Tech – for Everyone

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

A Quick Tip, A ‘Don’t Miss’, And A Mini-rant.

Let’s get started. An alert reader woke me up to this highly recommended limited-time deal (thank you).

It’s WinPatrol..What are you waiting for? GET IT!

Two Day Only 99 Cent Experimental Sale!

This is a lifetime license.

”As in the past, this will be a limited time only “experiment” starting at Noon EST on Monday, April 16th 2012 and will end Noon EST on Wednesday April 18th, 2012.”

*     *     *

Quick tip: In doing some research for the purchase of a HDTV, I have found an excellent resource for those shopping for new audio/visual devices: complete with product reviews. This very respected place is Crutchfield, and to visit their shopper’s advice area, click here.

*     *     *

Old Tech Paul is a pretty important guy, don’tcha know? Not only do I receive email from the United Nations and the FBI on a regular basis, I also have friends in other areas of the diplomatic corps..

Because the ISP’s routinely block most of the more obvious cases, most people have no idea what all this investment in “high tech” and the “world wide web” is being used for. Here is the current use of the 1’s and 0’s being pushed through our “infrastructure” right now.

Unfortunately, most of that spam is being sent from our own computers. (The one’s that have been infected and turned into “spambots”.. usually a fact unknown by their owners.) Fortunately, some people are finally taking “botnets” seriously.. maybe it’s too early to say, but some are arguing that progress is being made on this front. At least on a technical level, that may be true.. But what can we do to “fix” the humans that think sending this stuff (spam) is a good idea?

Today’s free link: a quite excellent resource page, Do-it-yourself: Stop junk mail, email and phone calls – A free guide to reducing unwanted or intrusive advertising

Today’s free download: Think it might be possible that you have been ‘botted’? One tool to help you find out is the free RUBotted from Trend Micro.. recently improved.

RUBotted monitors your computer for potential infection and suspicious activities associated with bots. Bots are malicious files that enable cybercriminals to secretly take control of your computer. Upon discovering a potential infection, RUBotted will identify and clean them with HouseCall.

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

>> 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. <<

April 17, 2012 Posted by | computers, cyber crime, free software, how to, Internet, Internet scam, shopping for | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fighting rogues

Sometimes the questions readers write in with are worthy of your attention.. and the answers worthy of an article. This question, posted on my article Your Computer Is Lying To You… The Epidemic Of Rogues, is a case in point.

But First, two quick Geek Definitions:
1: Malware: mal is French for “bad”, and ware is short for software. Most commonly associated with “virus”.
2: Rogue: is short for “rogue antivirus”, which is a category of malware of the type called scareware.

Q: “How can you tell if a program is a rogue? Will a good antivirus program identify rogues? How can rogues be fought – since it’s so difficult even for you to do it, how can I? Thank you.

A: Sir or Ms,
Thank you for posing these excellent questions. Let me break them into individual pieces, and try to give relevant pointers:
1) How can you tell if a program is a rogue?
There can be several clues.. perhaps the main one is; were you casually surfing the Internet, and some window you’ve never seen before suddenly pops open and tells you scary things? Like.. by magic, it decided to just give you a free scan, (because it’s so nice) and it found ScaryName.Trojan?
That’s a rogue. A fake. A trick. A cyber-attack.
But if you aren’t sure, Google its name.

2) Will a good antivirus program identify rogues?
A good security suite/antivirus (that has ‘active’ shielding) should detect the rogue’s processes and shut it down before it does any real harm.
Keyword: “should”.
Is there one yet invented that does so 100% of the time. Always. Every rogue? No. The cybercriminals (aka ‘hackers’) write new ones every other day, and employ new tactics weekly. And, no antivirus protects you from you: when you ignore the warning and launch the setup.exe, (or click, “yes, scan my computer please”) it’s kind of game over.

3) How can rogues be fought?
I have posted advice here – almost daily – on how to surf safely, and how to protect your machines from malware, (there are many other online resources available as well – several are in my Blogroll) but to make things simpler, I have compiled a Top 10 list (click here) to help.
Please pay particular attention to #’s 1 – 4.
(Of course, that’s not to say you shouldn’t read me everyday.. ahem.)

When it comes to malware and cybercrime, prevention is key. But, should you get infected, there are many self-help resources available, (including a few I have posted) but I sincerely believe that one should enlist the aid of a trained technician experienced with advanced malware removal  (yes, such as myself) as modern malware truly is “military grade”. (Ask yourself: how computer knowledgeable am I, really, and do I have a spare day and a-half a cleanup takes? If you want to give it a go.. see, How To Cure A Malware Infection)

.. oh yes, one more thing, if you have been infected, whatever protection you had onboard, that installation of it is no longer any good – one of the first things malware does is seek out and cripple your antivirus – and it will need to be reinstalled (or replaced).

So, I urge you to read Your Computer Is Lying To You… The Epidemic Of Rogues if you haven’t already, and please – send the link to your less-savvy friends and loved ones.

Bonus tip: If you think you can ‘download’ the latest movies, the hottest albums, and/or free copies of Windows 7 (or Adobe CS5) off of the “Torrent” sites – for absolutely free! and with no risk at all!.. odds are darned good you’re already pwned.

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 :

October 7, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, PC, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A SUPER-Special Software License Giveaway (My Last?)

Some things you just can’t predict. I thought I was through with contests, and now, ‘lo and behold!, I have a Grand Prize Contest, and I am pleased as punch to run it. Today’s Grand Prize retails for $200, and features software I have endorsed from Day One.

SUPERAntiSpyware is a program for combating spyware and Internet threats. It is an anti-malware scanner that I use on the job; on my own machines; recommend to clients; and install on the PC’s of my friends and family. I’ll tell you why — it’s simple and it’s effective. Since it “plays well” with most other security programs, SAS makes a great additional layer of protection to your existing antivirus/security solution.

To help celebrate SUPERAntiSpyware’s recent inclusion in VirusTotal’s premier file analyzing service, the good folks there at SUPERAntiSpyware (known in the biz as “SAS”) have generously donated some Professional Edition licenses to me – “lifetime” licenses no less – to award to my readers.

SUPERAntiSpyware logo

* Real-Time Blocking of threats! Prevent potentially harmful software from installing or re-installing.
* First Chance Prevention examines over 50 critical points of your system each time your system starts up and shuts down to eliminate threats before they have a chance to infect and infiltrate your system.
* Detect and Remove Spyware, Adware and Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, HiJackers, Parasites, Rootkits, Rogue Security Products and many other types of threats.
* Schedule either Quick, Complete or Custom Scans Daily or Weekly to ensure your computer is free from harmful software.
* Registry Protection against Browser Hi-Jackers and other threats.
* Repair broken Internet Connections, Desktops, Registry Editing and more with SAS’s unique Repair System.
* Light on System Resources and won’t slow down your computer like many other anti-spyware products. Won’t conflict with your existing anti-spyware or anti-virus solution.
* System Requirements: 2000, XP Home/Professional, 2003, Server 2008, Vista and Windows 7. 32-bit and 64-bit systems.
(So those of you already running the free edition should still enter.. IMHO.)

So I am announcing my latest software license giveaway contest.

I did say “SUPER-Special… This week my Giveaway is going to be a little different, Folks, and I am actually running two contests — but you (still) only enter one time (the usual rules apply!). Keep reading…

¹ All entrants will be placed into’s “list randomizer”, and the top result will be the winner of the Grand Prize: a 5-pack of SUPERAntiSpyware Pro.
I will then remove the Grand Prize winner from the list, and “re-shake the hat”, so to speak, and then, from the new result, the top 5 names will each receive a single-use Lifetime license (retail $39.90).
[Note: If for some reason you do not want to be entered in the Grand Prize drawing, please indicate “1 license only” in your comment. I will mod the lists accordingly.]

How to enter: US and Canada residents may simply click on “comment” (below) and enter a name and valid e-mail in the form (so we can send you the key {or keys}). Actually commenting is optional. And, I shouldn’t have to say this but, multiple entries in this contest will result in disqualification. The drawing will conclude at midnight (Pacific) on Thursday, July 29th, so act now. The six winners will be announced Friday.

For those who would simply like to learn more about this great security program, the SAS website is here. To read what I have said about SAS:

I also want to say that I admire the people behind SAS, and they get a big tip of my geek hat. They are hard working and generous and they know their stuff. Their motto is “Remove ALL the Spyware, NOT just the easy ones” and I like that attitude!

Why not get a jump on the game and download a trial version of SUPERAntiSpyware Professional today.. you just might get an “activation” as a winner. And if not, you can either purchase (if you do, I advise getting the lifetime upgrade) or it will revert to the free version. Check it out here. SAS is one of those few programs I believe the “for pay” version is well worth it.

I sincerely thank the good folks at SUPERAntiSpyware for making this exciting 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 25, 2010 Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 126 Comments

Gmail — Automated Phishing Detection

Google’s Gmail is currently testing a service designed to alert Gmail users to messages that appear to be phishing attacks.

Gmail phishing alert

These phishing alerts operate automatically, much like spam filtering. Gmail’s spam filters automatically divert messages that are suspected of being unwanted messages into ‘Spam’. Similarly, Gmail’s phishing alerts automatically display warnings with messages we suspect are phishing attacks so you know to exercise caution before providing any personal information. (for more details, click here)

Important: You should always be wary of any message that asks for your personal information, or messages that refer you to a webpage asking for personal information.

(You might want to think about how Gmail could do this ‘detecting’…)

If you aren’t quite sure what to look for when you suspect an e-mail might be one of these cybercrime ploys, this brief video can help.

To Detect Phishing

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

Share this post :

October 30, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, e-mail, Google, how to, Internet scam, Phishing, phraud, security, spam and junk mail | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment