Tech – for Everyone

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

Which Browser Blocks The Most Malware? Surprise!

In Q2 of 2011, NSS Labs performed a test of web browser protection against socially-engineered malware targeting users around the globe.

Socially-engineered malware is a widespread problem, claiming one third of internet users as victims. The use of free browser-based reputation systems to assist in the fight against socially-engineered malware is a strong use of cloud technologies. However, in this global test of socially-engineered malware, we found that not all vendor implementations and daily operations yield the same results.

So who did the best at blocking online threats? The result of one lab’s tests may surprise you.

Windows Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) caught an exceptional 99.2% of live threats. Read more..

(A full report of their tests is available as a PDF download. Anyone interested in the true state of Internet insecurity should take a quick read.. pick up a few interesting [and scary] factoids.)

Today’s quote:A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all – he’s walking on them.” ~ Leonard Louis Levinson

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


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October 8, 2011 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, hackers, IE 9, Internet, security, software | , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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..

hong-kong-advertising

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

I Support A Good Cause

aka “An Open Letter To CNet, et al”

A reader wrote in and voiced a complaint about a Tech Industry “way of things” that they find.. um.. er, well, “not right”. They asked if I could help. Since I find this type of thing as repugnant as I do the ole add-a-toolbar-to-the-installer trick (see, An Open Letter To Sun Microsystems) I will share their letter with you.

“Tech Paul,
I am getting really sick of these download websites that try everything possible to get you to download the wrong file, usually a registry editor, but downloads.cnet.com has pushed my button for the last time…

I’m starting a campaign… personal emails come first. Any help you want to add would be appreciated.

I had advised my brother to download MBAM, and he got on to Cnet. Those shameless money grubbers have no less than 4 links to the wrong file on the page.

Top left: “Recommended Download”,
Top right: Big red “Download Here” button. (Both for Spyware Doctor);
To the right of the MBAM screenshot: A green right-then-down arrow pointing to a big green “Click to Download” button, actually for Advanced Registry Optimizer;
To the left of the screenshot: A green “Special Offer” link to a purchase MBAM page.

My brother clicked all of those before I finally got him straightened out. OK, my brother is not tech savvy, but this is absolutely ridiculous… My mother had 5 of those *darn* registry optimizers last visit.”

It only takes one glance to see why a person might click the wrong download link.

But.. as angry as this type of thing makes me, I have to play fair and point out this is not so much a thing CNet’s download.com is doing — they are just selling advertising spaces — it is the advertisers (who design their ad knowing it will be on a “download site”). In this case, PCTools (of which I am a fan) and a few somebody else’s.

Which is why I run Firefox with the plug ins AdBlock Plus, Flashblock, and NoScript. When I go to the page it looks like this… (Listen up, all you advertisers)

And, advertisers? When I go shopping? I choose the product who doesn’t bombard me with unwanted ads. Guess what else? I am not alone. And I have been that way my whole adult life.

People, you have to slow down, and be super careful what you click. You need to read the words. You have to exercise some attention. Why? Because they only made the Internet “public” so they could show us ads. And the cybercriminals are poisoning websites, posting their own websites, and more, to steal Billions from us each year (often, they need us to click the link to do their evil deeds).

And, yes, CNet.. you can do a better job of ‘regulating’ your advertiser. (Maybe .. redesign things so your [proper] download link is the most prominent.) Maybe say “no” to some? Revenue isn’t everything, you know. You have to be able to sleep at night too.

Related:
* Top Tech Tip #2: Leave Registry Cleaners Alone
*
Good-bye YouTube. Enjoy Your Ads.

* The letter’s writer used stronger words.. (I don’t blame them.)

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


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January 7, 2011 Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , | 21 Comments