorer 9?

Today’s free download(s):
* Panda Cloud Antivirus Panda Security has a ‘new’ type of antivirus – Internet based. “FREE, antivirus service for consumers which is able to process and block malware more efficiently than locally installed signature-based products.”
[For more, also see Panda Cloud Antivirus – Is it netbook ready?]

* Adeona is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go.

Today’s quotable quote:You can observe a lot just by watching.” ~ Yogi Berra

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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June 4, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, ie 8, IE 9, Microsoft, PC, removing Updates, software, tech, troubleshooting, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Spyware Doctor Giveaway and More..

Folks, life has me jumping, so I am a bit late posting this..

First, I would like to remind everyone of my license giveaway contest: Interested in a chance at a free, 3-PC license for Spyware Doctor 2011? I am giving ten away. To find out the 4-1-1, click here, and read.

Next, I heard on the radio today that Google admits their Gmail accounts had had a hacking attempt, and that the attack came out of “central China”. This is huge .. I hope you understand why. If you don’t.. might I suggest subscribing to my newsletter?

Google phishing: Chinese Gmail attack raises cyberwar tensions
The Guardian – ‎45 minutes ago‎

A Google employee in Seoul. South Korean government officials are among those who have had their Gmail login details stolen by Chinese hackers.

I have had several people contact me about losing their Internet Explorer Favorites. Of course, they never “exported” their Favorites (Microsoft’s word for “bookmarks”) to a file, so…
Fortunately, I have written many IE tips and fixes. A good place to start looking at my Internet Explorer tips is Quick Tips for Internet Explorer.

Also, interestingly, I received many inquiries from folks with problem keyboards. Fortunately again, I could refer them to Fix Problem Keyboards*and also What To Do When Your Mouse Plays Dead Or Your Keyboard.

Sigh.. phone is ringing again..


Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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June 1, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, free software, IE 7, ie 8, IE 9, Internet, PC, performance, software, tech, troubleshooting | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Set Internet Explorer As Your Main Browser

Quick Tutorial: How To Set IE As The Default

If you have been using an “alternative” web browser (such as Firefox or Chrome), but now that IE 9 is out, you want to switch back.. and you want Internet Explorer to be the one that opens automatically when you click on hyperlinks, etc., you need to set it as what is called the “default” browser. Here are the steps to do so in Vista and Windows 7.

To make Internet Explorer your default web browser:

1) Click the Start button, then click Control Panel, then click Network and Internet, and then click Internet Options.

2) Click the Programs tab, and then click the Make default button.


3) OK, and then close Internet Explorer.

Okay. That’s it. You’re done.

You can still use your other (installed) web browsers – simply open them – but Internet Explorer will be the one that your machine goes to first. And, you can always change your mind and make some other browser your “default” at some future date.

Friday Fun:

Today’s quote: Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.  ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo

Today’s free download: MailWasher allows you to preview multiple accounts and all aspects of your e-mails before you download them. It also allows you to delete and bounce e-mails back to the originator. The sender will receive an e-mail saying the address was unknown. Another feature helps identify and mark e-mail as normal, virus, possibly virus, possibly spam, probably spam, chain letter, and blacklisted, so you can deal with the e-mail as you wish. Other features are comprehensive customizable filters, use of MAPS RBL to identify spammers, multiple accounts, visual and auditory notification of new e-mail, minimization to system tray, and much more. It works with Outlook, Outlook Express, Incredimail, Thunderbird, Windows Mail, GMail, Hotmail and every other email program..

Limitations: Will only monitor one email account. A Pro Version is available without restrictions.

Today’s reading reco: Google’s Blogger outage makes the case against a cloud-only strategy

“The same week that Google made its strongest pitch ever for putting your entire business online, one of its flagship services has failed spectacularly. There’s a lesson here.”

(I find that hilarious..)

Just because:

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 13, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, e-mail, free software, how to, IE 9, Internet, Microsoft, PC, performance, spam and junk mail, tech, troubleshooting, tweaks, Vista, Windows, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Safer Surfing with "Pinned" Websites

Loyal readers know that I have recommended here that it is time to get off of 32-bit Windows XP, and upgrade to Windows 7 x64. Why? Mainly security. The Internet is a dangerous place, whether you want to hear that or not. Today I have a link to an article those of you who already have Windows 7 should read (IMHO).

“The Pinned Sites feature in IE9 is a great way to integrate your favorite sites into the Windows 7 user experience. Better still, there are five significant security benefits in creating and using Pinned Sites for secure applications like online banking.

First, when you pin a site you trust to your taskbar, and get in the habit of using that pinned icon to launch your secure experience, you can avoid clicking on links in emails, reducing the likelihood of a phishing attack luring you to a phony site. This “secure launch” behavior also helps reduce the possibility of a typo in the address bar sending you to the wrong site…”

Please click here to read the rest of this article.

Today’s free link: How to Easily Backup All of Your Google Doc Files To Your Computer

March 16, 2011 Posted by | computers, IE 9, Internet, Microsoft, security, software, Windows 7 | 5 Comments

Service Pack 1 and Polite Phishing. OddJob & Meow.

Service Pack Released. Holdouts can migrate to Windows 7 now.

Last night my Win7 machine told me that there were Updates available. So, like I always do, I clicked to view the details. I noticed that one of the “Important” updates was not checked. So I looked closer and saw that it was indeed the awaited first Service Pack, which rumors had said was coming soon.
I placed a check in the checkbox, and clicked “Install”. Because Service Packs are good things. And I have been testing IE 9, so I let that upgrade to the new “Release Candidate” as well.

After a twice rebooting install, which went smoothly, my upgrades were in, and my Windows 7 machine was now 72 times faster and three times shinier. Yay!

Okay. You know I’m kidding.. right? “Service Packs” sometimes do bring new features to the operating system, but generally are simply a collection (a “pack”) of security patches and bug fixes. There is an old saying in the Geek world – Do Not Buy Until The First Service Pack Is Released.

That’s good advice. Generally speaking, you do not want Version 1.0 of anything. You want the next version.. the one where most of the bugs have been found and fixed. I have been telling people that Windows 7 is an exception to that Rule – being already remarkably stable and bug free. However, if you have been waiting, SP1 is now here.

So what is in the first Windows 7 Service Pack (aka SP1)? I quote, “Win 7 SP1 sports a little nip here and a roll-up tuck there — but there’s not a single significant enhancement to Win7.”
Woody Leonhard wrote a great piece for Windows Secrets that sums things up in a nutshell: What you need to know about Windows 7 SP1

* For those who have trouble with this Update (or.. Updates in general), see Microsoft notes Windows Update “inconsistencies,” provides fix

Cybercriminals try the polite approach:

I ask non-regular readers to note the attachment ‘paperclip’, and to trust me when I say that it is a clear signal that you do NOT want to do anything with this email except delete it — opening the email will put you on the Global Sucker List. And opening the attachment…. probably worse.
And I believe that regular readers will know that “Please confirm your identity” translates to “Please hand me your identity”.


A new banking trojan targeting U.S. customers has the ability to keep online account sessions open after customers believe they have logged off, enabling criminals to surreptitiously steal money, according to researchers at web security firm Trusteer.

Eastern European cybercrooks are using the trojan, dubbed “OddJob” by researchers, to attack banking customers in the United States, Poland and Denmark…

Learn more here, Trojan steals session IDs, bypasses logout requests

Too kewel not to post:
A reader shared with me a photo. I am not a “cat person”, but one look at this fellow…

King of his hill

and I had to smile. One ‘cool cat’ there.

Have a great day everyone!

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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February 24, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, IE 9, Microsoft, News, PC, performance, Phishing, tech, upgrading, Windows, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

YouTube Gone In Two Months?

It is my humble opinion that there is only one reason you and I have the Internet.

yahoo page

Some of you may remember – from about a year ago now – that Google purchased YouTube, and shortly thereafter came the headline: YouTube Launches Video Ads — Public Reaction Negative.

Google wants to make money with YouTube. Problem is… the site is expensive as *heck* to run, and they just can’t seem to run enough ads to pay for it all. What’s the solution? Make the user experience as crappy as *heck*, so they use less bandwidth as people stop coming to the site, AND make money during the entire process! Do I smell a hint of BRILLIANCE?” *

This quote was from an article about Google’s  move to fit more ads onto YouTube, posted on LockerGnome. You can read the whole article here, and see the details, but I would like to say some of you may find the language a little salty (though, it’s not too bad, really.) It suggested that YouTube now had a year to live

That year is up in April. (I wonder what the Internet without YouTube will be like…?)

In one of my prior articles (talking about the Yahoo! “mergers” and take-over bids) I came up with a catchy title — “A World Run By Ad Revenue“. It seems to me that we have reached a point in our evolution where we have become so inundated with advertising, that we have developed an internal ability to block them all from our minds.

When that doesn’t work — there’s the Mute button.

Today’s free download(s): I don’t actually see all that many ads when I surf the Internet because I use ad-blocking software/tools. (Don’t worry all you businesses running ads, I never buy stuff because you ran an ad anyway. I boycott you because I hate ads that much).
Firefox: I use the plug-ins AdBlock Plus, NoScript and FlashBlock
Internet Explorer: I download and install SelectView

There are other products available for you to choose from, both free and ‘for sale’.

[note: hackers (really “cybercriminals”) have found ways to deliver malware through ads, so blocking ads is safer. But naturally, advertisers don’t like the idea that we can ‘block’ their expensive come-ons, and are constantly pressuring developers and lawmakers to find ways to take such tools out of our hands.]

I very much doubt that YouTube will go away.. or that advertisers will clue into the fact they are throwing away money… But I do also hope this is not our future..


Because some *people* thinks it works…

Yes Advertisers. It’s true. I stopped watching TV because of you (the 5,000,000th pharmaceutical ad was the ‘straw’).

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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February 12, 2011 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, Firefox, Google, IE 7, ie 8, IE 9, Internet, software, tech | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Step-by-Step Security Tutorial – Internet Explorer

How to Configure Internet Explorer to Stay (More) Secure Online: Step-by-Step

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”).

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.”


click for slideshow

In this digital age, we are all connected, and each of us plays an important role in securing cyberspace.

It Is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

So do your part. Make sure your web browser is “hardened” against online attacks.

Today’s free link: If IE is your main browser, I recommend installing Spyware Blaster as well as the steps above.

SpywareBlaster doesn’t scan for and clean spyware–it prevents it from being installed in the first place. SpywareBlaster prevents the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware, dialers, browser hijackers, and other potentially unwanted programs. It can also block spyware/tracking cookies in IE, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape, and many other browsers, and restrict the actions of spyware/ad/tracking sites. With the built-in Check for Updates feature, you can help ensure your protection is up-to-date. SpywareBlaster also includes a System Snapshot feature, which lets you take a snapshot of your computer in its clean state and later revert, undoing many changes made by spyware and browser hijackers.

Related: Earlier I posted a slideshow tutorial for the web browser Firefox (see, Safer Internet Surfing Cont. – Tutorial: Tweak Firefox for Greater Security)

Folks, to find out more about cyber-security, and connect to more educational resources, click here.

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

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October 18, 2010 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, Firefox, how to, IE 7, ie 8, IE 9, Internet, Microsoft, Phishing, phraud, privacy, security, software | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments