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

Safest Web Browser – IE8

Internet Explorer 8 Tops Safety Testing Test

The primary way cyber-criminals do their dirty deeds — steal our identities, mail out huge batches of spam, plant malware infections, commit fraud, and disrupt business — is via the Internet. They “poison” websites with scripts that attack our machines. They send us infected attachments. They Instant Message us links to malware serving webpages.. etc., etc..

You, as a Internet surfer, need to be aware of these dangers and take proper precautions — which I have discussed here many times (Click here to read previous articles). One major security measure you can (read “should”) take is to use the latest version of a secure web browser.. but which one is the most secure?

NSS Labs performs recurring, standardized testing of web browser security. This includes rating protection against socially engineered malware and phishing attacks. The results are based upon empirically validated evidence gathered by NSS Labs during continuous 24×7 testing against fresh, live malicious sites.”

Q3 Browser Security results chart

As you can see, a default IE 8 scored more than twice as well as a default Firefox 3. If you are a Firefox user, please see 10 Firefox extensions that enhance security.
Internet Explorer users should be concerned by the fact that nearly 20% of crimeware samples were effective, and consider installing SpywareBlaster and an anti-phishing enhancement such as Link Scanner Lite, McAfee’s Site Advisor and/or the excellent WOT.

Here is the link to the NSS report: Q3 2009 Socially Engineered Malware and Phishing Test Report Summary

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

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November 20, 2009 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, cyber crime, Internet, PC, Phishing, security | , , | 1 Comment

Two Quick Announcements

* Regular readers will know that I frequently mention (and recommend) the Web Of Trust (WOT) web browser extension (a toolbar for IE, and a plug-in for Firefox) as a free, simple to use and understand, dangerous website alerting tool.

After installation, WOT examines URL’s (website addresses) and inserts a green, yellow, or red symbol next to them, to rate their danger level. It integrates into your search results, as well as Gmail, Yaward_publicityahoo! Mail, and Hotmail.

Today I received a notice from them that I had been part of a small group awarded special recognition for helping to spread word of this free security enhancer.. which has now been downloaded over 3 million times.
You’re quite welcome, folks at WOT. The Internet is a dangerous place (even the “safe and sane” sites get hacked) and I very much appreciate what you do.

Kind of a nice way to start my day..
For more on the award, click here. And to download this great plug-in, click here.

* And, regular readers will also recognize the name Bill Mullins. He is a highly regarded Internet Security blogger and the author of Tech Thoughts (The first website posted to my Blogroll). I often mention his articles.. and I highly recommend him to you.

Some while ago, I had the honor and privilege of being Mr. Mullins’ first Guest Author. I am pleased to announce that he now has devoted a newly created page on his site just for Guest Writers. This is a great opportunity for those of you who write tech-oriented articles, and would like to gain the exposure of appearing on a popular site.

Although there is currently only a few submissions, I expect this to develop into a wonderful “reading room” rather quickly.
http://billmullins.wordpress.com/guest-writers/

[note: no, I don’t know how to go about making your submission. I believe you’ll find his contact info on his About page.]

Part 3 is coming soon.. just have to figure it out and write it..

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

January 15, 2009 Posted by | blogging, Internet, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What is a “homepage”?

How do I make Google my homepage? That’s a question that’s come my way quite a bit recently, and in the spirit of “it’s the simple things which make the best articles”, today I am going to tell you how to set your browser so that it opens to your favorite website.. or webmail Inbox.

Tip of the day: Set your browser to your favorite website.
When you first open your web browser (or, sometimes, when you open a new tab in your browser) it will go to a predefined website. This “default” website may be the Big Fix, or Sign up for AOL; or more probably, the MSN portal. Whatever the site, your browser was set to behave that way at the manufacturer’s, or the retailer’s. Sometimes installing a program can change this page, too (if you don’t pay careful attention to the little checkboxes during setup). But this choice of page is not set in stone, and you can change it to whatever page you like, whenever you like.

This default opens-to page is your browser’s “Homepage”, and changing it is simple to do: basically all you’re going to do is erase what is there, and type in your URL (web address).
In IE: Open your Internet Options by clicking on “Tools” and selecting “Internet Options”.
iehmpg.jpg

In the screenshot above, I have just set my default open-to “homepage” to Google. All I have to do now is click on the “OK” button. You can, of course, choose any website you like.. I just used Google as an example.
[Note: this is a complete URL. I did not just type in “Google”, or “Google dot com”. You must include the “http://&#8221;.]

In Firefox: You will essentially do the same thing, except in Firefox they call your options “Options”. Click on “Tools” and select “Options”.
ff1.jpg

And again, you will delete the current URL and replace it with your choice.. again I will Google as my example.
ffopts.jpg
*Bonus tip: if you are tired of being asked whether you want to “Make Firefox your default browser”, uncheck the checkbox “Always check to see if Firefox is the default browser on startup”.

For those of you paying close attention, you will have noticed the “/ig” at the end of the URL. That is the address of “my” Google– my personalized Google page. You may have a personalized MSN or Yahoo or AOL (etc.) page yourself, which typically looks like “http://my.ispname.com”. If that is where you’d like your browser to start, you can manually type it into your Options, or navigate there and click in your address bar’s window. Copy the address by hitting Ctrl+C, and then Paste (Ctrl+V) in your Homepage Options.

Now, whenever you launch your browser, or click on the house icon, you will go straight to your favorite website.
*** If you are using a different browser than those mentioned here, fear not: the methodology is the same.

Today’s free link: [for Macs] Need a fun time-waster for your Mac? I have been playing with a true arcade classic, Asteroids, and I regret to say it is (almost) as addictive now as it was lo those many years ago. From site: “Asteroids is a free version of the classic arcade game for Mac. There are few fancy features or special effects, but each level gets more difficult. Definitely good for 30 minutes of endless fun.”

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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February 25, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, IE 7, PC, tech | , , , | Leave a comment