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Messages - Digerati

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Nope! Didn't work and I see why (if my theory is right) and that is because even though you edited the subject, the emails still include the single quote marks. So that must be in a cache somewhere.

I still see!/update-on-'is-this-a-good-laptop'/new/?topicseen#new

Computer Problems, Questions and Solutions! / Re: Flash Ads, Audio is on
« on: August 06, 2014, 12:43:08 PM »
Check your spam folder - especially if using a gmail email account, check gmail's spam folder. I keep finding email notifications in there. :(

I am so surprised by how many new clients/friends/family just can't seem to be inconvenienced with with good password for their vault, or any password at all on Windows.
I see it all the time. Especially no Windows account password. :(

Then I get complaints like "my [fill in the blank] used my computer and now... ...". Then the conversation continues along the line of,:
"Did you have a separate "Standard" or "Limited" account for guest users of your computer?"
"Why not?"
"Ummm. I dunno! Didn't think I needed one."
"Do you now?"

I tend to preach what I practice on this topic. I don't let ANYONE use my computer and I have a strong password on my account and my password safe. When the kids/grandkids or guest come, if they bring their own notebook, I will type in the passphrase to my wireless network to let them in the wireless side of my network. If they didn't bring their own notebook, there are two guest computers in the house they can use that are isolated from my main computers.

Well, more power to your dad. I am especially glad he is willing to use a password manager instead of a writing them down and hiding them under the keyboard. Sadly, while many folks are very conscientious about keeping their computers updated and using a good anti-malware solution, they often totally ignore (or are totally unaware of the need for) "physical" security. That is, protecting your computer (and all the accounts you access from your computer) from a badguy who breaks into your home and steals your stuff.

While most burglars only care about a quick buck selling the stolen goods, other badguys are more concerned about the "information" they can glean from your computer. They know that people want their passwords within arms-reach of their computer chair, so that is where they will search. If not written down on a pad or sticky-note, there's a good chance only your computer will be stolen and not your identity or all the $$$ in your bank accounts.

The trick, of course, is to have a strong password for your safe. That means alphanumeric, and special characters, preferably at least 8 characters long. No pet, kid, grandkid names, no birthdays or anniversaries, phone numbers or street addresses. And of course, don't write the safe's password down, but don't forget it either. Or if he must at first write it down until burned into memory, don't keep it anywhere near the computer and don't label the note! That sounds like common sense, but for some reason, common sense seems to fly out the window at times. 

BTW, I hope everybody uses a password on their computers so it needs to be entered whenever you boot or wake the computer. It will not keep a pro out, but most burglars are not pros, by any means. They just want quick buck for a quick fix.

General Software News, Updates & Discussions / Re: Defraggler Discussion
« on: August 02, 2014, 05:12:19 PM »
I found 5 replies for here, 2 for Sysnative, and 1 from my bank. :(

Sorry I did not reply earlier. I found the email notice of your reply, along with several other notices, in gmail's spam folder.  :angry:

From what I remember Windows Defender was introduced at about the time Vista appeared then MSE came a little later which was meant to be an improvement on WD. If I read correctly you are saying that WD is nowadays the best anti-virus program from Microsoft?
Adding to Corrine's comment, back in Vista days, one of the best anti-spyware programs was a program called Giant Anti-Spyware. Microsoft bought it, changed the name to Windows Defender, then released it as a free product for all. But note, it was an anti-spyware program, not anti-malware. It did not scan for, or remove viruses, Trojans or worms, for example.

Then MSE was released. MSE is a full anti-malware program and scans for viruses, Trojans, worms and other malicious code, and spyware too.

Then Microsoft's misguided branding folks stuck their nose in it. For Windows 8 ONLY, they renamed MSE to Windows Defender. It is NOT the same program as the old Windows Defender and should not be confused with it.

MSE on W7 is essentially the same program as WD on W8. The main difference is WD is integrated into W8. Since MS does have a paid anti-malware solution, I am not sure WD in W8 is the "best" anti-malware Microsoft makes, but it is a good one, and one I use.
I have heard of stand alone Password Managers but know little of them. Do you have any knowledge on this matter?
I highly recommend the use of a good software based password safe. With a password safe you only have to remember one (ideally, very strong) password, the one into your safe. I've been glued to a Palm PDA of some sort since the Palm III, and a happy user of SplashID Safe almost as long. If your phone/PDA is similarly attached to you, I highly recommend it. All your passwords stay with you - totally encrypted. But the best part for me is not the mobile app, it is the Windows Desktop version that comes with the package.  It is an excellent safe that lets you categorize passwords, kids social security #s, floor safe combination, bicycle locks, PINs, credit cards, bank accounts - whatever and however you want. Then it syncs with your phone/PDA's safe for an instant, secure backup!! A good thing.

If you don't need a PDA version, the SplashID Desktop version is excellent on it's own, though perhaps a bit pricey. Other recommended safes include, Password Safe, KeePass Password Safe, and RoboForm is a favorite of many.

I use the free version of Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware but have always been wary of using two real-time programs, I have to say this is the first occasion that I have heard that it can be used with other real-time anti-virus products. Do you know specifically if it works well alongside Norton products?
MBAM is pretty unique in that it does play well with other anti-programs, including Norton (which I am NOT a fan off - too bloated and too expensive without providing any real security advantage - but it does work).

That said, there is no problem with the free version of MBAM because that does not have the "real-time" scanner. It is "on-demand" only. In the olden days, running two real-times scanners would occasionally cause "conflicts" - I liken it to,  "two dogs guarding the same bone, each wondering what the other is up to".

Today, most antimalware programs are well behaved so "conflicts" are not the issue. But wasted resources can be.

General Software News, Updates & Discussions / Re: Defraggler Discussion
« on: August 02, 2014, 04:22:52 PM »
BTW, I just found the notice that Corrine made this topic a sticky on July 30 - in gmail's spam folder.  :angry:

So for those using gmail, another reminder to check you spam folders for false positives at least every 3 weeks because tagged (falsely or not) spam is purged after 30 days.

I don't know what software is included.
That depends on what you want to do with this computer. But regardless, you need to ensure your security is setup first. Fortunately, that is super easy with W8/8.1.

Windows 8.1 comes with Windows Defender (WD), an enhanced version of Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). I use WD on all my W8 systems and MSE on all my W7 systems. WD is a fully capable anti-malware solution and is kept updated via Windows Update - which means you, the user, don't have to learn anything new to keep current. Windows also includes a capable firewall, Windows Firewall.

Technically, if you keep Windows fully updated and you avoid risky behavior (illegal filesharing via torrents or P2P, visiting illegal porn or gambling sites, or being "click happy" on unsolicited downloads, attachments or link), your computer should remain safe with Windows 8.1's integrated solutions. Remember, the user is always the weakest link in security.

However, it is generally recommended you have a second anti-malware scanner just to make sure the primary solution, or you the user, did not let something sneak by. For that, I recommend Malwarebytes's Anti-Malware (MBAM). The free version is fine if you remember to regularly run it. The paid version (which has a real-time component running full time in the background) is unique among anti-malware solutions because it plays and coexists well with other solutions (not always a given with other alternatives).

If you decide to use an alternative anti-malware solution besides WD (or Windows Firewall), that's fine too, as long as they are decent, and you keep them updated. But regardless the solution of choice, you still should have a 2nd scanner such as MBAM for double-checking.

I am not a fan of recurring fees for software, but the new MBAM Premium may very well be one of those exceptions, and is definitely worth considering.

Other security considerations include a spam blocker. Many email programs now include one and most web based email program do too. If you get lots of emails each day though multiple accounts, a 3rd party spam blocker may be what you need and for that, IMO, nothing can beat MailWasher Pro.

I also recommend every home computer be behind a router - even with networks of just one computer. A hardware based router adds a HUGE layer of security you cannot get via software alone.

WinPatrol is another of my must have utilities/security programs. While you can do all sorts of things with WinPatrol, it's core feature is monitoring (and allowing you to control) what gets loaded when Windows starts. This is great for detecting new startup programs (like unnecessary auto-updaters and services) when installing new programs. WinPatrol will yell (bark actually) at you, prompting you to allow or reject such changes.

IE11 is included with W8. Don't let anyone talk you into believing IE is not a secure browser - if they try, it is clear they don't know what they are talking about. The only reason to use an alternative browser as your default is simply because you prefer the look and feel of the alternative. And that's fine! I use IE11 but I also have Chrome and FF installed and I will occasionally call them up to verify if a site is working/rendering properly. But admittedly, keeping 3 browsers fully updated (an essential part of "practicing safe computing) is a bit of a PITA, especially when the alternatives are not part of Windows Update.

After that (setting up security), it goes back to what you want to do with this computer. If heavy into creating word processing documents, spreadsheets, or presentations, you may want to install Office, or one of the free alternatives, like OpenOffice.

Slim may be the way to go but I sure would not wait a week for it to come. Frankly, I think Piriform's intent is good, but I don't think the results necessarily are. The reason I say that is because EVERYONE should ALWAYS choose the "Custom Install" option whenever installing ANY program, regardless its source. And I worry someone will become complacent with slim versions and assume they are getting a clean, fluff-free installation of ONLY the program you want. While I trust Piriform to not violate that "understanding", they can - if not intentionally, by accident. And certainly other companies may not be trustworthy at all.

So even if installing the Slim version, users still need to choose the Custom Install option. And since the Custom Install option on the full package allows you to opt-out of extras (not to mention, allows you to install CCleaner on the drive and under the folder of YOUR choice, not theirs), I say go for the full package to ensure you have the most recent version.

The only time I really recommend the slim version is for those running out of disk space and I don't generally do that because Windows Disk Cleanup is already installed - it does not really make sense to install yet another program that takes up space when disk space is already at a premium.

Computer Problems, Questions and Solutions! / Re: Merging Drives?
« on: June 30, 2014, 02:12:36 PM »
That's definitely much better, but still only temporary.

Computer Problems, Questions and Solutions! / Re: Merging Drives?
« on: June 30, 2014, 01:23:41 PM »
2.3"M"egabytes? Well, that's nothing but now that the PF has more room to work in, you might see some improvement in overall performance.

Your boot drive will start filling up again with temporary files so run Windows Disk Cleanup on a regular basis to keep it "tidy".

Computer Problems, Questions and Solutions! / Re: Merging Drives?
« on: June 30, 2014, 11:38:25 AM »
freed up an extra 1.35GB on my C drive. Gives me good breathing space.
Not "good" but "more" breathing space. Many of my colleagues recommend having at least 20Gb free on the boot drive.

Moving the PF is easy. Here is an excellent tutorial. There are other things you can change that can help too - for example, you can Move the My Documents folder to the larger partition.

That said, these are small temporary measures to ease the crowding until your partitions can be resized.  And FTR, I would recommend making that C drive at least 60Gb, if not 100Gb or more.

Computer Problems, Questions and Solutions! / Re: Merging Drives?
« on: June 29, 2014, 01:17:34 PM »
Well, I would still run Windows Disk Cleanup on your boot drive. Windows needs lots of free space to operate in. I would also consider moving your Page File to that big partition. It is not normally suggested unless moving to a separate physical drive (not another partition on the same drive) but in this case, you need the space.

And lastly, I would backup any data you don't want to lose now if you don't already have a current copy.

Computer Problems, Questions and Solutions! / Re: Merging Drives?
« on: June 28, 2014, 12:54:56 PM »
Correct - programs installed to a different drive "letter" (partition or separate drive) using an installation routine that writes file locations and configuration settings to the Registry will not work. But note you often don't have to do a full reinstall. For example, Office - typically you can run Microsoft Office Diagnostics and it will reset all the Registry settings for you! :) Very nice!

Computer Problems, Questions and Solutions! / Re: Merging Drives?
« on: June 28, 2014, 12:07:23 PM »
EaseUS Partition Master will merge partitions for you - but do note ANY time you mess with a drive's partitions tables, there is the risk something will go wrong and all data will be lost. So make sure you have backed up your data first.

What is E drive?

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