Tech – for Everyone

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

I Like Fridays Better Than Mondays..

I do not have a lot of time today, but here are a few things..

* MediaFire Launches Android App With 50GB Free Storage

MediaFire is rolling out the red carpet for Android owners, unlocking 50GB of free storage along with its new Android-based storage application.

The app joins its iOS counterpart in providing on-the-go productivity for people who need to access and share files from anywhere.” Read more..

[update: for a review of MediaFire from a man I trust, click here.]

And sometimes, I do not know whether to laugh, or cry.. (but it is an interesting read): Facebook Posts Easier to Remember Than Actual Faces, Books

Your memory of Facebook posts is likely stronger than your recollection of actual faces or actual books, according to a new study.Read more..

After yesterday’s article, a reader wrote and asked..

Q:Hi Paul, How about some discussion on AV availability for smart phones, especially the new Windows phone I got during the holidays.” ~ Jay

A: Jay,
Well.. smartphones and tablets are not my area of expertise; but I have discussed that in the past, (and posted 15 Mobile Security Tools (smart phones/tablets) in my Blogroll links) but it has been a while.

I do not use iGadgets, so I don’t know what is currently available for iOS in the iStore (at one point, there was nothing). Same goes for the Windows Phone. But I use Lookout on my (Android) phone and am trying Norton Mobile Lite on my (Android) tablet (both are free). So far I have no complaints with either. (And I believe they have versions for the other mobiles.)
I haven’t looked to see if anyone has posted any efficacy tests recently, but your comment/question has prompted me to make a mental note to research that.

This may help too: Got a New Phone For Christmas? Don’t Forget These Safety Tips

Perhaps a reader can contribute more on this question..?

* A game-changing lawsuit? Free credit checks sought after ‘unprecedented’ data loss

Class-action lawsuit launched by N.L. lawyer on behalf of 583,000 CanadiansRead more..

(If agencies actually could be held liable for the data they lose… BIG changes will occur..! [Right now, it’s kinda just an “oh, well.”])

* Friday Fun Video

Today’s quote:Those are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others.” ~ Groucho Marx

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

January 18, 2013 Posted by | advice, Android, antivirus, Apple, computers, consumer electronics, gadgets, Internet, Microsoft, Portable Computing, security | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Best Antivirus | Goggle’s Free Wi Fi | Windows 8| More

(Wow. It’s Thursday already.) Here are some “informations” I think you’ll find helpful and/or interesting.

Yesterday, I reminded you that in today’s world, all your Internet-capable devices need to have an antivirus/security product. But which one? Are some better than others? Oh, yes. (And, last year’s top pick may be this year’s dud.) I no longer have time to do my own testing, but for years I have relied on Neil Rubenking at PC Magazine to do that heavy lifting for me. He has just published his Choose the Best Antivirus in 2013

We put just about every antivirus product through rigorous testing to help you choose the one that will suit you best. We award the Editor’s Choice designation to those that we consider to be top-of-the-line in one way or another, but if your criteria are different from ours you can get details from our reviews of all of the available choices.” Read more..

Seems it’s (past) time for me to reevaluate my personal rankings of the free AV’s category…

Another article of his caught my attention as well. Why You Shouldn’t Trust Google’s Free WiFi Network

Last week, Google unveiled plans to build a free wireless Internet zone in Chelsea, a New York City neighborhood. Pretty much every news report and social media conversation focused on how the free Wi-Fi would give people in the area easy access to the Internet.Read more..

[Giving away free Internet. Hmm.. aside from TNSTAAFL.. how about cui bono?]

Also, Deb Shinder is writing a series those of you with Windows 8 may find very helpful. Talking Tech: Getting Your Favorite Features Back in Windows 8: Windows Media Center

Last month, I started this series on how Windows 8 users can get back some of the features that were removed, beginning with the Start button/menu. My plan was to tell you, this month, how to install Windows Media Center. It’s good that I waited, because the process I would have described a month ago seems to no longer work. You can still get Windows 8 back, but you might have to pay for it – even though Microsoft says it’s free until January 31. Here’s a little background and the story of my recent experiences.Read more..

Oh, there’s more I’d like to share with you today, but I’m out of time. Have a great day everybody!

IMG_0464

“You can use a Chromebook to find videos of cats on YouTube. This proves it meets the needs of 99.9% of internet users worldwide.”
(Not only is he probably correct, but that says a lot about us.)

Okay. I found a minute, so here’s one more Reading reco: The Chromebook — it’s like an iPad, but with a keyboard

I wasn’t expecting to like it, but in the end I loved it. The Chromebook could be the perfect post-PC device that has a keyboard.Read more..

Today’s quote:A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.” ~ James Dent

(Okay. So? I’m ready for warmer weather.)

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

January 17, 2013 Posted by | advice, antivirus, computers, consumer electronics, Google, Internet, mobile, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Does My Tablet Need Antivirus?

A Reader Writes In With A Good Question…

Q: I think I know what your answer is going to be, but I thought I would confirm. This week I bought a Galaxy Tab tablet and I am wondering if it needs antivirus like a regular computer does. Thanks.
Carol B.

A: Carol,
Congratulations on your new Android tablet computer. Let me answer your question with a question: does your Tab connect to the Internet?

I have stated here before, and will repeat; criminals (aka “hackers”) and hostile governments/orgs have made the Internet a dangerous place to visit, and I recommend that any device which connects to the web have security installed – and that means an “antivirus”.
Tablets and smart phones are not “immune” from “rogue” applications, spyware, etc.. No digital device is.

I do not yet own a tablet, but a quick look in the Galaxy Tab user’s forum suggests an equal split with folks recommending AVG Mobile (free) and Lookout Mobile (free) to their fellow Tab users. (Also, you may want to refer to 15 Mobile Security Tools.)

{note: If you have been using an Android tablet PC, and have an antivirus you’d care to recommend (or, infection story), please share it with us by leaving a Comment. Thanks!}

Something like over 10 million Americans had their identities stolen last year (and the year before) (and the year before) (and the year before). I’m glad you wrote in.

Today’s quote:The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It’s the age-old struggle: the roar of the crowd on the one side, and the voice of your conscience on the other.” ~ Douglas MacArthur

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


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September 28, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, computers, Internet, mobile | , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Spyware Doctor 10 License Giveaway

Folks,
Interested in a chance at a free, 3PC license of Spyware Doctor 2011? I am giving ten away. To find out the 4-1-1, click here, and read.

May 31, 2011 Posted by | antivirus, computers, free software, PC, security | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Warning For Apple Users

I have long been advising owners of computers – even Apple computers – to make sure they run an antivirus (any device that connects to the Internet needs an antivirus) and keep it up-to-date.  Also true: the outright *myth* that Apple is immune from viruses and hackers persists. Guess what I saw in my InfoSec headlines yesterday?

Attackers set sights on Mac OS X with Apple malware toolkit

“The growing success of Apple’s Mac OS, bolstered by iPhone sales and new iPad tablet users, has caught the attention of cybercriminals who are setting their sights on Apple users.

Danish IT-security firm, CSIS Security Group, has stumbled upon a new Apple crimeware toolkit targeting Mac OS X. Security researchers at the organization discovered the toolkit being sold in low numbers on several black hat hacking forums.Read more..

Also: New MAC OS X scareware delivered through blackhat SEO

Researchers from Intego have intercepted a new scareware sample targeting the MAC OS X. Read more..

(Geek Speak Translation: A “malware toolkit” is a simple-to-use program that creates custom viruses, and takes advantage of known weaknesses. See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker (computer_security). They are [typically] used by ‘hackers’ who aren’t really into computer programming, called “script kiddies”. “Blackhat SEO” refers to criminal manipulation of search results, so their ‘poison’ websites appear at or near the top.)

I know that my posting this will not do anything to dispel common perception; but for those of you who are Apple Mac owners, and want to prevent Identity Theft and to surf the web (more) safely, I re-recommend purchasing and installing Norton for Mac, or downloading ..

Today’s free download: Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition

“Free antivirus that works simply and beautifully. Just like your Mac.

Overview: As Apple computers grow more popular than ever, they’re an increasingly-enticing target for hackers. And these hackers aren’t just mischief-makers — by targeting your computer or applications you use, these criminals are out to steal and profit from your valuable personal information. Don’t let them. Get free Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac today.”

Please! Let your Apple using friends and family know – Apple is in the hacker crosshairs now. (And also tell ’em “hacker” translates to “cyber criminal” these days.)

Bonus:

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


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May 4, 2011 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, cyber crime, free software, hackers, Internet, News, security | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reader Question: My Pick(s) For Best Antivirus

I wish I had a nickle for every time I am asked this question…

Q:Paul,
I want to thank you for all the good information on your website and I am hoping you can give me some advice. The McAfee on my new computer is due to expire and it is asking me to buy a subscription or I won’t be protected. Should I pay or should I get something else? I will be using this computer a lot and want the best protection. Thank you.
~ TB

A: TB,
In this day and age of Internet Insecurity, it is absolutely vital (IMHO) that any device that connects to the World Wide Web has antivirus: and, an “expired” antivirus is next to no antivirus. I have written much about Internet/PC security (and answered this question before). But the competition between the various vendors means that the answer to “who’s the best?” changes year to year… and I suspect you want my short answer. (And, currently, McAfee is not it.)

So, for April/May 2011 my General recommendations are:

  • For Netbooks: see, Best Antivirus For Netbooks?
  • For Smartphones: Smartphone security is new to me, and I can only (at this time) say that I think that, at the very least, you want Lookout.

* You may be interested to know, PC World magazine also has those first two as their top reco’s: see, Free vs. Fee: Free and Paid Antivirus Programs Compared

Can free antivirus software protect you? Or is it worth paying for a full-blown A/V app? We look at the benefits–and pitfalls–of free and paid antivirus products.

Additionally: (Internet security is much more complex than bullet point answers!)

● I prefer to fine-tune my answers to the User: everybody is different, after all. To get your own “fine-tuned” recommendation, try Gizmo’s Freeware Security Wizard.

This Wizard has been designed to help you select the best free security software for your PC based on the version of Windows that you use, your technical computer skills and your general level of security risk (read more…).”

● In my Blogroll, you will see direct links to trustworthy Product Comparison reviews.

● I recommend supplementing your antivirus with Anti-Spyware, and I frequently recommend SAS (SUPERAntiSpyware) here. It is a great additional “layer of defense”. It is available here. (It is also one of the few titles I actually reco upgrading to the paid version. Hint: look for the “Lifetime” price.)

● I suspect someone will write in and ask, so.. (For Infection Removal): MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

Today’s reading reco(s):

* Off Topic: White House Releases Birth Certificate

In all my years of being a citizen of the United States, I have never been more embarrassed… I was brought up to respect whomever was the President; whether it be Democrat or Republican. Today..Read more

* Restoring Your Contacts List or Address Book In Gmail

Google’s Gmail has been a very popular online (web) email client for years; and, rightfully so. It continues to improve and offer features that you would typically find in email software that you would install on your PC.” Read more

* Yesterday, I mentioned iPhone tracking only part of Apple’s security and privacy shortcomings

“The revelation by a pair of researchers that iPhones store location data for the life of the device is making waves. How much does it really matter? Chad Perrin suggests the problem goes deeper.” Read more

But Android users should (also) be aware.. Android phones keep location cache, too, but it’s harder to access

“After this week’s disturbing revelation that iPhones and 3G iPads keep a log of location data based on cell tower and WiFi base station triangulation, developer Magnus Eriksson set out to demonstrate that Android smartphones store the exact same type of data for its location services. While the data is harder to access for the average user, it’s as trivial to access for a knowledgeable hacker or forensics expert.” Read more

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


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April 27, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, antivirus, Apple, computers, Internet, iPhone, PC, security | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sunday Beauty XXXI + Top Security Products

Today’s image is a bit different.. and possibly represents some wishful thinking on my part..

Spring orchard

Click on image to see more by this artist

Photo by El Frito, courtesy of Flickr Commons.

Addenda: Yesterday, I posted a link to an antivirus product review: Top 10 Antivirus Programs for 2011 (review).That review was of for-pay antivirus programs. For those who want to see how free antiviruses stack up, see “Fee vs. Free: Free and Paid Antivirus Programs Compared“.

And for the product review of full security suites, see, “Battle of the Security Superpowers,” which lists PC World’s top security suite picks.

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


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February 27, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, PC, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments