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Thu, 18 Aug 2005

More Ramblings. . . Maybe it's the heat!

Let me see, what have I been meaning to tell you? I know I wanted to remind you all that both Spybot and Adaware have updated their main programs. I suggest you visit their web pages to make sure you're running the latest version. I also wanted to remind you to keep your Windows machines properly patched. Heck, Microsoft is so nice they've now got automatic updates set up so you hardly have to think about updating. Of course we all know that if you don't use it, you lose it. This applies to the brain too, so having everything done for you on your computer could lead to brain atrophy. Nevertheless, I'd suggest you make use of Microsoft's updates even if some of them are meant for purposes other than the protection of your computer. The need to patch the holes in the operating system negates the intrusion on your personal life I guess. Personally, I'd rather do it all manually, and pay attention to what they're loading on my computer, but it would require quite a commitment on my part or yours. However, choose that option, you will earn my admiration and I'll take back anything bad I've ever said about you!

I found a neat little script that gets rid of several really nasty desktop hijackers, but don't think it's for use by the general public. It's a great tool though, makes my job a LOT easier. Those desktop hijackers are *evil*! I have also found Spysweeper by the people at webroot.com to be a fine program for scanning for adware and spyware. It is, however, a program you have to pay for, and it also needs to be configured carefully, or some of its benefits will be overshadowed by some of its *features*.

AOL's adware/spyware stuff (version 9) seems to work fairly well. They've also apparently tamed the software somewhat, and with a little tweaking it can be made to work acceptably. I'd still suggest avoiding the AOL 9, Norton or McAffee combination. I'd also suggest that if you want a firewall, and I'm in favor of them, you invest in some kind of broadband router. A router will have a firewall built in. This option is far better than attempting to use a software firewall on your Windows machine. We usually have a router or two in stock if you want to take a look at one.

... Last reminder. If you find yourself infected or infested with malware, and are running Windows XP or Windows 2000, remember to clean from safe mode first. Make sure you clean from any accounts available in safe mode. Then boot to regular mode and clean all accounts on the machine. It's worth the time it takes.

Speaking of "the time it takes". . . If you're on a dialup connection, you're probably going to find it increasingly impossible to update and patch your operating system and all the programs you need to keep everything running. The patches and updates are large, and with limited bandwidth it can be a bit overwhelming. Should you find yourself in this situation, you can always bring your machine in every few months to have all the updates and patches installed on your machine for the modest fee of 30.00.

I guess that about covers everything for the moment. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and feel free to call if you have a computer problem of any kind.

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