Tech – for Everyone

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

Webmail Link Protection | Survey Results

One of the greatest dangers on the Internet today is links sent in e-mail — called “embedded links”. A click on a link sent by a cyber-criminal can infect your machine, direct you to a bogus website which infects your machine and/or asks you to enter your private information (ID Theft) in a scheme known as “phishing”.
It is reported that cyber-criminals duped 9 million Americans last year (we’re so trusting and.. naive.).

I have advised my readers, never click the link. But .. people still do. So, I advise enabling a phishing filter. Currently, it is my humble opinion that the free tool from Web Of Trust (WOT) is the simplest to understand and easiest to use.

Today, the good folks at WOT alerted me that they are now integrated with Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail– better protection for us. Here’s a short video showing how it works.

And if video is not your thing, Fellow blogger Bill Mullins has an excellent write up on the new WOT, here.

Change of subject dept: (aka Survey Results!)
Earlier this week I posted a six question survey. I regret to confess that there were “trick” questions in there where more than one answer was ‘right’… and nobody (I don’t think) picked it up.

For just one example, I asked “What does 11101 equate to?” and the answers 29, eleven thousand one hundred and one, and Zip code were ‘correct’. (Albany, NY.) Yes. All three answers.
This being a “tech” site, I’m glad to report that 29 was by far and away the most popular answer. (

I also asked two questions about Microsoft Word, and I must say the answers I got fit pretty well with my preconceived notions and inherent prejudices.
Only one person though Office 2007 brought “much needed improvements”; the majority said Word was required for work/school (and they would stick w/Word 2003); and that in today’s day and age, Word is largely irrelevant.. I think it is the younger set that is picking up on this fact, and the older you are, the more likely you were to reply “must have”. I could be wrong, of course. But I think it is the way we were ‘trained’. (

I won’t go through the reader responses line for line, but I will say that the general tone showed much more tech-savvy than it would have ten years ago. And it was clear that (my readers, anyway) people are spending a lot of time online.. and making an effort to stay “hip” (to use some California lingo).

That makes sense. Broadband and mobile devices have made the Internet pretty much available to everyone, everywhere, any time. And so I would like to remind you that the Internet is a dangerous place, and not some well-policed Disneyland.

Be alert. Be wary. Be protected. And get WOT.

(Hey, pretty good how I tied that together, eh?)

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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November 21, 2008 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, cyber crime, e-mail, hackers, how to, Internet, Internet scam, News, PC, Phishing, phraud, Portable Computing, privacy, security, software, spam and junk mail, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What is a Szirbi?! (And my Top Movies list)

E-mails which spoof the site by sending messages saying “there is an update on friend information”, or send a video link with a message stating, “Here’s a link of you doing something stupid” contain links which will infect your computer with Scirzi and turn it into a spambot.
So many people have been infected this way that spam has tripled in the last week. This article, Szirbi Botnet Causes Spam To Triple In A Week explains further.
And please folks, don’t click the links in e-mails. If you really must go to the site, type (or Copy>Paste) the link into your browser bar.

Folks, it is summertime here where I live, and old Tech Paul is fixin’ to put on his flip flops, bermuda shorts, straw hat and just “chill out” for well-deserved several days of vacationing.
I will post some prior articles, and maybe a small article, but I won’t do any heavy lifting.

In the spirit of goofing off, and taking it easy, I spent a little time thinking about what movies I needed to gather up for my popcorn-and-favorite-movies-marathon, scheduled for sometime this week.
I wound up assembling a Top 30 Movies Of All Time list (I was aiming at 20.. then 25..) which I posit to you here for your consideration.

True Grit
Saving Private Ryan
Forrest Gump
North by Northwest
The Maltese Falcon
Double Indemnity
Key Largo
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The Big Sleep
Dr. Strangelove (How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb)
Rear Window
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World
The Caine Mutiny
The Shootist
Anatomy of a Murder
Best Years of Our Lives
It Happened One Night
Arsenic and Old Lace
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Searchers
The African Queen
Full Metal Jacket
The Sting
Witness for the Prosecution
The Wild Bunch
It’s a Wonderful Life
Die Hard
Night of the Living Dead
* Lonely are the Brave
* The Usual Suspects
* King Rat
* Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
* Stalag 17

I did spend a little time arranging them in order, but.. I am not convinced this is my final version of this list and that I’ll want to “tweak” it some. I am also fairly certain that shortly after posting this, I’ll have a slap-my-forehead moment and remember a title that should have been included… that’s how it usually works with me.

Your comments, input, and critiques are welcome.
[Note: I am not of the female persuasion, and so a chick flick (aka “romantic comedy”) will never appear on my Top Movies list. Please don’t bother to suggest any.]

* Oh! Yeah!

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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June 26, 2008 Posted by | computers, cyber crime, e-mail, Internet scam, spam and junk mail, tech | , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

People google the durndest things

I suppose I’m not alone in this, but I am a stat-watcher. It is a way for me to learn about you — the reader: about what topics you’re interested in and which ones you don’t bother to investigate (“you” in the broad sense). I love to get into all the statistical details, and sincerely believe that a fella cannot be presented with too many informational statistics — and I always want more. I hope Word Press brings back the Feed Stats, and does it soon.

I am fascinated by “keywords” that catch your eye: a great ‘for instance’ is that this blog is for the most part a ‘how to’ and is almost always posted in that “category”, and yet only one “view”, so far, has been linked from there. (What is that telling me???) It surprises me sometimes that my “catchiest” titles have the lowest number of views, and that I would get a lot more Google Search “hits” if I simply titled a post “System Restore”…as an example. [Now I don’t want you to think I’m ‘hit-desperate’, and would start resorting to such tricks. I’m not. Honest. But it does make one think…)

I am fascinated by which of my “Today’s free links” get used and which one’s don’t so much. It says nothing about which one is more useful than another, but it does tell me some things. For instance, apparently my readers already have anti-spyware tools or just aren’t concerned about malware, yet a large number just as apparently delete files they’ld like to get back. Curious. At least to me it is.

But the most interesting statistic is the Search Engine Links, which shows not only how many people found my article via a search on Google (Yes. I know. There are more engines than just Google.) but what words they used in their searches. These “search terms” have been the source of ideas for posts I’ve written, and will continue to be so. There is one inescapable factoid that becomes quickly obvious when reading these search terms, and that is: I am not as poor of a speller as I thought I was…by comparison. Of the many people who googled ‘system restore’, not one spelled it correctly. The folks at that outfit are doing a terrific job of not only deciphering our gibberish, but doing it in micro-seconds, and I for one am grateful for it. They sent me one spelled “sistim restro”…amazing!

Tip of the day: If you are like me and need a helping hand spelling a word every now and then you probably (like me) hailed the “built-in Spell Check utility” as the greatest thing since sliced bread. And you’ve probably learned over time (like me) that they miss far more than they catch, and cannot see the difference between they’re, there, and their, and generally aren’t much help at all. The one here on WordPress is terrible. You simply won’t be doing yourself any favors if you rely on spell-check, and I don’t care whose it is.

Instead, bookmark an online dictionary like Merriam-Webster and enter your word into their search box. Unlike a real dictionary, you don’t have to know how to spell the word to find out how to spell it. Enter “sistim” and the top choice of spellings/words is “system”. It gives definitions, so you can make sure it is the word you’re thinking of. And it has a thesaurus so you can find words with the same or similar meanings. Online dictionaries are great resources, and I hope you will find them as useful and handy as I have. I couldn’t write this post without one…

Let’s just have some fun with Today’s free link: offers free puzzles of all sorts (crosswords, soduku, jigsaw, etc.) and games like checkers and chess. Fit for the whole family.

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.



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June 24, 2007 Posted by | advice, computers, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment