Posts tagged ‘Internet security’
The SafeSearch setting you select on the Search settings page applies to anyone using the same Web browser and computer as you. If you have a Google Account, you can lock the setting so that other users of the computer don’t change it.
Watch the video below to learn more about locking SafeSearch.
You can tell at a glance if the lock is engaged
When the SafeSearch lock is on, the top of the search results page looks different in two ways: ‘SafeSearch is locked’ is displayed below the search box, and the colored balls appear on the right. The results page is designed to look different enough that you can immediately tell whether the lock is on or off — even from across the room.
Follow these steps to lock SafeSearch:
1. Visit the Search settings page.
2. Click Lock SafeSearch below the filter levels.
3. If you’re not signed in to your Google Account, you’ll be prompted to sign in.
(Don’t have a Google Account? You can create one.)
4. Once you’re signed in, click Lock SafeSearch. This step takes a moment,
because strict filtering is being applied to all Google domains.
5. You’ll see a confirmation page once the lock is engaged.
Tips about browsers and settings
* If you have more than one browser on your computer,
you need to set the lock on each one individually.
* If your computer has more than one user profile (for example, a family
computer), you need to set the lock on each appropriate profile.
* Make sure your browser is set to allow cookies.
Using Safari? You may need to change the default setting and enable third-party cookies for the lock to work.
View more news videos at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video.
An expert from Geeks on Call explains how software used to turn on your webcam into a spying device.
NBC Philadelphia – Tracy Davidson
Call us today 1-800-905-GEEK (4335) or visit us online www.geeksoncall.com
More than 74,000 PCs at nearly 2,500 organizations around the globe were compromised over the past year and a half in a botnet infestation designed to steal login credentials to bank sites, social networks, and e-mail systems, a security firm said Wednesday.
The systems were infected with the Zeus Trojan and the botnet was dubbed “Kneber” after a username that linked the infected PCs on corporate and government systems, according to NetWitness.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Merck, Cardinal Health, Paramount Pictures, and Juniper Networks were among the targets in the attack. NetWitness speculated that criminals in Eastern Europe using a command-and-control server in Germany sent attachments containing the malware in e-mails or links to the malware on Web sites that employees within the companies clicked on.
NetWitness said it discovered more than 75 gigabytes worth of stolen data during routine analytic tasks as part of an evaluation of a client network on January 26. The cache of stolen data included 68,000 corporate login credentials, access to e-mail systems, online banking sites, Facebook, Yahoo, Hotmail, 2,000 SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate files and data on individuals, NetWitness said in a statement and in a whitepaper available for download from its Web site.
In addition to stealing specific data, Zeus can be used to search for and steal any file on the computer, download and execute programs and allow someone to remotely control the computer.
More than half of the compromised machines were also infected with peer-to-peer bot malware called Waledac, the company said. Nearly 200 countries were affected, with most of the infections found in Egypt, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States.
The news comes after Google announced an attack targeting it and what is believed to be more than 30 other companies and which was linked back to China. McAfee dubbed that attack “Operation Aurora.”
“While Operation Aurora shed light on advanced threats from sponsored adversaries, the number of compromised companies and organizations pales in comparison to this single botnet,” said Amit Yoran, chief executive of NetWitness and former Director of the National Cyber Security Division. “These large-scale compromises of enterprise networks have reached epidemic levels.”
February 17, 2010 6:59 PM PST
by Elinor Mills
Call us today 1-800-905-GEEK (4335) or visit us online www.geeksoncall.com
Our Geeks on Call customers often tell us that one of the most difficult decisions they face is the decision whether to “repair” a PC that is giving them problems or simply replace it. This decision has been made more difficult in recent years by the dramatic decline in the price of PC’s. Every day, on their websites and through the mail, the “big box” consumer electronics stores are promoting deals that seem almost too good to be true.
Furthermore, the cost of “repairing” a PC problem, which usually reflects primarily labor, has not declined commensurately, and in fact has risen during this period of price declines for hardware.
People say to me and to our Techs all the time, “I can get a brand new computer for $400, so why would I spend $250 or $300 fixing this ‘older’ one?”
As with any other business decision you face, it is important to gather all of the relevant information that might influence your ultimate choice, and to seek advice from someone who is knowledgeable and whom you trust.
Recently, a customer who is also a good friend contacted me regarding what she referred to as an “older Dell PC” that was taking a long time to boot up and, more recently, had been showing signs of having a virus infection. She wanted to know approximately how much it would cost to repair this PC, and commented that if it was going to be more than $200 or so, she would probably just buy a new computer. She ended her message by asking what I would advise her to do.
Generally I don’t like it very much when I ask someone a question and they respond by asking me a question. In this case, however, that is exactly what needs to happen. Indeed, I sent her a list of quite a few questions, asked her to send the answers back to me, and told her that I would then make an informed and somewhat educated recommendation.
Here are the questions I sent to her. For the most part, they are applicable to just about any such “repair or replace” decision:
- How old is this “older Dell desktop” exactly?
- What operating system is it running? (Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Pro, Vista, etc.)
- How much RAM does the computer have? (256 MB, 512 MB, 1,024 MB, etc.)
- What size is the hard drive? (20 GB, 40 GB, 80 GB, etc.)
- How much of that space is free?
- Are there application programs on that desktop that you would have to replace if you bought a new computer? (The most common one is MS Office, which has Word, Excel, Outlook, etc., but you may also use programs such as Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, QuickBooks, etc.)
- If yes, do you have the original installation CDs for these application programs, with their installation or validation keys? (Especially important for any Microsoft product, like Office, which can be expensive to replace depending on the version you need.)
- You seem to suggest that it was running very slowly and taking a long time to boot up even before it became infected with a virus. Is that correct?
- What exactly makes you think that the computer has contracted a virus?
- Is there or was there a virus protection program on the desktop, and if so, was it regularly updating virus profiles and was it actually running at all times that the computer was connected to the Internet?
- Is this computer used by someone to access email? If so, are they accessing email by going out to their Web-based accounts only (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.,) or are they actually downloading emails using a POP account in an email client such as Outlook or Outlook Express? If the latter, what email client are they using?
- Assuming the computer will at least boot (albeit slowly,) have you tried running a virus scan?
- Have you tried self-help performance enhancers such as disk cleanup, disk defragmenter, deleting temporary files, etc.?
- Do you have a backup of the user data on this PC (documents, pictures, spreadsheets, etc.?) (If you use a USB drive – commonly called a jump drive, flash drive, or thumb drive – to backup these files and you suspect that you may have a virus, do NOT insert that USB drive into any other computer. Viruses can be inadvertently transferred from one computer to another by doing that.)
- Are you happy with the monitor and printer that are connected to this computer, or would you take the opportunity to replace either or both of them if you were to get a new computer?
- Assuming this computer is connected to your home network using a cable that is plugged into a the wall, would it enhance your user experience if the computer had wireless capability so that it could be moved to a different location, including one that is not wired for network attachment.
- And perhaps the most important question of all — Has there been any significant change in the way in which you use this PC since it was first acquired? For example, do you spend much more time on the Internet now, or are you operating a business using the PC whereas you were not before?
The significance of some of these questions to the “repair or replace” decision should be obvious. The point is, there is no right or wrong answer that applies in all cases. Some people just like having the latest and greatest and replace their PC’s every couple of years as they might do with a new car. Others are more resource constrained, and the opportunity to save $150 or $200 or more is significant. For these folks, the older computer was meeting their needs just fine before it started acting up, and they would love to get another year or two out of it.
Whichever camp you are in , it is useful to point out that most people significantly underestimate what it would cost to completely replace a PC, including transferring all user files from the old PC and reinstalling third party programs such as those mentioned in one of the questions above. (For the most part, programs — unlike user data — cannot simply be copied over from the old PC.)
People see those “big box” ads that seem to suggest that you can get a really nice new PC for $400. Well, you can, but all it has on it is the Operating System, and it won’t, of course, have any of your applications (unless you order and pay for those separately when you order the computer). Nor will it have any of your user files, so those will have to be copied and transferred over to the new computer.
Because the “new” PC has been sitting on a warehouse or store shelf for a while, there will need to be updates downloaded and applied to the operating system. Some of the “junk” or promotional software and trial versions that were installed by the manufacturer should probably be removed or at least updated before activation.
Are you prepared to do these things yourself? If not, be sure to factor in the cost of paying a Technician to set up your new PC and perform the data transfer.
It is not a given that repairing your older PC and/or restoring or enhancing its previous level of performance will necessarily cost a lot of money. If a computer is badly infected, that’s one thing. But if it just needs a tuneup and perhaps a memory upgrade, you can get those things taken care of for less than half the cost of a new PC.
My general recommendation is, if the computer is basically sound and just needs a virus removal and/or performance tuneup, then go with that. If it needs a full Operating System reload and some hardware upgrades are needed (such as a larger or additional hard drive or more RAM,) then you might be better off just getting a new one. Each case is unique. There is no right or wrong answer. However, one of our Techs or any computer technologist whom you trust can help you make the decision that is best for you.
Be careful about seeking this advice from someone who actually works in one of the “big box” stores. Remember, the people they work for are ultimately measured on how much new hardware they sell. If I may paraphrase one of my favorite Shakespearean metaphors, “A Geek by any other name may give advice that doesn’t smell all that sweet.”
Call us today 1-800-905-GEEK (4335) or visit us online www.geeksoncall.com
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ — Since the late-fall acquisition by On Call Holdings International, LLC (OCHI), Geeks On Call has reorganized, refocused and is methodically expanding its reach of businesses and the services it provides.
“We will be the premiere provider for small and medium-sized businesses for both technical support and telecommunications services,” announced OCHI CEO Glenn Davis. ”The Geeks On Call brand will continue to provide expert assistance for the individual user, but the partnerships we’ve created will expand services for business telecom needs.” Davis has revamped the Geeks On Call website, www.geeksoncall.com, to make it more interactive and user friendly.
Davis was the President of Comverge, a successful telecommunications firm based in Hampton Roads, Virginia, which has provided business telecom services for the past eight years. He initiated the Geeks On Call acquisition with the goals of returning the organization to profitability, renewing the partnership and connection with franchisees, and growing the business model to a more modern marketplace. The deal included all of the franchise agreements, trademarks and brand of Geeks On Call.
“It’s honestly a case study of how to make a deal to turn a company around,” explained Davis. ”But the hardest work was to restore confidence of our franchisees.”
Goal number one was to repair, strengthen and reenergize the existing 129 franchises, and earn their trust in Davis’ business model and his plans for profitability. To date, franchisees have been excited and positive about the new leadership and the positive direction. In just a few short months, Geeks On Call has grown to 190 franchises.
On Call Holding International’s next step will be to maximize existing partnerships to grow Geeks On Call into servicing small and medium-size businesses with technical support and telecommunications services.
It’s a part of business services that Davis’ team knows all too well. ”I thought the marriage of the Geeks On Call technical expertise and our experience in business telecom was a natural fit,” explained Davis.
Leveraging partnerships with companies like Qwest, ACC – an AT&T company, Paetec and Cavalier Telephone will bring substantial benefits to clients. Geeks On Call plans to consider additional franchisees by the end of the second quarter.
CONTACT: Brian Kirwin, +1-757-718-3225, email@example.com, for Geeks On Call
SOURCE Geeks On Call
Is Mozilla becoming too much like Microsoft?
In a strange bit of irony, Mozilla, the foundation behind the popular open-source Firefox browser, increasingly relies on Microsoft’s playbook to promote Firefox adoption. No, Mozilla executives aren’t secretly plotting an open-source monopoly to replace Microsoft’s, and, indeed, are focusing precisely on doing the opposite.
But the answer to the “Why Firefox?” question increasingly sounds the same as the answer to “Why Windows?”
Namely, community/application support, to the exclusion of significant improvements in its performance.I’ve been using Google’s Chrome browser on Linux, Mac, and Windows during the past week and it screams. While Firefox hogs system resources, Google Chrome gets its job done much faster and with far fewer resources.
There’s more to Mozilla’s marketing, of course. Mozilla executive Mitchell Baker talks urgently and eloquently about the importance of an open Web, served by a community-driven, completely open browser.
But at its foundation, Mozilla’s argument sounds eerily similar to Microsoft’s: we may not be faster, but we have a better community.
After using Chrome for a week, I’m not sure this will be enough. Chrome, after all, has support for the Firefox extensions that I care most about (like AdBlock), and it has internalized others within its standard features (like “Pin tab” instead of relying on Faviconize, as I do in Firefox). And Chrome marries these to a super-fast browsing experience.
Microsoft for years has argued that it’s better simply because it has broad application support.
This is a compelling differentiator, but is it the one that we really want for Firefox?
I know I don’t. I love the Firefox browser. It has been my preferred browser for years, and I expect it to remain such.
But however much I may prefer Firefox because of its third-party extension support and its cross-platform approach, it’s not going to be enough if Chrome pulls significantly ahead in performance and catches up with add-on support. Not while Firefox consumes so much of my system resources and follows, rather than leads, Google in speed.
Mozilla has been improving Firefox performance, but not as rapidly as Google has been increasing Chrome’s, in my experience. This needs to change.
Community is a compelling differentiator for Firefox. But it’s not the only one, and it may not be enough if Mozilla doesn’t leverage that community to outpace Google Chrome performance.
by Matt Asay
After all the posturing of the past few weeks, Google CEO Eric Schmidt apparently still thinks that his company can change China.
In comments at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Schmidt continued to soften his rhetoric toward the government of China, which Google all but accused of orchestrating a cyberattack that resulted in the theft of intellectual property. “We like what China is doing in terms of growth…we just don’t like censorship. We hope that will change and we can apply some pressure to make things better for the Chinese people,” Schmidt said, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Google is trying to determine the future scope of its presence in China. Two weeks ago it declared that unless Google was allowed to offer an uncensored search engine in China, it would shut down its existing censored search engine and would consider pulling out of China entirely. Since then, Google has appeared to try and find middle ground between itself and the Chinese government.
“We like the Chinese people. We like our Chinese employees,” Schmidt said last week on Google’s fourth-quarter earnings call. “We remain committed to being there.” On the same day, however, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised Google for standing up against censorship and told Internet companies that they have a “shared responsibility” with the U.S. government in ensuring free access to the Internet for the world.
It seems unlikely that Google’s ultimatum really will change Chinese censorship laws, but stranger things have happened. Google is believed to be discussing its options in China, which could involve maintaining a software-development or research presence even if Google.cn disappears.
by Tom Krazit
January 29, 2010 11:03 AM PST
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With a boost from the release of Windows 7, Microsoft on Thursday said that its quarterly revenue topped $19 billion as the company sold a record number of copies of its operating system.
The software maker said it earned $6.66 billion, or 74 cents per share, on revenue of $19.02 billion for the three-month period that ended December 31. Those results included revenue deferred from the prior quarter, as the company was preparing for Windows 7 and offering free upgrades to those who bought Windows Vista-based computers. Excluding the deferred revenue, Microsoft said it had revenue of $17.31 billion, and diluted earnings per share would have totaled 60 cents per share.
“Exceptional demand for Windows 7 led to the positive top-line growth for the company,” chief financial officer Peter Klein said in a statement. “Our continuing commitment to managing costs allowed us to drive earnings performance ahead of the revenue growth.”
Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner touted the record quarter for Windows unit sales, spurred by the Oct. 22 launch of Windows 7. “We are thrilled by the consumer reception to Windows 7 and by business enthusiasm to adopt Windows 7,” he said in a statement.
The company said that through the end of December it had sold more than 60 million Windows 7 licenses, which it said made Windows 7 the fastest selling operating system in history.
In October, Microsoft reported better-than-expected sales, also boosted by stronger demand for Windows.
The company said overall PC sales grew 15 percent to 17 percent in the quarter, although that was led by a 20 percent growth in consumer sales as the business market remained roughly flat. The market for new servers remained weak, down slightly year over year, although Microsoft’s server and tools business unit managed to grow revenue 2 percent as compared with a year ago.
Microsoft’s online unit saw its revenue dip 5 percent, led by a 2 percent drop in online advertising, although the company noted that its Bing search engine continues to gain market share.
The Microsoft Business Division, which includes Office, saw sales off 3 percent, perhaps as customers await this year’s launch of Office 2010.
On the Xbox side, Microsoft said it sold 5.2 million consoles during the quarter, down 13 percent from a year ago, leading the entertainment and devices unit to post a double-digit decline in revenue.
The company didn’t give a full forecast for the coming quarter, saying it would have more to say on a 2:30 p.m. PST conference call. It did tell analysts to expect operating expenses for the full fiscal year ending June 30 to total $26.2 billion to $26.5 billion.
Here’s a chart of how each of Microsoft’s individual business units performed:
Update 2:40 p.m. PT: On its conference call, Microsoft executives said that essentially all of the company’s growth came from the consumer side of its business. Business spending stabilized some in the quarter, but is not yet seeing growth, Microsoft said.
Netbooks were about 11 percent of the market, roughly flat with both the prior quarter and a year ago. Microsoft said that 90 percent of those devices were running Windows, with Windows 7 accounting for “well over half of that.”
2:45 p.m. PT: Microsoft executives “continue to be hopeful” that the company’s Yahoo search deal will be approved by regulators early this year. The software maker said that it cut 800 jobs during the quarter and that its staff levels are down 8 percent from a year ago.
2:50 p.m. PT: Looking forward, Microsoft said that it sees some reasons to be optimistic.
“Heading into 2010, we are encouraged by the possibility of improving market conditions,” Klein said, as well as by new products like Project Natal and Office 2010.
The company also says it expects some improvements over the next two quarters in server shipments, which have been declining for several quarters. The company said it also sees a pick-up in online ads. “The outlook for online advertising appears to be improving,” Klein said.
by Ina Fried
January 28, 2010 1:11 PM PST
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AP – SAN FRANCISCO – Apple will sell its newly unveiled tablet-style iPad starting at $499.
The iPad resembles an iPhone, but larger. Apple will sell some iPad models with data plans from AT&T, with no contract required.
Apple Inc. will have to convince consumers, many of whom already have Internet-connected phones, computers and TVs, that they’ll want to pay that much for such a device, when many small, lightweight “netbooks” cost less than $400.
CEO Steve Jobs says the iPad will be better for reading books, playing games and watching video than either a laptop or a smart phone.
The initial price is likely to drop. Apple sold the first iPhone for $599 but slashed the price to $399 after a few months, upsetting early buyers.
AP – SAN FRANCISCO – Apple CEO Steve Jobs has unveiled the iPad, a tablet-style computer that resembles the iPhone, but larger.
“It’s so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone,” Jobs said Wednesday at the device’s highly anticipated debut in San Francisco.
Apple had kept its “latest creation” under wraps, though many analysts had corrctly speculated that it would be a one-piece tablet computer with a big touch screen, larger than an iPhone but smaller than a laptop.
Jobs demonstrated how the iPad is used for surfing the Web with Apple’s Safari browser. He typed an e-mail using an on-screen keyboard and flipped through photo albums by flicking his finger across the screen.
The CEO says the iPad will also be better for reading books, playing games and watching video than either a laptop or a smart phone.
No price or information on availability was immediately announced.
Now Apple will have to convince consumers, many of whom already have Internet-connected phones, computers and TVs, that that’s the case. Tablet computers have existed for a decade, with little success.
Shares in Apple fell $4.65, or 2.3 percent, to $201.29 in afternoon trading Wednesday. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s shares have more than doubled over the past year, partly on anticipation of the tablet computer.