Tech – for Everyone

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

Added Security For Social Networking

A new version of WOT

Folks, I received a ‘heads up’ yesterday that I want to pass along to you.

“It has been a while since I updated you on what’s going on at Web of Trust. Our free website reputation rating add-on has grown to 18 million users worldwide who have rated over 31 million unique domains for trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy protection and child safety.

There is a new version of WOT that will benefit our users of social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. The new version of WOT offers the same protection as usual with the addition of reputation rating icons in Facebook, Twitter and with shortened URLs by most popular services, such as bit.ly and t.co.
This will greatly reduce the incidence of risky URLs being passed along and opened.

A beta version of WOT for Social Media is available at http://www.mywot.com/beta. (The beta is available for Firefox users only.)”

Folks, I have not had a chance to test this beta, but I am a fan of Web Of Trust (aka “WOT”) and have recommended it here many times before (see, You have received an eCard.. WOT?). If you use Firefox, and you Facebook and Tweet, you may want to give this add-on a test drive, and be safer on the web.

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


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March 15, 2011 Posted by | computers, security | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tech Paul’s Friend of the Internet Surfer Award – 2010

Ronen Tzur Wins For Sandboxie

Folks, last year I invented a little thing I called the Friend Of The Internet Surfer Award. I have awarded it three times so far, but not yet this year.

Winner of the 2010
Friend Of The Internet Surfer Award
Tech Paul’s Friend Of The Internet Surfer Award

My intention with this was to bring to your attention, Dear Reader, people (and their websites) who are worthy of special mention due to the fact that they are looking out for us — the “average computer user” — and helping us to have a better, safer, online experience.

Ronen wins this special award as he is the creator of the program called “Sandboxie”. I consider Sandboxie an essential and primary tool for helping protect my machines from cybercrimals (incorrectly called “hackers”).

How Sandboxie works: Sandboxie takes a whole different approach (tactic) than traditional antivirus and anti-Spyware programs use to protecting you. Sandboxie runs your applications (aka “programs”) in an isolated area called a “sandbox”, as this animation shows…

Any programs that are “launched” (aka “Open”-ed, aka “run”) within Sandboxie only function within the sandbox, and have no direct access to your files, the Windows operating system or any other part of your PC. After you have finished with the ‘session’, you can right click the Sandboxie icon and delete all sandboxed files and processes, and your PC will be returned to the same state it was in before you started (how those red boxes vanish). To paraphrase, “What happens in the sandbox stays in the sandbox.”

GizmoAwardMy first recommendation for safe browsing is a free program called Sandboxie.~ JonathanT, Gizmo’s Best Free Browser Protection Utility.

Ronen has always offered this (essential, IMHO) security tool free, as well as a “pro (for pay) version”. It consistently wins “Best” and “Top” mentions on the reputable download sites, such as PC Magazine and MajorGeeks.

Note: Sandboxie is NOT a replacement, nor substitute, for traditional anti-Malware (antivirus+anti-Spyware) but is used in conjunction with. (This is referred to as “layering” your defenses.) And Sandboxie is not exactly intuitive to the “average user”, so I highly recommend that first time users see Tutorial: Getting Started with Sandboxie. This is a serious security tool and taking the time to learn how it works is well worth it! Using Sandboxie is simple, there’s just a few things to know.

So, congratulations Mr. Tzur. You’ve earned a big tip of my Geek hat. And folks, please click here and take a look Sandboxie.

Previous winners:
* First-ever Tech Paul’s Friend Of The Internet Surfer Award
* Tech Paul’s Friend of the Internet Surfer Award for October
* Tech Paul’s Friend of the Internet Surfer Award for December

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


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August 23, 2010 Posted by | computers, Internet, security, software | , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Sandboxie License Winners Announced

I consider Sandboxie an essential and primary tool for protecting my machines from cybercrimals.”

Sandboxie’s creator, Ronen Tzur, has graciously and generously donated five licenses to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank him for that.

SecurityNowLogo GizmoAward MajorGeeksLogo

Some Benefits of the Isolated Sandbox

  • Secure Web Browsing: Running your Web browser under the protection of Sandboxie means that all malicious software downloaded by the browser is trapped in the sandbox and can be discarded trivially.
  • Enhanced Privacy: Browsing history, cookies, and cached temporary files collected while Web browsing stay in the sandbox and don’t leak into Windows.
  • Secure E-mail: Viruses and other malicious software that might be hiding in your email can’t break out of the sandbox and can’t infect your real system.

To paraphrase: What happens in the sandbox stays in the sandbox.

Note: Sandboxie is NOT a replacement, nor substitute, for traditional anti-Malware (antivirus+anti-Spyware) but is used in conjunction with. I highly recommend that first time users see, Tutorial: Getting Started with Sandboxie. This is a serious security tool and taking the time to learn how it works is well worth it! Using Sandboxie is simple, there’s just a few things to know.

Ronen has always offered this (essential, IMHO) security tool free, for which he has long earned a big tip of my Geek hat. It consistently wins “Best” and “Top” mentions on the reputable download sites, and is one of the few titles I think is worth upgrading to “Pro” (paid). The Sandboxie website is here, try it out yourself!

Without further ado: Congratulations to..

sand_wins

The lucky winners will be sent an e-mail containing their license key, with the subject “Sandboxie Winner”. (You may need to check your Junk folder.)

Again I thank Ronen for making this giveaway possible!

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


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July 16, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, e-mail, Internet, security, software | , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Learn How To Get More Out Of Your Browser*

I am doing a big on-site job today, and so I must re-post a prior article. This article describes how to get more out of Internet Explorer with the use of bookmarks (“Favorites” ) and tabs. Though Internet Explorer 7 debuted some time ago, the basic lessons are the same for the current version, IE 8; and the principles apply to other Web browsers, such as Firefox, as well.

Once again, I am reminded that the simple things often make the best topics. I showed my screen to a client during a support session, and they asked me “how do you do that?”ie icon

I didn’t know what they meant, and was startled to learn that what they wanted to know was – how did I have Internet Explorer “pre-set” to several of my mailboxes, and Google’s search page? To be more specific — they didn’t know about tabbed browsing, and weren’t real sure what Favorites were either.

Tip of the day: Stop repeating yourself, get the hang of IE 7’s features. Relatively new to IE (but not to Firefox, Opera, Netscape, and others) is a feature called “tabbed browsing” which allows you to open multiple websites within a single window, and quickly switch back-and-forth between them. In this screenshot you can see how my IE usually appears.

ie-tabs.jpg

As you can see, I typically have five “tabs” open: my Google home page, an online dictionary, Tech–for Everyone, Hotmail (now “Windows Live Hotmail”), and my ISP’s home page. When I shut down at night, I click IE’s red “X” — the big red one in the upper-right corner –and am presented with the window (You may see “You are about to close multiple tabs. Do you..?” Click on the “Show Options” link.) shown below.

opentabs.jpg

and I select (check) “Open these tabs the next time I use Internet Explorer”. This option allows me to skip having to open five tabs and navigating to each of my regular websites each morning.

To open a new tab, and this works in every browser I’m familiar with, press Ctrl+T. Depending on your Settings selection (under “Tabs” in Internet Options) this new tab will open to your current Home Page, or to a “blank page”, as shown below.

blankie.jpg

Now I can type “http://www.mychoiceofsite.com” (no quotes) into the browser bar, and there I am. Or I can click on the gold star for my list of Favorites, and launch (open) a site from there.

“Favorites” is Microsoft’s word for “bookmarks”, and in the world of PC’s the two words are interchangeable. If I stumble across a particularly interesting and/or useful Website that I know I will be returning to frequently, I can “bookmark it” by clicking on the green + on-top-of-the-gold-star icon and select “Add to Favorites” (or hit Ctrl+D). My mailboxes, my favorite tech websites, Google, and an online dictionary are in my Favorites list, so I can launch (open) them with a click — which saves on my typing.

To close a tab, simply click on its “x”; which is not red but grey. The tab must be “active” (selected) to be closed.

tabs.jpg

Now set your Tabs options to keep all your browsing in one instance of IE (instead of opening another IE, a new tab will open). In the upper right corner, click on the “Tools” menu and select “Internet Options”. Look down to the Tabs area and click on the Settings button.

tabs2.jpg

Now select the radio buttons to change “in a new window” to “in a new tab”, as shown below.

tabs3.jpg

Related articles:
Restore Missing Favorites In IE*

Internet Explorer Runtime Error!!*

Quick Tip: Turn on ClearType in Internet Explorer

Can’t Download? Reset IE

How To Clear Your Cache

View Multiple Mail Identities in One Browser

Extracting text from Web pages*

Precautions for your Internet privacy*

Quick Tip: Customize new tabs behavior

IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*

Internet/E-mail Troubleshooting – JavaScript

What is a “homepage”?

How to use tabs in IE 7

Saving webpages as files

Today’s free download: (You knew this was coming … right?) An application that has gained quite a name for itself is the “alternative” browser called Firefox. If you haven’t tried this powerful, free program, nor learned about its nifty “Add ons”, I suggest you give it a test drive now. Click here to download Firefox and then click the Tools menu and then Add ons. I suggest you start with NoScript and AdBlock Plus, and then explore the vast assortment.

*Orig post: 2/4/2010

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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April 29, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, IE 7, ie 8, Internet, Microsoft, PC, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Why You Want WOT

WOT (Web Of Trust) is a web browser plug-in that uses easy to understand symbols…

AmEx_phish

.. that warns you about potentially dangerous websites and hyperlinks (through the use of a rating system that you can vote on). It integrates into most webmails as well, as shown here.

(I know you are too savvy to click links in such an obvious phish… but you should have seen the one mimicking Chase Bank I got the other day; it was a near perfect forgery. And Hotmail didn’t flag it, as they did this one.)

Find out more. Click here. (WOT is a free download.)

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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March 23, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, security | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Error: JavaScript Not Installed

JavaScript Makes The Web Go Round

I received a call for help with an e-mail problem. The caller was getting errors when trying to access their webmail (online e-mail, such as Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo! Mail). Which had them quite upset, naturally, but was really no problem at all, and was quite easily fixed with a few clicks of the mouse.

My caller’s errors all referred to JavaScript – which is (short version) a programming language used extensively on the Internet; mostly to make Web pages dynamic and interactive with the viewer. Many websites rely on JavaScript to function, and Gmail and Hotmail do too.

My caller’s computer was suddenly saying that JavaScript was “not installed”, but in reality, all that had happened was it had been somehow inadvertently “disabled” (aka “turned off”), and needed to be switched on again.

Tip of the day: enable (or, re-enable) JavaScript in your Web browser.
1) Open Internet Explorer and in the upper right find the gray gear icon “Tools” menu. Click it, and then click on “Internet Options

2) Now a new window will open. Click on the “Security” tab (top), as shown below.
IESec_Opts

3) Click the “Custom level…” button.

4) Use the slider to scroll down the list of options until you come to “Active scripting“, as shown below.
IESec_Opts_Scrpt

5) Click on the “Enable” ‘radio’ button, and then click on OK, twice.

6) Close Internet Explorer and then re-launch (aka “Open”) it again.

Now JavaScript (should be) is enabled and functioning and you can surf the Web and access Webmail as you had before. Problem solved!

[note: if you found that JavaScript was already enabled, please see Internet Explorer Runtime Error!!*. I have several other how to’s on repairing your browser as well, should you need further guidance. Enter “error”, or “repair” in my Search box.]

Today’s free link: Technology We’ll Miss When It’s Gone
As tech speeds inexorably forward, many gadgets and services will be left in heaps on the roadside. Problem is, we’ll truly miss some of them.” (This is a rather astute op-ed.. and a fun read.)

Today’s free download: Trillian Astra
More than three years in the making, Trillian is back with a slight name change and a slew of new features. The chat client now supports Google, MySpace IM, Skype, and Facebook, as well as AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, and IRC. It  has both POP3 and IMAP e-mail checking.
Trillian now has deep hooks into Facebook and Twitter. It will automatically shorten URLs in your tweets, as well as allow direct messages, re-tweets, and replies. Twitter Trends can show up in your contact list, and you can get tweets to appear in Tooltip form. Facebook features include news feed integration, Facebook Inbox checking, and synchronized message updating in addition to Facebook IM.

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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Technology We’ll Miss When It’s Gone

As tech speeds inexorably forward, many gadgets and services will be left in heaps on the roadside. Problem is, we’ll truly miss some of them.

January 30, 2010 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, e-mail, how to, IE 7, ie 8, Internet, Microsoft, software, tech, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is A "Browser"?

A long time reader of this series sent me a ‘heads up’ on this video.. which I will now share with you, Dear Reader. Someone from Google made it.

What is a browser? was the question we asked over 50 passersby of different ages and backgrounds in the Times Square in New York. Watch the many responses people came up with.

Did you catch the little blurb at the end?

Today’s free link: For those of you unsure yourselves, the Official Google Blog has a one-minute video explanation, here.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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October 7, 2009 Posted by | browsers, Google, Internet | , , , , , | 4 Comments