Archive for February, 2006

Removing hidden data from Office documents

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Here's another great article by Deb Shinder of Sunbelt on ways to remove hidden data from Office documents.  It covers simple things like clicking "Accept All Changes", recommends useful utilities and also gives you the ultimate way to remove all hidden data - convert the document to PDF!

Office documents can really disclose a lot about you and your system and as a rule I don't send out unsanitized Office documents like Word or Excel documents to untrusted sources. Instead I either clean them or send a PDF of notepad document instead.

UK businesses plagued by viruses!

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

I'm not surprised by this in the least - here in the UK businesses have an appalling attitude to IT security.

[tag]Computer viruses[/tag] are the single biggest cause of security problems for UK businesses, a survey by the Department of Trade and Industry shows.

The study found almost 50% of the biggest security breaches suffered by companies in the last two years were due to infection by malicious programs.

In some cases [tag]viruses[/tag] crippled key systems such as e-mail for more than a day while companies cleaned up.

It also found that the worst outbreaks can take up to 50 days to fix.

BBC News

If this sounds bad (and it is), I can guarantee you that home PCs are even worse.

Security – A False Sense of Security?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Here is an excellent article by Deb Shinder of Sunbelt entitled "A False Sense of Security?"  Not only does it make some very good points but it's also thought-provoking in places.

As privacy becomes more and more of an issue for computer users, many turn to encryption software to protect confidential documents and email messages. There are the advantages and disadvantages of encrypting your data, including how just the fact that a file is encrypted may be a red flag that attracts hackers, who have reason to believe the data must be valuable (or at least titillating) since you went to the trouble to try to keep its contents secret.

But the bigger question may be whether encryption really protects your information at all, or just provides a false sense of security. That may depend on who it is that you're trying to keep out. Certainly a good encryption program will help prevent snooping by co-workers, family members or casual hackers. But if you're worried about keeping the government from knowing your secrets, will encryption do the job?

Recommended reading!

How to find the MAC ID for a network card

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

I'm trying to find out the [tag]MAC ID[/tag] for the wireless network card I've just bought - any ideas?

The easiest way to find the MAC ID (also known as [tag]Physical Address[/tag]) is to use ipconfig.

  1. Click Start > Run and type:
    ipconfig /all
  2. This will list th ethernet adaptors. Under the appropriate one fine the entry for physical address. It will have the following format:
    where each group of XX is a hex number (between 00 and FF).

New laptops have arrived!

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Our new laptops have arrived!

... and they work!

   ... and they are pretty cool!

Ton of installing to do now! I was going to install Windows Vista but I can't be sure that I will have all the drivers I need and since I don't really have the time to spend experimenting I've decided to install XP Pro on them instead.

I'm gad I went for 1GB of RAM - it make all the difference!