Free Antivirus Software for Your Consideration

It is important for you to install antivirus software at your computer or notebook. Antivirus software will give protection from various harmful things such as viruses, spywares, adwares, worms, Trojans, rootkit infections, and much more. The old version of antivirus only detected the viruses while the old version of spyware removers just detected spyware. Now, the limit between antivirus and spyware removers is unclear. The antivirus software available today provides better detection rates for various malwares.

AntivirusThose malwares are including viruses, worms, adware, keyloggers, and many dangerous threats for your computer. Since the number of malware keeps increasing, it is impossible for antivirus software to keep up. However, using more than one antivirus can cause the conflicts and reduce the protection. Because of this reason, it is more recommended for you to choose the best antivirus for real time protection. You will be able to increase the protection using security software. Here are some free antivirus software programs which can be your consideration.

The first program is Avira AntiVir Personal Edition. Due to its high quality, many people choose to use this program. Avira faced some controversies related to re-branded Ask toolbar in their installer and temporary spate of advertisement to promote a possible scareware company. Despite of its negative issues, Antivir is still top notch antivirus. It offers outstanding detection rates of malware. The ability is higher than other antivirus programs. Because of the ability, Antivir is still a good choice for free antivirus software programs especially for high risk users.

When you are using Avira, you will not be able to scan any website or e-mail. You can only get this feature from commercial versions. For the people who are using the free version, you will not get any warn of an infected emails before you open it. However, when you open the infected email, Avira will take the action.

Another option you can get is AVG Anti virus. In the past days, this antivirus provides some shaky results in detection. Current AVG antivirus provides higher level protection due to Identity Protection. It provides very important layer of protection. The weakness of AVG free antivirus software is its big size and slow scan speeds. It also has advertisements but you can disable them.

Avast free antivirus software can also be good option. This program improves the detection rates over these past years. It offers real-time capabilities such as web, e-mail, IM, behavioral blocker, and much more. The latest version even offers more features such as internet site ratings plugin, script malware, and much more.

You may also consider using Microsoft Security Essentials. It provides outstanding detection rates. This program is suitable option for average users due to the minimal user interaction required. The update process is done automatically. When your computer is attacked by viruses, the program will remove the threat automatically. If those programs are not suitable for you, you are recommended to try other free software antivirus such as Panda Cloud Antivirus.

Nowadays have knowledge related with computer is so much fun. And its more important because computer would save your time to finish your current job task. There are so much update antivirus software that available in as free accounting software directory. All you thing to do, is read a software review, specification and read documentation after installed it on your computer.

How To Choose Cloud Technology For Your Business

Working with a cloud computing company can be beneficial in numerous ways. According to several surveys at the international level, it has been found that companies of all sizes and shapes are adapting such services to improve their working efficiency, enhance their profit margin and minimize the business operational cost. However, most of the people do not have an exact idea about cloud computing.

Read on to understand what is cloud computing and what are the elements you need to take into consideration when selecting a computing vendor for your business.

What is cloud computing?

In order to understand the concept of cloud computing, it is vital to understand where the term “cloud computing” originated from. It is most likely originated from the use of cloud like shape to demonstrate the network computing environment, which include hardware, storage, services, networks and services involved.

Cloud computing
Cloud computing

“Cloud computing” by Sam Johnston – Created by Sam Johnston using OmniGroup’s OmniGraffle and Inkscape (includes Computer.svg by Sasa Stefanovic)This vector image was created with Inkscape.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cloud_computing.svg#/media/File:Cloud_computing.svg
You can find several definitions over the internet in the context of cloud computing. It is simply a delivery of software services and computing infrastructure through the internet. People can access shared resources, software applications and system stored on any remote server through the internet browser.

The cloud computing services are usually offered by Third Party companies. Most of the IT companies prefer to hire such firms to reduce their operational cost, improve their working efficiency, maximize their profit margin, and to have a great control over their business.

It is easy to find numerous companies that provide cloud computing solutions for small, mid-sized and large IT firms. However, not all of them offer genuine and reliable services. When going to hire a company, it is important to find a service provider that can meet all your needs. Here are the few elements which you need to take into account when selecting one for your business.

Technical support

When going to hire a service provider the first and foremost thing which you need to check is the IT support services. Check the support services offered by different cloud computing service providers and the ways through which they are available for your help or support such as phone, email, fax, online chat and so on. Besides this, you need to ensure that their support hours meet with your business operation hours. You also need to ensure that their support services are available in weekends, holidays and beyond the office hours during the emergency.

Service Agreements

The professional vendors usually sign business agreements which include the details of their services and commitments such as response time, service hours and the time limit that servers are online. You need to check every term and condition before going to sign any agreement. If possible, request them to make service agreement as per your business need and requirements.

Standard API

It is vital to ensure that the cloud computing vendor you are going to hire is utilizing a standardize application programming interface (API). API is a mechanism which handles the data transmission of a specific application into the cloud. When using a standardize API, you can get a peace of mind that the server will be compatible with your applications.

Security

It is important to know how the cloud vendor will protect your data and important documents. You need to find out the answer of some common security questions like what forms of authentication are used by the vendor, who can access your data? And so on. This will surely help you in choosing the right computing vendor for your firm.

Billing and Monitoring

Not all cloud computing vendors offer the same level of services at the same charges. Their charges may vary depending on the services and facilities they provide to their users. You need to check and compare the facilities and services of different vendors. This will help you in choosing the right company within your budget.

By keeping these elements in mind before hiring any company, will definitely help in choosing the right cloud computing vendor for your business.
By Apurwa Anand

How to Turn Office 365 Into a Phone System

 How to Turn Office 365 Into a Phone System

How to Turn Office 365 Into a Phone System

Microsoft doesn’t offer telephony… EVERYONE knows THAT! So, how is it possible to turn one of the world’s most ubiquitous software packages into a complete phone system for your business? With Lync, that’s how. Surely, by now you have heard of Microsoft Lync… the moniker that was bestowed upon Microsoft’s Office Communications Server (OCS) back in 2010.

Lync Online, which is a component of many Office 365 licenses, is a powerful communications platform, offering presence, instant messaging, voice over IP (VoIP) calling, desktop sharing, and audio and video conferencing… all from a single interface. Lync makes it possible to handle just about all of your communications through a single desktop client, with one exception… voice… dialtone. Old school telephony.

Recognizing this limitation as a significant opportunity in the converging IT and telecom industries, which is a completely separate topic that warrants additional attention… perhaps in an encore article, a handful of providers have developed a way to voice enable Office 365 (or O365 since just about everything in telecom becomes reduced to an acronym). The mechanism for supercharging the software suite is Microsoft Lync.

As previously mentioned, Lync is already a component of O365. What is missing, though, is voice enablement. By replacing the Lync Online component with a voice-enabled Lync package, O365 becomes a comprehensive communications solution. So the user is able to leverage their purchase of O365 and obtain a phone system that is fully integrated into everything else they use on their desktop, including Exchange for email and calendaring, and even Microsoft SharePoint for shared document management. There are even call center components that can be incorporated for high volume telephone operations. The value to the customer is the ability to replace a legacy phone system that they have outgrown or is reaching its end of life with a completely hosted telephone system.

This unified communications platform behaves just like the telephone systems that today’s businesses have come to rely upon for day-to-day operations, including receptionist switchboard features, call routing to “hunt groups” and full IVR capabilities. Voice-enabled Lync can be configured to mirror the functionality of a legacy phone system, even to the point of feeding an office-wide intercom system to announce calls on hold.

If it’s time for you, or your customers, to re-evaluate the value of a legacy phone system, Microsoft Lync may be the answer. If you have purchased Office 365, you are already halfway there!

Learn more about how Office 365 can be used as a phone system. Call or email me for a personalized consult to determine if this is a viable option for you and your business. I can be reach most anytime on 302.514.PLUM or greg@plumUC.com.

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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Computer Repair Business

If you have been considering setting up a small business within your home and you happen to be good with computers, you might want to consider running a computer repair business out of your home. There are many things that you can do when it comes to computer repairs, and two of the most popular are software applications and hardware repair and or instillation. People today rely heavily on their computers as a means to keep in touch with friends and family, and some people much like you are running a small business from their home. If these machines go down, someone is going to need to fix them for these people why not you?

Fixing Machines

A computer repair business from your home can actually be a very profitable company. There are many things that people look forward to what it comes to their computer; if their machine breaks they are going to need help. This is where you can come into the picture, and you will have the opportunity to making a lot of money. If the people that run a small business from home bring you their machine, you can expect that they are going to pay you handsomely to get them back on the field. Every day that they are down, is essentially money lost. This is why you have a chance of making an excellent income. Some simple tools and a bit of space in your home are all that it really requires today.

Installing Software

With a computer repair business you are going to encounter clients that are looking for tune ups or even software upgrades. This is something that has the potential to be very lucrative for you, as you can find the software at wholesale cost and install it retail and charge labor. This will bring you a good deal of money from this area of the business, as there are many people that look to have their machines current and up to date with their programs. With so many different programs on the market, you should not be surprised to find some people that simply want you to fully load their machines with programs. This is because it can be a time consuming affair to load a program on a computer, some people simply do not have the time or the patience.

Great For Your Own Machine

If you are running a computer repair business from your home, you will actually have an easy time not only working on your own machine but acquiring great software for it as well. You will meet many people along the way, and chances are someone will come to you with great contacts. This will help push your business further, and you can actually see even more growth than you had originally anticipated. This will be great for you and the small business that you started, as you will then see that you may have to hire someone to help you in the growing company.

Roger Barnes writes home business, work from home and related articles for the Home Business Selection website at http://www.homebusinessselection.com

How to Send a Secret Message

Introduction

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.

Conclusion

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

Life is Unpredictable, Your Data Shouldn’t Be!

With the arrival of various internet based applications which allow people to express themselves, the web has definitely become democratic. But using the same for carrying out personal or malicious activities, and that too using your office computer can land you in deep trouble.

A senior executive at a marketing firm was accused by his boss of passing on vital company data to a competing firm, he denied it. “But we have the proof”, his boss told him and showed it to him, as clear as daylight. The executive resigned immediately. It’s a fact of life in the 21st century workplace; the boss may well be watching you, especially if you use a office computer. Improper computer use can also spell legal trouble. Downloading pirated music or movies onto a work computer can prompt a copyright-infringement suit. Viewing pornography or sending sexually suggestive emails can lead to sexual harassment claims. Thus, an employer can use special software to monitor everything – it’s as if a camera is watching your computer.

Companies are using two types of spying software: network-based programs that monitor all traffic passing through a system, and programs that sit directly on an employee’s desktop. What can such software do? They can track and block the websites a user tries to visit and log his or her every keystroke. The boss can see screen shots of what the employees do on Yahoo! He can see what they’re typing, whether it’s resumes or business-related stuff. Such program even keeps track of songs that employees download to their iPod. In the American and European countries, one in four companies reports firing someone for improper email use. Such software works without being identified, even by an anti-virus program.

There are plenty of valid reasons for companies to monitor their worker’s computer use.

1. Productivity: A recent survey found that employees on average wasted at least two hours a day-much of it online-doing things other than work.

2. Security: Porn, gambling and gaming sites, for example, can harbour viruses and other malicious programs that load onto a computer secretly and allow outsiders to damage a network or make off with sensitive information.

3. Companies also have competitive reasons to keep tabs on workers.

4. Employee attrition: With young employees who may have quickly changing loyalties, more and more companies see the need to spy.

5. Reputation Management: Companies want to be sure that there employee’s defamatory work does not harm the company’s global reputation.

Implementing all these policies may be beneficial for the companies, but the employees always feel pressurised. They feel paralysed, if their every activity from composing the weekly report to emails is tracked. And who hasn’t opened his email to find a message from a friend passing along a goofy YouTube clip or an off-colour joke. If it does get a laugh, it’s probably passed along to a few more people. And this can seriously land the employee who first circulated such content within the company.

It seems that technology will continue to creep unabashedly into the workplace. So, if you blog, forward naughty email, flirt, chat or search for a new job, just remember that it’s safest to use your own computer for any of that in the comfort of your home.

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.

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 salvationdata.com 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:

Encryption:

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.

Backups:

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.

Firewalls:

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 http://www.dataprotectionfacts.com, 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!