Internet Explorer Security Flaw Revealed

One thing about browsing these days, you may want to consider what type of browser you will be using. Normally, the Windows Internet Explorer would be the prime preference, considering it comes in by default with most Windows Operating systems upon installation. But if there is one thing you have to note, Microsoft will always be prone to security flaws and apparently there is one that has reportedly infected over 2 million computers today.

More than two million computers worldwide have been infected because of a major security flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser, the software giant admitted today.

The problem, first revealed last week, allows criminals to hijack computers and steal passwords if the user visits an infected website.

As many as 10,000 sites have already been compromised to take advantage of the flaw, according to anti-virus software producer Trend Micro.

So far the websites, mostly based in China, have largely been used to obtain computer game passwords which can be sold on the black market.

Source

We are all aware that there are usually updates or patches sent out by Microsoft to its valued users. But timing is always essential. If you are late in attending to such a problem in security, that is a wide opening that a hacker will need. In this case, it is more of stealing gaming passwords that was the main agenda to which they profit by selling them in the market. That is only the lighter side of things.

Imagine these hackers being able to get their hands on other sensitive information like bank account or credit card numbers. The thought alone is scary and though we are aware that such activities exist, isnít it wary to find out that Microsoftís very own Internet Explorer can be made the bridge of it all?

So if you are using Internet Explorer at the moment, it would be wise to try out other browsers such as Firefox for the meantime. This is only temporary and knowing Microsoft, they will have this issue resolved in no time.

Set a Cut-Off Date for Stored Files

Do not let storage space stop you from deleting current files such as documents and spreadsheets on your computer. If these files have been around for years, back them up and take them out of your computer. Other than taking up space, you just have to consider the worst scenarios such as hard disk crashes or imminent formatting caused by system software malfunctions that are common today.

Formatting a hard drive is the last resort but is the easiest solution when it comes to program conflicts and crashes. While there are programs that try to help you restore a system, it remains that your PC will never be the same again due to buggy installation. Overwriting may be a good option but you will notice that after you do this, your computer slows down a bit more.

So to address speed and consistency of the operating system of your computer, it would be best to clean it from scratch and start a fresh copy of your preferred Windows operating system. It is a hard decision to make but at times you are left with very few choices to make.

If you have files that have been around for over 2 years which you donít access, just copy them to a CD or a tape drive. Do not leave them on your PC hard drive for easy access. At times you will never know when you would need to recover them and normally, backups are the best way to safeguard them in case something untoward happens to your PC.

Malware and Viruses Love Explorer Cookies

When we browse the web, we store a good amount of cookies to help us in navigating through sites. But while we see these so-called cookies are harmless, malware and viruses love the idea of using them as disguises as far as creating mischief later on once detected.

How are they detected? Normally if they are not cleaned or scanned properly by anti-virus software or spyware removers, they will quietly reside on your hard drive. Once they are detected, that is the only time you will gain notice of how harmful they can be, spreading like crazy and enabling a lot of browser popups warning you that you have malware infections on your computer.

So what is the best thing to do? For one, empty your cookies folder regularly. People do a lot of browsing but normally it is the URL that you only need to remember. You can always bookmark them if they are hard to remember but as far as the history and cookies folder is concerned, try to clean them out.

Also, when you are storing some temporary files, try to assign the least amount necessary. In the old Internet browsers, you could set it as low as 1MB. But now it has grown bigger, 8 MB to be exact. While that may seem small compared to the total gigabye storage your hard drive can take, a lot of spyware or small files can pose problems if you are not careful.

Just empty the history and cookies folder as often as you can. Donít let the Spyware and Malware files ruin your computer and you day.

Loose PC Peripherals Contribute to PC Crashes

At times, PC parts such as our video cards, sound cards and network cards can have a bearing if they are not properly plugged in. Especially if your computer is not the traditional packaged computer set which we normally get from vendors like IBM or Dell, chances are there will be errors or overlooked placements when we assemble or buy cloned PCs.

To some, it may be a matter of checking out the loose peripherals but at times, they do have a bearing as far as blue screens and PC crashes are concerned. There is no definitive explanation but perhaps one aspect that contribute to it is the conductive nature. If the slots are not properly fitted towards the cards we install, chances are the processors and the software we use will malfunction due to erroneous reading or even because of lose threads that need to be properly installed to function properly.

It may sound mediocre in nature but they do have a part. When you notice your PC hanging or suddenly showing you the blue screen, you are limited only to the software or hardware issue. Most of the time it points to the software for most as pirated or bugged software can really be a pain in the neck. But after successive installations and you still get the same errors, open your CPU and start checking those pins and slots. The problem may be because of some loose connection that you have failed to consider in the first place.

Microsoft Vista Is Slowing Down Fast Processors

Ask around today and many are regretting using the new installment of Microsoft, the Windows Vista. We have had a knack for getting in with the times but apparently this time is an exception. Unlike the previous operating systems released by Microsoft, the slow process and system performance the Windows Vista is entirely irritating and more PC users today are trying to revert to Windows XP even if they are no longer updated nor offered for sale by Microsoft in local stores.

Would the PC user care at all? Apparently they donít care if no more updates or patches would be released. They can wait for an improved Vista or perhaps another operating system that can be launched. In short, use anything but Windows Vista is what people are concluding right now.

Windows Vista seems to have a lot of areas that are not covered. Such is typical for most initial releases of Microsoft operating systems but the problem is that a PC owner cannot just format their hard drive similar to the past. They have to break the Vista system which may take some further steps which have already been posted here some months back.

If you want a review of how to go about it, you can check it out here.

Clean the Startup Programs

At times, people would want to have computers operating fast but the thing is they want to see all the programs loading as well when a computer boots. Now if that were the case, speed will be sacrificed. With so many programs loading on first boot, you can just imagine the time it would take to start them all at once. Also, they cannot be started simultaneously since for some programs, there is dependency on which should start first before the next would follow.

But while computers should make life easier, they should also be treated wisely. There are some programs that you simply do not need at startup. You can see these during configuration and installation wherein the installation process would ask you before completion if you would want these to start when windows starts up.

Anti-virus protection is included of course. But other programs like Malware protection, peer to peer programs and perhaps even monitoring software can really be started manually if people only consider it. While these programs are slated to operate at times of problems, it does not follow that you need them all the time. Aside from a slow startup, you can expect snailís pace speed when actually using your computer. Now that would entirely be frustrating.

Make do with taking out the programs and software that are not really needed each time your startup. The difference is in speed and you can figure that out once you cut off these other programs.

Placing Windows XP in Safe Mode

At times, you may find the need to start your PC on safe mode. Among the instances would include:

1. Virus infections
2. Malware infections
3. System Crash
4. Software compatibility issues
5. Restore Option

We cannot avoid incurring these issues. Apparently, the need to reboot and place the PC in safe mode is a problem for most. Some would restart it manually with the hopes of being prompted to go into safe mode. The traditional way is to press the F6 button before the Windows XP logo shows so that you can get yourself into the menu which asks if you want to start normally or pass via safe mode.

Depending on the degree of damage, the loading time may vary. Remember that in such cases, loading of chosen programs are in progress. If there are a lot of programs installed, it may take a while. Donít panic. Just wait for the loading screen to finish and the safe mode will come out.

When you are in safe mode, donít expect all programs to run. Anti-virus programs may not be present at this time nor your Internet connection. These may have been cut off due to limited resources. So before you resort to safe mode, make sure you have jotted the things you need to address that may include the registry editing for manual removal of certain command lines.

This approach is restricted to the techie people. But if you follow the right steps from information on the web, you can get the job done and feel great about it. Just be patient and follow the tips so that you can have your OS up and running good as before.

Not All Windows XP Service Packs are Recommended

If you are using Windows XP, you may be surprised to find that after installing the Windows XP Service Pack 1, the succeeding ones are hard to install. For people who are unaware of the consequences of forcing the issue, the Windows Genuine checker will stop you from installing the Windows XP Service Pack 2. So if you cannot get past that, donít expect to reach the Service Pack 3.

There are software (mostly pirated) that integrate the service packs to the Windows XP OS. Now that may be a good way to go about it but do remember that Microsoft is now on the prowl for pirated software and it can be detected using the update option to which the wiser ones have chosen to turn off.

But the real question is on whether you do need these service packs for a more stable operating system. There are issues such as driver issues and system crashes. Malware intrusion is another issue since some ports are prone to attacks if they are not covered. In a nutshell, PC users have little options as far as being able to choose of updating their OS for better security and updates or making do with their version that can be susceptible to viruses.

Such is a risk and price to pay for using pirated software. But if you donít want to get caught, you are left with very little choices at this point. To avoid it all, just buy the genuine one and save yourself the trouble of legal and technical issues for your PC.

Check Before Emptying the Recycle Bin

When you delete files in your PC, they normally go first to the recycle bin. So technically, they are still around. There are cases where people recall these files and in some cases, restoring them from the recycle bin can still be done. If that were the case, then good for the use. But what if he really deletes and empties the recycle bin immediately?

Such are the cases where deleting files manually on any computer should be done carefully before doing the next thing in your mind. One cannot avoid it. For some, deleting a file is practically automatic towards accepting that they are useless. So why leave them hanging around in the recycle bin when you can free up more space for newer files?

Not all people are aware of the real use of a recycle bin. It is the primary location where deleted files fall in. But there are people who configure their recycle bin to automatically discard the files upon deletion meaning that once they are deleted, they are deleted forever. Is that a wise move? For the advanced people perhaps it is, but if you are a novice user, it would be best to avoid being to advance if you cannot really handle it and know how to recover them through technical means.

Space is something important for most PC users. Deleting files and some programs help them get through it. Though new storage solutions such as optical drives and external hard drives are present today, some people just donít want to adjust to it. Regardless, when it comes to finding these files in your recycle bin, check it out thoroughly before making a decision. It may be something you would regret.

The Importance of Hard Disk Partitioning

We see a lot of hard disks in the market today that come in large sizes. We see 80 gigabyte hard drives up to 160 gigabyte. That is quite a large storage capacity if you compare it to the old ones we have some years back and one thing you should be aware of is that the larger the storage, the risky it is as far as perhaps losing data once the hard disk crashes or breaks down.

The best way to go about it is to partition the hard drives into smaller parts. For example, you can partition an 80 gigabyte hard disk into 2 40 gigabytes or even 4 20 gigabyte drives. As you can see, even in smaller partitions, they are still big and normally for most operating systems like Windows Vista or Windows XP, the most you would need would be about 4 gigabyte at the most.

When it comes to installing software, you can install it on the other drive letters assigned. For example, you can install MS Office in drive D or an anti-virus software in drive E. This helps ensure that you are balancing the applications you are installing which in the end can save you the trouble of losing space.

For documents, you donít have to always follow the usual My Documents on the C drive. You can configure it in a way that it is saved on the other drives. Or if you are lazy to configure, the beauty of partitioning is that you can easily transfer in between drives so that if crashes occur you can retrieve the files and transfer them via DOS or Windows.

Partitioning can be done on the setup menu during your first installation of Windows. Decide and then assign what partition size you want and then install from there.