Computer Advice

How To's


Practically anything you can think of is on the internet. When you want to find something on the internet, or learn about something, the best place to start is with your favorite search engine. I prefer Google. When looking for something using a search engine, start by entering one or more descriptive keywords such as "Elks", or "Elks lodge BPOE". To narrow your search, enter more keywords such as "Elks lodge BPOE Georgia Dalton".

Copy And Paste

One way to copy and paste is to use the mouse to highlight the content you want to copy, and then using the mouse choose Edit then Copy from the menu. To paste the content you just copied using the mouse choose Edit and Paste. However, a keyboard shortcut copy content you have hightlighted is press and hold the CTRL key and press the C key. Then when you want to past the content press and hold the CTRL key and press the V key.

Do's And Don'ts

Windows Updates - DO

Chances are that you have been asked/aggrivated to download/install Windows updates. You may think that this is an annoyance, but you need to receive all Windows updates that it recommends. These updates correct problems as well as enhance performance.

Antivirus Definition Updates - DO

Make sure to update the virus definitions for your antivirus software. Most antivirus software has a built-in automated updater that will look for and retrieve updates as they are available. Verify that your antivirus software definitions are up-to-date. If they are not up-to-date, the antivirus software does not know how to identify certain viruses. This can cause your computer to become infected.

Push In CD/DVD Tray - DON'T

We all know that to open the CD/DVD tray on a computer we simply press the button on the CD/DVD player. However, most people do not close the tray properly. While pushing the tray in and allowing it to close does work, it can cause the plastic gears to wear out over time. This wear can cause the tray to no longer open and close properly. Instead, to close the tray, simply press the button on the CD/DVD player again. I know this isn't as easy, but it will prevent damage to the gears and help to prolong the life of your CD/DVD reader/writer.

Turn Off Computer Using The Power Button - DON'T

If you use the power button to turn off your computer, you run a high risk of corrupting Windows system files. This can cause your computer to not boot or operate properly. Always choose the Turn Off option in Windows. This will allow Windows to shut down properly before turning off the computer.


What Is Phishing

In the field of computer security, phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT Administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. Even when using server authentication, it may require tremendous skill to detect that the website is fake. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to fool users, and exploits the poor usability of current web security technologies. Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation, user training, public awareness, and technical security measures.

A phishing technique was described in detail in 1987, and the first recorded use of the term "phishing" was made in 1996. The term is a variant of fishing, probably influenced by phreaking, and alludes to baits used to "catch" financial information and passwords.

Avoid Being Victimized By Phishing Fraud

Be extremely cautious during this current financial turmoil. Over the next few months, online criminals may take advantage of recent business and economic changes. You are encouraged to familiarize yourself with common fraud tactics, such as phishing emails and fraudulent Web sites, and learn ways to protect yourself online.

You may receive emails that attempt to collect your personal and confidential account information. A phishing email may fraudulently state that you are required to update your account, your account has been deactivated, or some other problem has arisen. Often this type of email includes a link that, when clicked, directs you to a Web site, which is designed to resemble the target Corporate Web site. These emails could also contain links that attempt to download malicious software (unauthorized software commonly referred to as a virus or malware).

Be Suspicious If You Notice These Warning Signs

  • Botched Design - Distorted or oddly sized logos
  • Poor Grammar - Legitimate companies will avoid using incorrect grammar
  • Misspellings - Misspelled words, especially if there are several misspelled words within a single message
  • Sense of Urgency - Urgent messaging designed to solicit and capture confidential account and personal information or that contains links to patches and downloads.
  • Protect Yourself

  • Do not share your login access codes for Online Services with any third party
  • Install anti-virus/anti-spyware software and make sure your software is up-to-date
  • Review your account statements carefully. Regular account review helps to detect fraudulent activity quickly.
  • What To Do if You Receive a Suspicious Email

    If you receive a suspicious email with any of the warning signs noted above, or you have reason to suspect an email may be a phishing attempt, do not respond to or click on any links within the email. Please forward the email to the abuse email address of the target company and then delete it. When forwarding a suspicious email, do not modify the original subject line or content within the email, and do not include any personal or confidential information such as checking account numbers, User ID and Password, credit card numbers or Social Security Numbers.

    Spyware / Adware / Malware


    Definition - Spyware is computer software that is installed surreptitiously on a personal computer to intercept or take partial control over the user's interaction with the computer, without the user's informed consent.

    While the term spyware suggests software that secretly monitors the user's behavior, the functions of spyware extend well beyond simple monitoring. Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information, such as Internet surfing habits, sites that have been visited, but can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways, such as installing additional software, and redirecting Web browser activity. Spyware is known to change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds, different home pages, and/or loss of Internet or functionality of other programs. In an attempt to increase the understanding of spyware, a more formal classification of its included software types is captured under the term privacy-invasive software.

    In response to the emergence of spyware, a small industry has sprung up dealing in anti-spyware software. Running anti-spyware software has become a widely recognized element of computer security best practices for Microsoft Windows desktop computers. A number of jurisdictions have passed anti-spyware laws, which usually target any software that is surreptitiously installed to control a user's computer. The US Federal Trade Commission has placed on the Internet a page of advice to consumers about how to lower the risk of spyware infection, including a list of "do's" and "don'ts."


    Definition - Adware or advertising-supported software is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used. Some types of adware are also spyware and can be classified as privacy-invasive software.


    Definition - A portmanteau from the words malicious and software, is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code. The term "computer virus" is sometimes used as a catch-all phrase to include all types of malware, including true viruses.

    Software is considered malware based on the perceived intent of the creator rather than any particular features. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, most rootkits, spyware, dishonest adware, crimeware and other malicious and unwanted software. In law, malware is sometimes known as a computer contaminant, for instance in the legal codes of several American states, including California and West Virginia.

    Malware is not the same as defective software, that is, software which has a legitimate purpose but contains harmful bugs. Preliminary results from Symantec published in 2008 suggested that "the release rate of malicious code and other unwanted programs may be exceeding that of legitimate software applications." According to F-Secure, "As much malware [was] produced in 2007 as in the previous 20 years altogether." Malware's most common pathway from criminals to users is through the Internet: primarily by email and the World Wide Web.

    Virus Protection

    Definition Of A Computer Virus

    A computer virus is a program that can copy itself and affect a computer without the knowledge of the user. The term "virus" is also commonly used to refer to other types of programs that do not have the reproductive ability. A true virus can only spread from one computer to another (in some form of code) when its host is taken to the target computer; for instance because a user sent it over a network or the Internet, or carried it on a removable medium. Viruses can increase their chances of spreading to other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file that is accessed by another computer.

    Viruses are sometimes confused with computer worms and Trojan horses, which are technically different. A worm can spread itself to other computers without needing to be transferred as part of a host, and a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless but has a hidden agenda. Worms and Trojans, like viruses, may cause harm to either a computer system's hosted data, functional performance, or networking throughput, when they are executed. Some viruses and other malware have symptoms noticeable to the computer user, but most are surreptitious. This makes it hard for the average user to notice, find and disable and is why specialist anti-virus programs are now commonplace.

    Most personal computers are now connected to the Internet and to local area networks, facilitating the spread of malicious code. Today's viruses may also take advantage of network services such as the World Wide Web, e-mail, Instant Messaging and file sharing systems to spread, blurring the line between viruses and worms. Furthermore, some sources use an alternative terminology in which a virus is any form of self-replicating malware.

    Viruses And File Sharing

    You can't always trust the content of a file and who created it. An example of this is downloaded music through peer-to-peer file sharing. If you are using a file sharing program like Limewire, Morpheus, or Kazaa just to name a few, these file sharing programs are often used to propagate viruses since there is no "parent" to verify that the files provided have been scanned for viruses and are clean. Therefore you must protect yourself by either not downloading files using these types of software, or that you scan each file you download with a reputable antivirus program before opening.

    Virus Protection Software

  • ESET Smart Security
  • Norton Internet Security
  • McAfee Total Protection 2009
  • AVG Free Edition 8.0
  • AVG Internet Security 8.0
  • Kaspersky Internet Security
  • Avira Antivirus