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Thursday, 30 October 2008

Windows Vista SP2 details

Details on Windows Vista SP2 emerge

2 items that should be interesting are:

Windows Connect Now (WCN), a new tool to assist in connecting to Wi-Fi networks.
Improved support for resuming with active Wi-Fi connections.

I think the Wi-Fi connection interface is fairly good now, but I'm always open to improvements.
And for the 2nd item, many clients I know have issues with reconnecting after temporarily losing a wi-fi connection. An improvement in this area would be very welcome.

SP2 is expected to be ready for final release sometime in the first half of 2009.

Friday, 24 October 2008

AVG "Invalid Update Control CTF File" fix

Error "Invalid Update Control CTF File" when updating AVG Anti-Virus 8.0 - The Winhelponline Blog

There are 2 files that can be deleted as AVG will recreate them. If they become corrupted you will have to remove them manually.

In Windows XP, go to:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Avg8\update\download
and delete
avginfoavi.ctf and avginfowin.ctf

In Windows Vista, go to:
and delete these 2 same files.

Re-run the update.

To be able to see the CTF files, you need to have Show Hidden Files enabled in Explorer. Open Windows Explorer, click on Tools, Folder Options, View, and check off show hidden files and folders. Now you should be able to see the CTF files.

If this doesn't work, uninstall AVG and re-install it.
Here is the link for the latest version.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Beware the fake security center

Two Good Looking Windows Security Centers: One Fake, One Real - CA Security Advisor Research Blog - CA
Another fake Windows Security Center has emerged. Much like versions in the past, on appearance this one is nearly identical to the actual Windows Security Center. And like older versions, it is installed by a trojan and falsely warns the user of non-existent infections (the true infection is the fake Security Center).

Monday, 13 October 2008

Open Office 3 is finally out!

They released the final version of Open Office 3 today (Oct. 13, 2008). If you didn't already know, it is a great, free, and open source alternative to MS Office.

Besides many other updates and improvements, it will open the new .docx files created in MS Office 2007. But, when saving, you will have to save to another format. You can choose .doc format, which Open Office and all versions of MS Office will recognize.

If you are new to this and want to give it a try, click on the link below to download it.

For those who already use Open Office, here is how to update:

To manually Update to Open Office 3
Download Open Office 3 from here. (Oct 13 - the Open Office server may be down due to version 3 being downloaded by so many people all at once - it became available today. Download it from the Filehippo site for the time being). Click on Download Latest Version. If your popup blocker blocks it, click on the appropriate place to allow it to download.
Run the installer file when finished downloading
When installing, allow default settings and go through the prompts.
When finished installing, click on Start, All programs, find Open Office 3, click and drag the new Open Office Writer icon to the location you want it on the Start Menu. If you have an old Open Office Writer icon on the Start Menu, drag the new one to just above it. Once you have put the new one on above the old one, remove the old one from the list (right-click and remove).
Repeat this process for any other new Open Office shortcuts you want on the Start Menu.
Click on the new Open Office Writer icon to open Open Office Writer.
Click on Next until you get to the Registration screen. Check off I do not want to register (since you already have registered), and click on Finish. If it doesn't open full-screen, and you want it to, maximize it. Now close it. Right click on the Open Office 3.0 Quickstarter icon in the system tray (it appears after you first open Open Office Writer) and click on Load Open During System Start-up to UN-check it.
Right-click on the icon again and choose Exit.

Updating to version 3 will re-set your toolbars. So, if you did any customizing of them, you'll have to do that all over again.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Fake You Tube Pages used to spread viruses

Fake YouTube pages used to spread viruses
A program circulating online helps hackers build those fake pages. Users who follow an e-mail pointing them to one of the pages would see an error message that claims the video they want won't play without installing new software first. That error message includes a link the hacker has provided to a malicious program, which delivers a virus.

This has been happening for a while now, but it's still going on. The best thing to do is to NOT download the plugin/codec if a site tells you you need a special program or codec or plug-in to play the video from a site.

If you think you need special software, go to the actual site that distributes the real plug-ins needed. For most, there is Adobe Flash, Java, Quicktime (I recommend Quicktime Alternative) and Windows Media Player (here's the plug-in for Firefox).
If you are using Firefox 3, here is the link to download the Adobe Flash 10 beta (Windows Version). Version 10 works better for Firefox 3. And, sometimes you might need Real Player (I recommend the alternative version here).

Normally a site with a video embedded won't have a direct link to the above sites - the video space will be replaced with a notice that you need a plug-in to play the video. Fake sites will have direct links or pop-ups offering you a special plug-in. Don't be fooled. If you already have the plug-ins that I've mentioned above, and the video won't play, it is most likely fake so run away from the site.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Common mistakes that can lead to compromised security - Online blunders: common mistakes

This is a good article, but I've added some further advice below:

1. Assuming your security software is protecting you.

Ditch the trial security ware - it is usually one of the bloated
problematic ones like Norton or McAfee. Replace with a good light free
one like AVG Free 8. Updates for this are automatic and free - no
subscription required. AVG Free 8 also has an anti-spyware component.

4. Downloading Free Software

Don't, unless you know you are getting it from a reputable source. Use
Firefox 3 instead of Internet Explorer. Firefox 3 gets your antivirus
program to scan everything you download automatically. Superantispyware
is also a great free anti-spyware program to use for manual scans of
your computer or download folder.

5. Thninking your Mac shields you from all risks

Simple solution: sell your Mac, buy a PC. It is much less expensive for
the equivalent hardware setup, and the Windows operating system
actually works with hardware and software. And use Firefox and the
other above-mentioned security software.

6. Clicking on a pop-up ad that says your PC is insecure

Yes, click on the X to close this window - it is fake and wants to get
you to download a fake anti-virus program that will infect your
computer with nasty viruses and spyware.

Next, stop using Internet Explorer. Most of these pop-ups are written for Internet Explorer. Use Firefox 3 instead.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Get rid of nasty spyware

There have been some very nasty bits of spyware going around lately, more than ever. It's great that AVG Free 8 includes an anti-spyware component, but, it can't handle some of spyware threats.

One program that works well at removing spyware is this program - Superantispyware. I set it up to not run with Windows. I just use it as a manual scanner. If AVG Free 8 seems to have a problem removing some pesky spyware, run a scan with this program.

I used to use Ad Aware and Spybot, but this program, Superantispyware, seems to work much better - more thorough and has a larger database.

Note: make sure to turn your System Restore off first before running scans (and don't forget to turn it back on when you are done).

Here's the link: - AntiAdware, AntiSpyware, AntiMalware!