Useful Tips in Making a Website

It can be a scary task for the people who are new to the world of website designing to build their own website. With the certain keys and steps to be followed, you can simply make it into a simpler process. Before jumping in with it, it is very much important to do proper research. This is a one way of saving your time and money.

One of the essential things for you to remember in getting your own site online is the following: website building tool, domain name and the web host. You can actually make a unique website from a simple text editor but on the other hand, you need to know and understand HTML or the Hyper Text Markup Language.

In addition, there is some of the website building tools that are designed especially to the people without knowledge on HTML. This is through the so-called “what you see is what you get editors”. You create the pages you want and this editor will automatically convert what you are doing into HTML. To find a domain is an easier process. You need to find first a domain that is free and register it with a domain name. You don’t need to worry about this, for there are many companies who can help you to do it quickly and straightforward. Finding domain name ends with .com, .org or .net. And the web hosts are the companies that you are paying for to host your website. This is for the reason that every site must be stored in a one powerful server or a powerful computer and this is the way wherein your visitors can get over your spot for they can be directed into your site because of the server.

In addition, these are some of the significant things that you need to know more in trying to make your website a compelling site.

* Make sure that your website will load fast.
* It should have a layout that is clear and pleasant to the eyes
* Always use colors that the visitors will be interested in.
* Make sure to have a FAQs page for your site.
* Provide information to the visitors that are relevant and easy to understand.
* Keep you site on the basics: it should be open and light
* write the contents that are original, bold and short
* Establish trust with the visitors coming in and out
* Keep in mind the way your visitor will feel, try to envision them by giving a thought as what they are looking into.

Website development is something that you should not just take for granted especially if you are starting your own business. If you want to learn more about website development and want more tips, check out

An Introduction to Computer Forensics

When you hear of computer forensics, the first thing that pops to mind might be a Crime Scene Investigator, pulling the plastic sheet off of a computer and inspecting for signs of a struggle. Nobody really ever talked about forensics in daily life until they started making those scientifically accurate prime time cop shows, so of course, simple word association generally leads us to forensic sciences being “Something cops do, right?”

Incidentally, the science behind computer forensics really isn’t much different from the science between crime scene forensics. In both instances, the forensics team or expert is looking for a trail of evidence. In either case, the investigator looks at what has happened, determines how it happened, and from that, deducts who might be responsible.

The major difference between the two is that, while an investigator on the scene of a robbery or a violent crime is looking for physical evidence, the computer forensics investigator is looking for digital evidence.

Interestingly, where physical evidence can often be misleading, confusing, ambiguous, and difficult to put together without the help of witness statements, digital evidence tends to present itself in a much more direct manner.

A computer keeps logs of pretty much everything that has been done with it. For example, besides your browser history, there’s also your temporary internet folder, where information from the web is stored on your computer. So, say an employee is watching YouTube all day when they’re supposed to be working. Even if they’re smart enough to clear the browser history, the temporary internet files may still hold the evidence that will earn them a warning.

That’s only a very simple example, of course. Computer forensics addresses everything from computer crime to employee misconduct, to such mundane tasks as figuring out why your virus scanner isn’t working.

The point is that everything you do on a computer leaves a mark. Deleting a file from your hard drive is not same thing as deleting all the evidence that it was ever there. Just as every room in your house holds some DNA evidence, be it a hair, saliva, or a toenail clipping, no matter how well you vacuum and shampoo your carpets, there will be some evidence that this is your home. The same goes with computers. You can’t do anything on a computer without a computer expert being able to figure out exactly what you’ve been up to.

One issue that many find confusing with regards to computer forensics … how legal is it, really?

This depends on the context. Here’s all you need to know if you’re considering hiring a computer forensics team, but aren’t sure if you can:

If you suspect an employee of breaking company policy or even breaking the law with a computer that belongs to the company, you do have the right to take a look at the computer they’ve been working any time you like.

It gets a little trickier when an employee is working on their own computer. This isn’t a dead end, but it may be a little trickier. Luckily, you don’t always have to look at their computer to find evidence of what they’ve done on their computer. In any case, go ahead and call your forensics people, and they should be able to advise you on how far you can go to gather the evidence you need in order to take action.

Really, computer forensics is simply the art of finding a trail of evidence on computers, simple as that. You never know when you’ll need such services, so it’s a good idea to keep them in mind in case you ever do.

Pure Hacking helps protect your Internet security by providing world-class penetration testing and ethical hacking risk management services. For a free consultation, please visit Ethical Hacking.

Data Forensics

Data forensics is one of the sub branches of computer forensics. It is essential to establish legal evidences as found in computers and its storage media. Its primary goal is to give a clear explanation of a digital artifact’s state. Digital artifacts include storage devices, computer systems or electronic documents.

Data forensics are employed for a couple of reasons. It is a significant portion of data recovery for either hardware or software failures. It also helps analyze how an attacker was able to break-in to a system. It is also important to gather information about an employee that a certain organization wants to terminate. Alongside all these reasons, different steps are followed in the database forensics process.

There are several steps involved in the entire forensics process. These are as follows:

• Preparation of the investigator. An investigator must have an ample background of the subject matter. He should be trained enough to know the facets of the process. He validates all data needed by the courts basing on generated reports. Since there are many tools to choose from, the investigator should determine the appropriate tool to be applied for the case.

• Collection of data. The data are gathered in the form of digital evidences. Data forensics make use of tools such as computers, hard drives, CD-ROMs and even cellular phones or digital cameras. The data should be carefully handled to assure that no changes are made. Documentation and the use of reliable tools will help secure the collected data for forensics use.

• Examination. There are two ways by which data are examined. Traditionally, the dead data analysis is employed. This is one method where investigations are performed on hard drives or any data at rest. Currently, the live data analysis is also used. This is helpful when the attacker does not make use of the computer’s hard drive. This is also important if the person makes use of cryptographic storage devices where data intervention may no longer be seen once the computer shuts-off.

Once the data are gathered and examined, the data forensics investigator may report the incident to management or to whoever needs the data. Following these steps require careful scrutiny of the scenario. This will ensure that all legal actions will be imposed on the attacker. In like manner, it will help dictate the punishment to be given to the offender.

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DES and 3DES

Data Encryption Standard (DES) data are encrypted in 64-bit blocks using a 56-bit key. The DES algorithm takes the input through a series of transformations: initial permutation; a complex function, which involves both permutation and substitution operations and depends on a key input; a simple permutation function that switches the two halves of the data; the function is applied again; and a permutation function that is the inverse of the initial permutation takes place. There are five “modes of operation” that have been defined in order to apply DES to a variety of applications. They are Electronic Codebook, Cipher Block Chaining, Cipher Feedback, Output Feedback Counter, and Counter (Cryptography Concepts, 2005).

Triple DES or 3DES involves repeating the DES algorithm three times on the plaintext, using two or three different keys to produce the ciphertext. As stated in the article DES is dead. Long live…Well, um, What, “First it encrypts, then it decrypts and finally it encrypts again” (Moskowitz, 1999). Three DES is now used because it is very resistant to cryptanalysis, serving as an alternative to add security against the potential vulnerability of DES to brute-force attack. Triple DES has been adopted for use in the key management standards ANSI X 9.17 and ISO 8732, along with a number of Internet-based applications, such as PGP and S/MIME (AES, Ciphers, and Confidentiality, 2005). The picture below shows the triple encryption process, as well as show the middle portion of 3DES as a decryption rather than an encryption making it more secure.

A nonce and key distribution center (KDC) shares a secret key or “master” key between each party on a network. The KDC is responsible for generating nonce and keys to be used for a short time over a connection between two parties, known as session keys, and for distributing those keys using the master keys to protect the distribution. The following steps occur:

1. A issues request to the KDC for a session key with B. The message includes the identity of A and B, as well as a unique identifier for the transaction, a nonce, which may include a random number or a counter.

2. The KDC replies with a message encrypted using Ka. Thus, only A can read the message and knows the message originated at the KDC. The message includes:

• The one-time session key, Ks, to be used for the session.
• The original request message, including the nonce, to enable A to match this response with the appropriate request.

In addition, the message includes two items intended for B:

• The one-time session key, Ks.
• An identifier of A, IDA.

These are encrypted with the master key that the KDC shares with B. They are sent to B to establish connection and prove A’s identity.

3. A stores the session key for use in the upcoming session and forwards to B the information that originated at the KDC for B. This information is protected from eavesdropping, because it is encrypted by the master key, Kb. B knows the session key, A’s identity, and that the information originated at the KDC.

4. B then sends a nonce, N2, to A, using a newly minted session key for encryption.

5. Using the session key, A responds with f(N2), where f is a function that performs some transformation on N2 (e.g., adding one) (Stallings, 2003 pgs 214-15).

In conclusion, the above explained how DES works, why 3DES is now used, why the middle portion of 3DES is a decryption rather than an encryption, and explain a nonce and a key distribution center.

Works Cited

Moskowitz, Robert. (1999). DES is dead. Long Live… well, um, what? Network Computing, vol. 10 issue 6. Retrieved October 22, 2005, from, EBSCO Host Research Databas

Stallings, William. (2003). Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
Joshua Maluchnik, M.I.T., MCP/MCTS
Account Executive
Tranztec Solutions, Inc.

The Role of a Network Consultancy

Whether you are setting up a new company or you are just getting ready for the next step in your business’s progression, you will find that one resource that you need to think about is a network consultancy. A network consultancy is essentially a business that gives you the most effective and advantageous network set up for your business and then after the network is set up, it will maintain it for you. The truth of the matter is that there really is an art to setting up a computer network and if you are in a place where this resource is necessary, you can get a lot of important work taken care of in one fell swoop.

The first point that you should realize when it comes to computer consultancy is that it provides you with a great deal of experience at your disposal. Computer consultancies have a great deal of stock set in how much experience they have in setting up a network that is efficient, effective and gives you the resources that you need and this is something that can take years of work to figure out. Networking may seem rather simple at first, but the truth of the matter is that there are many different resources that need to come into play at once. There are enough factors that are competing for resources that having a computer consultancy on hand is quite advantageous.

Another point that you will discover is that a computer consultancy firm can provide a great deal of relief when it comes to helping out your IT department. Your IT department has a lot going on and if you are just getting a computer network setup, you will find that the IT staffs is already going to be under a number of different stressors. Make sure that you consider what duties your IT department is already shouldering and whether adding computer networking to the mix is going to be something that they welcome. In many cases, you will find that your IT department may not even be set up for network installation and maintenance. This is not something that you want to necessarily integrate into your own staff, so consider how a network consultancy can help you.

Remember that at the end of the day, your computer networking is something that should be rock solid. In this day and age, your business can effectively grind to a halt if your computer networking goes down and this is not something that you want networking amateurs working on. With a good network consultancy firm working on your behalf, you will find that you are in a great place to move forward and to get your work taken care of. You will get the benefit of working with professionals who have a lot of experience behind them.

Networking is something quite complex and the truth is that it is growing more complex by the day. Take some time to consider the good that a networking consultancy firm can do for you and really get the most out of your business contacts.

Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who writes for a number of UK businesses. For information about IT Networks, he recommends Prodec Networks, a leading Network Supplier.

How to Send a Secret Message


The term Steganography as well cryptography was derived from the Greek language. Cryptography is essentially the art of secret writing and the goal is to maintain the secrecy of the message even if it is visible. Steganography, means covered writing, and is a long-practiced form of hiding information. It should not be seen as a replacement for cryptography but rather as a complement to it.

Cryptography is used to conceal the content of a message, while steganography is used to conceal the existence of a message.

The technology behind effective Steganography is quite complex and involves serious mathematical computations. Computers and technology make this an easy task and make this art of deception a serious threat to the security of

information. The strength of a steganographic algorithm depends on its ability to successfully withstand attacks. Companies with important and sensitive information, and relying on the security and integrity of their intellectual property, could be at significant risk.

Steganography under various media

Steganography includes a vast array of techniques for hiding messages in a variety of media. Among these methods are invisible inks, covert channels, digital signatures, microdots, and spread-spectrum communications. New age technology helps steganography to use various mediums like – text, images, sound, signals, and more.

Steganography in Text

This process involves using steganography within text, i.e. documents or emails. This process is used to counteract the wide scale piracy or illegal distribution of documents, wherein infringers make identical copies of documents without paying royalties to the original author.

  1. Line-Shift coding: In this method, text lines are vertically shifted to encode the document uniquely.
  2. Word-Shift coding: In this method, codewords are coded into a document by shifting the horizontal locations of words within text lines, while maintaining a natural spacing appearance.
  3. Feature coding: In feature coding, certain text features are altered, or not altered, depending on the codeword. For example, one could encode bits into text by extending or shortening the vertical end lines of letters such as p, q, y, etc.

Steganography in Images

This process involves exploiting the Human Visual System (HVS). Image steganography is being increasingly used due to the development of powerful graphical computers and the increasing softwares over the internet.

  1. Image Compression: Image compression helps in reducing the file size by compressing it to a certain extent. Two kinds of image compression are lossless and lossy compression.
  2. Image Encoding techniques: This technique involves in hiding the secret information within the image. It can be done in many ways, like encoding every bit of information in the image or encoding only in the noisy areas of the image.

Steganography in Audio

This form of steganography is very sensitive to handle, as it involves exploiting the Human Auditory System (HAS). We call it sensitive, because the HAS posses a large dynamic range but a small differential range. The following are the methods of this type of steganography –

  1. Phase Coding – This process involves substituting the phase of an initial audio segment with a reference phase that represents the data.
  2. Low bit encoding – This process is similar to image encoding, wherein binary data is stored in the audio files.
  3. Spread Spectrum – In this process, the encoded data is spread across the frequency of the audio data.
  4. Echo Data Hiding – Echo data hiding embeds data into a host signal by introducing an echo.


There are so many components to this form of deception, which are increasingly used either for safeguarding some valuable data or for destroying it. The thing with white collar crimes is that criminals don’t necessarily “look” like criminals and they often proceed for years without being caught. This article aims to make people aware of this form of deception and the threat it poses to digital security.

The author is a technology trainer and consultant who helps businesses build their online brand. His key passion apart from writing articles is Web 2.0 technologies and re-creating value for living. If you feel Sameer can be of any help to you, please send an email

How to Synchronise Your Windows PC to a Time Server

Do you regularly need to correct the time on your PC? The answer is probably “Yes!”. This is because computers have very poor time-keeping hardware. Often, the system clock in a regular PC can drift by minutes each day. However, help is at hand. It is very easy to synchronise the time on your Microsoft Windows computer with one of the most accurate clocks in the world. This article describes how to configure your Windows system to synchronise it’s internal system time with an Internet based ‘atomic time’ reference.

PC’s utilise an internal hardware real-time clock to maintain time. Generally, this hardware clock circuit utilises very low-cost components. This results in poor time-keeping performance. It is not unusual for a computer to loose minutes each day. There are hardware solutions available, which can improve timekeeping, such as more precision crystal oscillators. However, modifying PC’s at board level is not an option for most users. Additionally, accurate time-keeping hardware can be prohibitively expensive. Ideally, a software solution to maintain accurate time is required. This is where the Network Time Protocol (NTP) comes in.

NTP is one of the oldest Internet protocols still in regular use today. Dr David Mills of the University of Dellaware invented it over 25 years ago. He recognised the need to synchronise time critical processes across the Internet. The Network Time Protocol allows client computers to synchronise to an accurate time reference over the Internet. NTP uses the UDP (User Datagram Protocol) over IP (Internet Protocol) to request time from an accurate time reference. It then waits for and accepts a response from the server before updating it’s internal system time with the supplied reference time.

There are many NTP Servers residing on the Internet. Government or educational institutions generally maintain them. A NTP server obtains highly accurate time from an external time reference such as GPS or Radio and maintains this time internally. It then distributes the precise time to network time clients.

The latest Microsoft Windows operating systems, such as XP and Vista, incorporate a SNTP (Simple Network Time Protocol) client. This client can easily be used to synchronise to an Internet or locally based NTP server. The client is configured from the time and date properties applet in the control panel, or by double clicking on the time in the system tray. One of the time properties tabs is labelled ‘Internet time’. On this tab is a field called “Server” which accepts either the IP address or domain name of a NTP time server. Click the “Update Now” button and Windows will attempt to synchronise with the selected time reference. Ensure that the “Automatically Synchronise with an Internet Time Source” option is ticked and Windows will periodically update time from the reference automatically, thus keeping your system clock accurate.

If synchronisation fails then ensure that the supplied IP address or domain name of the NTP server is correct. Alternatively, it may be your firewall that is preventing communication with the time server. NTP operates on UDP port 123, so you must ensure that this port is left open on your firewall. The Windows firewall can be accessed from the Control Panel. To open NTP port 123, open the Windows Security Centre and select ‘Manage Security Settings for Windows Firewall’. From the Windows Firewall applet select the ‘Exceptions’ tab. Click ‘Add Port’ to add an exception to the firewall. Enter a name for the exception, such as ‘NTP port’, and port number ‘123’ and check UDP. Click OK to accept the settings. If you have a separate combined firewall and ADSL router, you may need to refer to your manufacturers documentation to find out how to open a port on the firewall.

To conclude, most computers keep extremely poor time. For many applications that rely on accurate time stamps, this can be entirely unacceptable. However, by utilising the Network Time Protocol, everyone can ensure that their computers system time is kept in sync with the most accurate clock in the world!

Please visit TimeTools website for more information and articles on NTP servers, network time synchronisation and time server solutions.

Quick Diagnosis of a Dead Laptop LCD Display

If you own a laptop computer, sooner or later you are going to be faced with a computer that has a display that has gone dark typically in one of two scenarios. In the most common case the LCD screen is damaged because of some physical event that caused the screen to be cracked or broken. Laptops do not take kindly to being dropped, especially when the case is opened and the accident occurs. In the second case there no physical damage and a malfunction in the video,power or control circuitry has caused the display to malfunction.

In the case of the cracked or physically damaged screen you need to determine if there is other damage to the laptop. The best way to do this is to plug in an external monitor using the video output connector at the rear of the laptop case. If the external monitor works and you see that your applications function then you know that you are looking at a LCD screen repair, and in the event you don’t repair the laptop you can still recover your data. Even if you elect not to repair the laptop this kind of failure is the best of a bad situation because the laptops still functions and you can still recover your data.

If the Laptop screen hasn’t been physically damaged, but the screen is still blank, you should still connect an external monitor as described above and determine if the rest of the laptop is functional. In the case where the screen is blank and an external monitor doesn’t work a more expensive diagnosis and repair scenario will probably be your only option.

It is always best to take these basic steps before you get a repair person involved. You should think through your repair options before you are confronted with a potentially costly repair decision.

The author is a computer industry professional in the service and repair industry. His career dates back to the early 1960’s and the early solid state large scale super computers. He has managed services organizations responsible for service of large PC networks and manged repair center operations. He has served on service industry councils of IBM, HP and Compaq. His website is focused on providing information on, and sources for cheap laptop computers.

Data Recovery Equipment

Today, computers are an integral and indispensable part of the IT world. No matter what your line may be, finance, education, business consulting and investigation, IT information security, or else. In fact, most people always take it for granted. You should never brag your computer can be failure-free.

The foremost use of computer is data storage. All the data is stored on a physical disk named hard disk drive which is a magnetic layer. And it is more likely to be stricken by a wide variety of reasons, such as a partition lost, system can not access, human mistake (accidental reformatting, deletion), file corruption, power surge, and virus attack, to the worst, these physical level failures typically are head crash, platter scratch, and motor failures caused by overwriting, physical damages, natural disasters, etc.

Sometimes a hard drive has been stricken dead or not working at all without any warning signs, but some other times there may be some clues that something is going bad or amiss. Such changes in performance or sudden blue screens are telltale signs that the hard drive may be on its way to collapse. The most obvious and common sign are clicking, squealing, scraping or grinding noises.

The computer become more involved in our daily life, so the danger of data loss also surfaces.

As most of us have already experienced data loss, it could be frustrated and traumatic, when you finally find your critical data are not able to recover. As a matter of fact, logical failures as I previously mentioned, a data recovery software program can simply work out, but speaking of physical failures, No! Those drives with minor physical failures will need a special equipment to repair hard drive itself or recover data.

Why data recovery software will stop there? The ordinary user-level repeated-read access method that is used by imaging software bring a risk of damaging the disk and head, making data lost irretrievable. Also the software skips bad sectors directly in order not to get hang (freeze). Even so it gets hang most of the time in case the drive has lost of bad sectors. Plus, there is no guarantee that all the data will be extracted as much as possible, though days or weeks of time wasted on imaging bad drives. That’s why you should avoid it at all cost.

A unique data recovery equipment known as Data Compass is mostly used among experts and practitioners worldwide, where traditional tools can not reach the height. Data Compass reads data of each sector physically byte-to-byte, including good and bad, and copy to a good disk using its data extraction software and hardware. “Shadow Disk” technology allows Data Compass to maximally avoid further damage to the drive, and ensure the data is not lost from repeated recovery attempts.

Technically speaking, it is hard to figure out how exactly the data can be recovered. It all depends. In most cases, data will be able to recover as long as the parts of hard drive are not severely damaged, otherwise you should swap its components then like platters, heads, and a spindle motor, for example.

A current tool named “hard drive head/platter exchange professional” used for drive disassembling and head/platter exchange will be replaced by the vendor soon. The change is made for optimization reason, and the new product is a better enhancement; plus, the new platter exchanger allows users to work on hard drive with spacers between platters.

If you have known much about data recovery and if you have a craving for this field, you should start your own business with a right equipment and then you can be an expert. Of course, it is not easy to find a proper option from current data recovery equipments with sky-high price in economy hard times. It is even worse when comes to new versions of software to products you are possessing, vendors will charge every time. In this case, free of charge upgrade service is the way to go.

All rights reserved. Free to copy. No adaptation.

To learn much more about hard drive data recovery solutions, please visit where you can get more free information on specialized data recovery equipment and firmware repair tools.

External Hard Drive With RAID – My Book Mirror Edition

Western Digital My Book Mirror Editions are a great new form of data storage and backup. Western Digital is known for high quality external storage drives, but they have now added an extra layer of security with the ability to set RAID 1 or 0 on the Mirror Editions. Whether you need external storage for business or personal reasons, these drives are worth looking into.

The My Book Mirror Editions currently are available in two sizes – 1-terabyte and 2-terabyte. As with other My Book drives, these do not come at a small MSRP. MSRP on these units are $289 – $549 dependent on the size you get. Keep in mind, these are suggested retail prices; the units can be found for much less.

The My Book Mirror Edition measures 6.54-inches x 6.06-inches x 3.87-inches and weighs around 5 pounds. This, in concatenation with its polished black exterior and book shape, makes the unit presentable in any atmosphere. Additionally, there is a blue LED light, on the front face of the box, which lets users know the status of the My Book, with a simple glance.

Users have the choice between either RAID 1 or RAID 0 on the My Book Mirror Edition. Using RAID 1 reduces the overall storage size to half, but provides you with a duplicate copy of your data on the second drive. RAID 0 provides you with a bit less security – no replica of data – but gives you more overall storage space. The drives are somewhat customizable to your needs.

The unit has a Drive Manager, which enables users to view the status, temperature, and capacity of the unit. Users can also change the configuration through Device Manager. You can change from RAID 1 to RAID 0 and vice versa. (For consumers who do not understand what this will do, your data will be wiped if you reconfigure your unit to a different RAID setting.)

Western Digital implemented an application called WD MioNet, which allows users to access their drives via the internet. You can now access your data regardless of where you are at. Additional applications and software are available, some of which are WD Anywhere Backup, a 30-day trial of Memeo Autosync, Google, Desktop Search, and Picasa.

Installing additional software and transferring files is very user-friendly. The overall user-interface, and ease of navigation and use, enables users of any skill level to operate the My Book Mirror Edition nearly effortlessly.

If one of the hard drives, in the unit, happens to fail, users can easily replace. Each hard drive is simple to remove for this purpose. The unit only uses USB connectivity; no there is no way to connect via FireWire or eSATA.

If you are looking for an external drive for data backups, and would like a little bit of security with it, the Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition is the right move. With a little bit of bargain hunting you can add this unit to any network with a small dent in your pocket book.

Author Matt Ryan can help you save money on Western Digital Hard Drives. Visit MiracleShopper to find information and pricing on External Hard Drives and more.

The Seventh Cloud

Have you ever thought of pushing an operating system into its own recycle bin? Well, it may not be possible practically but that’s what most of them thought after using Microsoft Windows Vista. After getting used to Windows XP, which undeniably ruled over the last 8 years in the home and corporate segment, people’s expectations increased when Microsoft tuned Vista. Though it was able to deliver the look and feel of a stylish new operating system, the performance part pulled it down. Few of them used it as they couldn’t find any better option. Macintosh was heavy for pockets; Linux was too techy for beginners and so the only option was Windows. Being in a computer manufacturing industry, I had a chance to closely connect with users and understand the needs and expectations from an operating system. It’s like you buy a new car and the very next day you realize there’s a big dent on it, and that’s when you repair and that’s what Microsoft did with Vista Service pack 1. But most of them chose to exchange the car instead of repairing it and so the manufacturer had to come up with a better one.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please put your hands together for Windows 7. If you are wondering what it is, you are either too far from technology or too close to dreams. For advanced users, I need not say anything because you guys are too interested to know it yourself. So, I will keep this article simple and straight which gives a sample peak into the world of windows. Don’t worry, it won’t be too technical, but I guess Microsoft expects its users to be on cloud 7 if not on 9 after the release. If you are fascinated to know more and want to disintegrate your brain and slobber over the operating system, you better download the Windows 7 beta.

I have done the Windows Seven installation and setup, I obviously installed and tested few basic applications like Norton Internet Security 2009, iTunes, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader 9, Skype, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Office 2007, Virtual Dub, SpyBot Search and Destroy. The beta version is offered only for a limited period and is purely for testing. So, anyone trying it out, there is an option for feedback where you can kill your frustration. Installation speed for the above mentioned software’s was quick, Microsoft Office 2007 being the slowest. I had to install it from a disc and the extra tad of time was taken in staging the installation files to a local store. When you install applications from the local drive or from an USB Flash storage device, the installation speed is much faster. The startling one out of all was Norton. Traditionally a slow installation, it went through in less than 4 minutes (not counting the system scan). I’ll be trying more stuff as time passes though. In scenarios where the installed application was not compatible, the operating system reaction was parallel to Vista. If you are guy with patience, you have few options to send the information to Microsoft and to retry the installation with recommended compatibility settings.

One of the major changes in the UI (User Interface) is the taskbar. It’s wide and has only icons of the running applications. Personally, I didn’t like the change but it doesn’t look that bad either. There are some appealing features like Peek but that can be understood better when you look at it. Overall, it’s a decent upgrade but again if you want to compare with Mac, all the best!!

The annoying part in Vista was the User account control (U.A.C). For those who used it, it’s the screen which prompts or blocks you from installing and asks permissions to continue, even though you trust that application. The user account control has been redesigned in Windows Seven, but the application installation has not changed much. For the programs which are inbuilt, thankfully we do not require U.A.C grants. For example, TaskManager (All User Mode) Device manager, Disk Management, Services and a host of other control panels and windows apps load directly without U.A.C prompting you to grant access. However non-native applications continue to have U.A.C. prompts. This behavior can be controlled even better in Windows Seven. Instead of the plain vanilla on / off modes that U.A.C support in Vista, Windows Seven has an improved U.A.C control panel, that allows you to adjust your U.A.C needs.

Compared to the publicity that was generated when Vista was first showcased, Seven has so far seen a lukewarm response in terms of the number of people grabbing the beta. Reason could be in the fact that the driver model is backward compatible and most Vista Compatible hardware also works with Seven, which was not the case during the Xp-Vista jump. So, it is possible that people are moving up the upgrade chain, however finding minor quantity of troubles to deal with. The versions of the operating system are pretty much same as Vista, and yes we can expect the upgrade from Vista to Windows 7.

The probable upgrade path looks something similar to this:

1. Windows Vista Home Premium -> Windows 7 Home Premium

2. Windows Vista Business -> Windows 7 Professional

3. Windows Vista Ultimate -> Windows 7 Ultimate

Microsoft Windows Vista® Home Basic, Windows Vista® Starter Edition, and Windows® XP (all editions) are not qualifying products under the program.

Good or Bad, we are going to see it and we are going to try it, and let’s hope Windows 7 is actually Windows 7 and not just Windows vista service pack 2.

Electronic Pick-Pocket – Stop it Now!

Banks and financial institutions are doing their best to improve security. They are adding multiple questions to answer before gaining access to an account and using secure (HTTPS) connections to scramble the transmission so prying electronic eavesdroppers cannot grab information. This all sounds great except if the criminal element is able to pick this information directly from your computer! And, sadly, there are too many computers surfing the Internet with open computer ports, the doors into the computer, ripe for the picking or a person opening bogus emails that download a thief’s malicious code.

You might say, “I’m safe, I’ve got the Windows Firewall, a respected Anti-Malware (Virus) protection Software plus a Anti-Spyware program. What’s the problem, hey, the computer does seem a bit slower but everyone is complaining about that!” The problem, like the last Computer I performed a Security Audit on, was 120 detections of which 2 were electronic pick-pocketing programs. And, the slow computer was due to these plus other issues of which one was excessive Add-Ons to Internet Explorer. In fact, part of the slowness of Internet Explorer was due to the Anti-Spyware program they were using for protection.

Maybe you are getting a little worried, and this is a necessary ingredient towards action, because the criminal element is keen to have your money and your identity. Don’t go too far and be fearful because there is plenty of help! First of all, financial institutions are not going to allow these rogue elements to stop the economy and the Internet is too useful a tool. The first thing to do is follow some KEY TIPS – such always typing in financial institution web site addresses directly and do not click on links for these in emails. Do not use a debit card on the Internet, only use a Credit Card for purchases. The other step is to setup a multi-layered Security using top-rated security.

What are the criteria for top rated security programs; consistency, efficiency and proficiency. The Security Program needs to perform over time and be adaptable. A slow computer will boil your head and there is too much bloat-ware out there. You need trusted protection. The beautiful news is that home computers can get all this for free!

Currently, there are 3 Anti-Malware programs that border on 100% detection rates which outstrip some well known Security Software. And, they do this efficiently without unduly burdening the computer.

Success, you install one of these Programs and it finds over 100 detections and these are all cleaned. This is good news but first check the computer is running okay. If so, toggle the Restore Points, because this is a well know hiding place for Malware hoping to be “Restored” back onto the computer. Toggling Restore Points on and off will delete all the previous Restore Point files and the corresponding Malware.

Now, what about those PORTS? Ports are the communication pathways between your computer and the Internet. You might even think of each PORT being a different language communicating to different countries for different activities. Now, if you were to walk into a dark neighborhood it would be nice to be invisible? Sure, and the technical term is STEALTHED. Your computer will be invisible to the general Internet. Windows Firewall can STEALTH the PORTS but eventually an EXCEPTION is needed and now the computer is visible. If a criminal element finds your computer they can begin using different kill methods to tear down the firewalls. But if you are using a top-rated FIREWALL, also free for Home Use, their task will be next to impossible. Installing top rated Firewall and Anti-Malware software are the primary steps to safe Internet use.

If you are using Windows XP the real trick is to use a LIMITED USER account for general web surfing. Many Windows XP users run with the original computer configuration that has them assigned as an ADMINISTRATOR. This is convenient for installing programs and making modifications but also convenient for MALWARE. By using a LIMITED USER account the privileges are greatly reduced on what files can be accessed and what can be modified. The net result is even if MALWARE makes it to the computer it is likely to find it cannot install itself since you and thus it do not have the necessary privileges. In giving up some control in another sense you have more control of the computer!

Making these modifications is not beyond the reach of the average or even beginning computer user. The Computer Appliance Learning Maintenance Manual is written for this purpose. There is no reason to settle for a slow computer and small business owners, especially, need to take the proactive step to protect their vulnerable computers that house important customer information. The criminals like the current situation but it is costing our economy. Take action today to protect your computer and your identity.

Diana & Paul Woodward, Authors

Copyright (c) Napa Valley Security Consulting 2009

A list of DO’s and DON’ts for using the Internet to avoid becoming a victim of Malware, Virus’s, Spyware and email scams.

Tips from Diana & Paul Woodward, Stop the Electronic Pick-Pocket

Data Protection and What it Means to Your Business

We all need computers whether for personal use or toil, or for a commercial applications. For like purposes, it is critical precautions since information can spread and it’s state of affairs more risky when you using to the Internet as well.

Remember about what you experience during the time when you lose important data. You won’t be able to sleep properly in the event that you information is destroyed so it is thus essential to have constant backups made.

Nobody desires private and confidential to be disclosed through the Internet regardless sadly with the rising popularity of computers in this time knowledge isn’t safe. The size of your organization or business is not hardly an a problem therefore it hardly matter whether are using your personal computer at your residence or in the workplace, the only worry is data preservation. It is a great challenge in itself to protect personal records however it is additionally critical to be alert of what exactly are the purposes behind these data loss.

Several utilities are available on the market right now in order to protect your important information Some of these are backups, firewalls and various protection software program bundles for viruses.

Poor judgment of an employee is yet another reasons related to data leakage, so it is considered then, that workers have the ability to stop a much of the of information loss. If an worker is equipped essential knowledge surrounding computers and are honest when do their tasks, loads of important information can be prevented from ending up destroyed. If good powerful security system is not incorporated, employees mostly take this at face value and function without any care which means that confidential data may end up gone.

These are various ways that would assist in preserving your information:


You are able to defend your files utilizing a technique called encryption and through utilizing this technique, information is encrypted or is rewritten as some code, that may be unencrypted by only the person that know the key or a associated password. These days with the easy access of so many data encryption software on the market, you can easily decide on any one of them to ascertain secure transfer of information.


Backing up your data is an additional one of the tools that you may use to halt sudden data loss and it’s extremely effective in the event of loss because of a random power failure. If you’re doing constant backups, those issues may be easily be avoided though there isn’t specified time at which you’re expected to make a backup. Though, once within a week is the least it needs to be done, though thrice per week is what’s advisable when making the backups. The sensible thing is to be sure to make backups every day seeing how the personal nature of this files is the sole standard to create the limit for these backups.


A layered type of system is followed in the case of security however the system can also be as a defender of information or else a firewall should be introduced. Through firewalls, no one is able to use your system unless they have your permission and with this method, your data is much secure. It is highly suggested to update your machine at frequent intervals in order to maintain security in a more consistent fashion.

P Abbey owns and operates, Data Protection

Building Vs Buying a New PC – An Overview

You’ve come to a point where you need a new computer. Should you head to the local electronics megastore and see what’s on the rack, or should you try and build a system yourself?

First off, you need to ask some fundamental questions. What is your budget? What do you expect from a computer? What will its primary functions be? Do you want it for gaming, or to surf the Web and create documents and spreadsheets? Will you be doing a lot of photo editing and artwork?

These are just some of the things to consider. Also, what kind of money are you willing to spend not only on the computer, but a printer, monitor, security software, separate data storage devices, webcams etc.

We’ll take a stroll down both paths, and I’ll try to keep things as easy to understand as I can, and limit the techspeak, unless it’s unavoidable.

Buying a New System

There are several manufacturers in the computing world, and each one makes several different types of systems. I won’t use brand names, as each company has its own merits, and its own drawbacks. Just remember, a good rule of thumb these days is a new computer system is generally obsolete after a year, sometimes sooner.

Another thing to keep in mind is expandability. A key question to ask is can you upgrade components easily? With some manufacturers, you can only use the parts that they make, such as RAM and power supplies. As time passes, the cost of replacing parts becomes a problem, as well as even being able to find them.

Don’t let these things throw you, however. Many companies are leading edge, and do their best to stay current, if not ahead, of the game. Just be aware that you’ll pay a premium for the newest features, but the cost usually doesn’t pay for itself in the long run.

Always do your homework on a particular system that catches your eye. There is plenty of information available on all the devices and gadgets out there, and if something about a system is suspect or faulty, it won’t take long to be made known to the world.

Also, don’t be shy about grilling a salesperson about features that you don’t understand or have heard bad things about. Rule of thumb on this is: If the salesman can’t answer your questions, don’t be led astray. It’s your investment, and any investment is worth understanding fully.

Building a System

Here’s where things get really interesting. If you’ve never put a computer together, it can seem impossible. However, if you have a small amount of mechanical ability and patience, you’ll find this to be a very rewarding pursuit.

You’ll also get a good understanding of how each component makes up an overall computer, as well as how each one works. I’ve personally built more machines than I can easily count, and each time out it’s always similar, but also very different.

A trip to a bookstore or the ‘Net will get you more than enough information for a complete overview of how a PC is constructed.

One of the main considerations on building your own machine is that you can blow your budget quickly on components. Always try to get the most value for the money you’re willing to spend, and shop around for the best bargains. Again, do your homework and research before heading to the store.

If you’d like to send questions to me, please feel free to visit my Website and I’ll be happy to answer your queries, or point you in the right direction.

Good luck, and happy computing!