Almost every Windows PC contains at least one insecure program

December 3rd, 2008

Sobering stats from Secunia. Out of a random sampling of 20,000 systems, a whopping 98.09% have one or more insecure program installed.

The total number of PCs/users included in these numbers are 20,000, out of these 98.09% have 1 or more insecure programs installed on their PC, hence: 98 out of 100 PCs that are connected to the Internet have insecure programs installed!

It gets worse - nearly half of all Windows systems have eleven or more insecure programs installed.

Here's the data:

  • 0 Insecure Programs: 1.91% of PCs
  • 1-5 Insecure Programs: 30.27% of PCs
  • 6-10 Insecure Programs: 25.07% of PCs
  • 11+ Insecure Programs: 45.76% of PCs

This data is a subset of the data collected by Secunia's own PSI (Personal Software Inspector) scanner software.

So, what do you do? Well, here's an idea:

  • Download Secunia PSI.
  • Install it.
  • Run it!
  • Now act on any vulnerabilities it finds (PSI makes downloading updates a snap - you just have to click on the download link).
  • Now run it regularly and patch anything that you might have missed!

Do it now!

Thanksgiving tech tips

November 28th, 2008

Stuffed on turkey and doped up on tryptophan? How about some tech to clear the head!

Wanna thank you Mom for that wonderful meal? How about a little tip of tech tidy-up!

(If you're a Mom reading this, then print it out and leave it somewhere conspicuous! )

Here are a few idea.  Use a few or use them all, it's up to you!

  1. Clean out the hard disk junk!
    This will free up hundreds of megs of disk space!
    Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup

    Disk Cleanup - Vista
    Disk Cleanup - Vista
    Disk Cleanup - Vista
  2. Error check the drive and defragment!
    Open up Windows Explorer and right-click on the hard drive and choose Properties.  Click on the Tools tab and there you will find buttons for Error-checking and Defragmentation.

    Properties - Vista
  3. Get your Mom decent email address!
    I like Gmail and I'm certain that your Mom will too!
  4. Set up an IM program!
    Take your pick - there's plenty to choose from!  Best to try to standardize everyone onto the one platform, but if different members of the family use different IM programs then you might want to give Trillian a spin.
  5. Install a spyware scanner!
    Windows Defender and Lavasoft AdAware are both no-fuss and easy to use!  There's also a really good (and free!) anti-spyware scanner by Grisoft.
  6. Install and configure a firewall!
    I suggest Sunbelt Personal Firewall, which is easy to use and free for personal use (it switches to basic mode after 30 days)!
  7. Install Firefox 2.0, Opera 9 and Internet Explorer 7
    Update all the browsers and let your Mom  choose which one she likes best.
    Firefox | Opera | Internet Explorer
  8. Antivirus!
    A good free AV tool is AVG Free Edition from Grisoft.
  9. Windows Update/Microsoft Update!
    You know what to do but your Mom might not!  Make sure that you also check that things like QuickTime and Flash are also updated because these get real old real fast.
  10. Backup!
    How you pull this off will depend on what kind of media your Mom has (take over your external burner if you have one and she doesn't!).  A good (and free!) backup tool is Back4Win.
  11. Introduce your Mom to the wonders of RSS web feeds!
    Whatever your Mom is into, there's bound to be RSS feeds that she can subscribe to and keep abreast of what's going on!

Flashback to a bit of tech fun ...

Holiday Coupons 2008 – 25% off Kaspersky security products

November 27th, 2008

This coupon code entitles the first 1,000 purchasers to a whopping 25% off Kaspersky security products:

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Kaspersky Labs develops, produces and distributes information security solutions that protect our customers from IT threats and allow enterprises to manage risk. We provide products that protect information from viruses, hackers and spam for home users and enterprises and offer consulting services and technical support.

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Product Highlights:

  • Three protection technologies against new and unknown threats:
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    3) On-going behavior analysis
  • Protection from viruses, Trojans and worms
  • Protection from spyware and adware
  • Real-time scanning for email, Internet traffic and files
  • Protection from viruses when using ICQ and other IM clients
  • Protection from all types of keyloggers
  • Detection of all types of rootkits
  • Automatic database updates

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Valid until: 12/31/2008

Holiday Coupons 2008 – 20% off PQ DVD to iPod/iPhone/AppleTV/Zune

November 27th, 2008

This coupon code entitles the first 1,000 purchasers to a massive 20% off PQ-DVD products:

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Convert DVD and video files into wmv/avi format for PC, Pocket PC, Smartphone, Portable Media Center, Palm, etc.

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Valid until: 12/31/2008

Holiday Coupons 2008 – 15% off Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac

November 27th, 2008

This coupon code entitles the first 1,000 purchasers to a pocket-friendly 15% off Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac products:

PCD-WHPV

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac provides the complete essentials for an easy, fast and powerful way to run Windows on your Mac. Parallels’ easy-to-use OS integration and instant data access technologies make Windows programs run seamlessly and Mac-like.

  • Optimize your Windows-on-Mac experience with a turbo-charged virtualization engine and the latest Mac hardware support including 8 –way SMP, 8 GB RAM and 64/32-bit computing.
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  • Get $175 complementary software in a complete protection suite to optimize Windows disk space and safeguard your computer and data.
  • Use Coherence mode to run windows applications right on Mac desktop to break the barriers between Windows and Mac.
  • A variety of SmartX technologies offer you SmartSelect to associate files with default applications to launch, SmartMount to automatically mount removable media for access across OS, Smart Auto Start to define specific VMs to auto-boot during startups, SmartGuard to automatically protect everything you need with scheduled snapshots and other SmartX applications.
  • New PowerSave feature will extent battery life up to 20% longer.
  • And of course you get tons of other new features and programs free, including Parallels Compressor, Parallels Image Tools, Acronis True Image Home, Parallels Internet Security 2009 powered by Kaspersky, iPhone application, Parallels Explorer, Security Manager and so on.
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Valid until: 12/31/2008