Lelan's Computer Tips and Tools

Updated: December 1, 2017– however not all links have been re-checked

Following are some tips and tools I have found helpful for safer computer and online experiences.

CAUTION

Almost ALL of the Sites Mentioned on this Page offer FREE Solutions

Several of the sites mentioned often
have ADS for similar solutions that cost $$$

BE VERY Sure You Open the Correct Link for FREE stuff.

NEVER EVER Let Anyone Take Remote Control of Your Computer

Internet Safety Tips for Kids and Adults
www.safestars.org/internet-safety

A Teens Guide to Cyber Security
www.hotspotshield.com/resources/teens-guide-to-cyber-security

 

Some Tips For Windows Computers – Windows XP is no longer supported.

Following these tips on a regular and keeping your software and drivers updated will help keep the bad guys away.

I suggest doing Tips 1-3 at least monthly.

Tip 1: Microsoft Update Tuesday – 2nd Tuesday of each month.

Install Windows, Internet Explorer and Office updates
www.komando.com/tips/12023/install-these-windows-internet-explorer-and-office-updates-now/all

Tip 2: To update other software you have installed on your Windows Computer

You can download and install updates to many frequently used software at
www.ninite.com

I use Ninite to update Adobe Reader, FileZilla, Google Earth, Java, Malwarebytes, Picasa, QuickTime, Revo, Shockwave, Skype, and WinAmp.

Tip 3: Keep your other browsers updated – Microsoft IE and EDGE will be updated in Tip 1.

For FIREFOX click HELP then About Firefox – update will be automatically downloaded and installed.

For GOOGLE CHROME click on the 3 bars in the upper right corner then About Google Chrome – update will be automatically downloaded and installed.

Tip 4: Occasionally run Malwarebytes to removed bad guys your regular security software missed.
Malwarebytes can be downloaded and installed using www.ninite.com

Tip 5: Monitor the status of software loaded on your computer
Download and install Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) from http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/
This is a free computer security solution that identifies vulnerabilities in non-Microsoft (third-party) programs which can leave your PC open to attacks.

Tip 6: For General and System Cleanup I use CCleaner (FREE)
Download and install from www.ccleaner.com
You may need to run it a couple times until no bad guys are gone.

Tip 7: Update your drivers:
In this case, a "driver" is the software that your computer uses to make external hardware, like USB drives and printers, communicate with your computer. Driver Booster 2 automatically scans for drivers that are out of date and then updates them for you. No more of your time has to be wasted waiting for an update when you have places to go. Source: www.komando.com/downloads/277551/update-your-drivers-the-faster-easier-way

Tip 8: PASSWORDS
CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD IF YOU HAVE HAD THE SAME ONE FOR A LONG TIME
Is your password strong enough to protect your stuff ????

Create strong passwords:
www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/password-checker.aspx

Kim Komando's Security Center: www.komando.com/security-center

McAfee Security Center: http://home.mcafee.com/advicecenter

6 rules for safer financial transactions online:
www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/finances-rules.aspx

VIRUS and OTHER BAD STUFF

It is VERY important to have a good ANTI-VIRUS program with UPDATED definitions.

There are “creative and talented writers” busy creating Malware (see definitions below) around the clock and are floating around cyberspace attacking innocent computers.

So please keep your anti-virus software updated.

To ward off ugly creatures I have my AntiVirus (McAfee Security Center – free from AT&T with my internet service) and Windows set for AUTO UPDATES but I also do a manual update on my system at least weekly.

Make sure your antivirus software is updated – set for auto update and scans
Scan your computer using your Anti-Virus software

Kim Komando’s security center has a lot of useful info – including info about FREE Anti-Virus software www.komando.com/security-center

In addition to McAfee I also run the following two tools on a regular basis to find and destroy bad stuff that may has slipped through.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware www.malwarebytes.org.

SOME BASIC TIPS

Cleaning and Defragmenting your hard drive often is a very good idea and time well spent … I use CCleaner and Defraggler.

When a problem occurs … close all programs and RESTART your computer … more often than not your computer will fix itself.

It is ALWAYS a safe practice to NOT open attachments or links from an unknown source or from a known source if you were not expecting an attachment.

You can and will get email notes that appear to come from someone you know and they will have had NOTHING to do with sending it to you.

If you get a note that seems to come from your bank, credit card company, etc do NOT click on the link in the note. DELETE the Note.

Go to your bank or credit card company's web site from your browser and check it out or call them.

Before opening a file from a USB Flash Drive, external drive, floppy disk, etc … scan it for viruses … a few seconds can save you hours.

Get a phone call from your bank, credit card company or any other business?

Call them back using the phone number on your credit card or statement.

DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION
NEVER EVER !!

I use Firefox for most things, but I also have Microsoft EDGE and Google Chrome browsers loaded and use them for some tasks.

I use Google as my primary search engine www.google.com; however, there are many good search engines: www.thesearchenginelist.com

TO CLEAN UP YOUR COMPUTER

SOME TOOLS I USE - MOST ARE FREE FOR PERSONAL USE

Download and Install any of the following not already loaded on your computer.

I use Ninite to Install and Update all or many of the programs mentioned here
www.ninite.com

CCleaner (freeware system optimization) - run both modes General Cleanup and System Cleanup: www.ccleaner.com

You may need to run it a couple times until no bad guys are gone.

Defraggler will defrag your entire hard drive or individual files - you may need to run this a few time: www.piriform.com/defraggler

Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) this will scan your software and let you know of any that need to be updated:

Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware
www.belarc.com/free_download.html

I prefer REVO UNISTALLER to the WINDOWS “Add / Remove Programs” as it digs a bit deeper to also remove left over tracks.

Revo Uninstaller to uninstall programs – it also cleans up left over “bit” created by the program.

Install or update using www.ninite.com

You can Open Control Panel and then Add / Remove Programs to uninstall programs that you do not use be careful because some are support for other software

Kaspersky TDSSKiller tailored to find and remove rootkits in the TDSS family
http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/disinfection/5350

KeePass encrypts the passwords so hackers and snoops can't see them
http://keepass.info/download.html

Wireless Network Watcher scans your network and shows you the IP address, MAC address, name and manufacturer of detected devices on your network
www.nirsoft.net/utils/wireless_network_watcher.html

FileZilla FTP (File Transfer Protocol) - Install or update using www.ninite.com

McAfee SiteAdvisor: www.siteadvisor.com/download/windows.html

URLVOID Check websites BEFORE opening the link: www.urlvoid.com

Need more memory … check out these sites

Crucial: www.crucial.com

Memory Ten: www.memoryten.com

FREE SOFTWARE WORTH CHECKING OUT

OpenOffice by Apache Software Foundation is a free replacement for Microsoft Office and includes the following six tools for managing office tasks: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, and Math. www.openoffice.org

Thunderbird by Mozilla is a free replacement for Outlook www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird

SOME ONLINE LINKS YOU MAY FIND
HELPFUL AND INFORMATIVE

The Kim Komando Show is on the radio in Amarillo 710 AM KGNC Sundays at 12 PM – tune in for practical and helpful tips, buying guide, downloads, and more: www.komando.com

Kim Komando Tips: www.komando.com/tips

Basic Security Protection check out www.komando.com/security-center

A Comprehensive Computer Safety & Security Guide by Jonathan O'Brien: www.certstaff.com/computer-safety-security-guide.html

Wonder about some actions in the US Congress, check it out at: www.congress.gov

When you get a note that seems “too good to be true” please take the time to check it out or before you pass it on to your entire address list - I trust the first one a bit more.

Truth of Fiction: www.truthorfiction.com/search.htm

Snopes: www.snopes.com

What are the email etiquette rules?: www.emailreplies.com/#rules

Most Important Rules of Email Netiquette: www.email.about.com/od/emailnetiquette/tp/core_netiquette.htm

Point of Sale and Online Shopping Safety Guide
www.accupos.com/pos-articles/point-of-sale-and-online-shopping-safety-guide.php

A comparison of Anti-Virus and Spyware software worth checking out: www.anti-virus-software-review.toptenreviews.com

Good Source for Free Software: www.filehippo.com and www.sourceforge.net

Steps you can take to improve your computer's security: www.microsoft.com/security

The Microsoft Support Center- a great place to start software problem solving
www.support.microsoft.com

A FEW DEFINITIONS

adware https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adware

computer viruses https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_virus

crimeware https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimeware

malware https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malware

phishing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing

rootkits https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rootkit

scareware https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scareware

spam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mail_spam

spyware https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spyware

trojan horses https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_horse_ (computing)

worms https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_worm

When the Crooks Call ...

Lately I have been getting a lot of calls that try to sell me something or want my opinion about something.

My standard response is “I am not interested in anything you are selling” or “I do not do surveys

I am quick to remind them that my phone … home and cells … are on the National Do Not Call Registry www.donotcall.gov

My Rules …

There is no reason I need to answer any of their questions.

There is no reason I need to be nice to themHANG UP

Your bank, credit card company, etc should NEVER ask for personal information.

Do not confirm any information for them – not even your name.

Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism.

Do not EVER provide any personal information.

I have received calls from my credit card company saying they are with the company fraud department. I say thank you, I will call you back. I call the number on the back of my credit card, not ever the one they give me.

It is ALWAYS a safe practice to NOT open attachments or links from an unknown source or from a known source if you were not expecting an attachment.

You can and will get email notes that appear to come from someone you know and they will have had NOTHING to do with sending it to you.

If you get a note that seems to come from your bank, credit card company, etc do NOT click on the link in the note. DELETE the Note.

Go to your bank or credit card company's web site from your browser and check it out or call them.

Before opening a file from a USB Flash Drive, external drive, floppy disk, etc … scan it for viruses … a few seconds can save you hours.

Get a phone call from your bank, credit card company or any other business?

DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION
NEVER
.

Call the company back using the phone number on your credit card or statement.

Microsoft Says: Beware of phishing phone calls: www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/phishing-symptoms.aspx

Cybercriminals might call you on the phone and offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes. Once they've gained your trust, cybercriminals might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a website to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information is vulnerable. Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism. Do not provide any personal information. For more information, see Avoid tech support phone scams.

Amarillo Police Department Says: Beware of possible telephone fraud attempt using APD as reason for solicitation.

In the last hour, the Amarillo Police Department has had at least two calls from citizens reporting that someone posing as a representative of the APD has called their home to solicit funds. The caller was a male, calling from a blocked number, in each case. The APD does not engage in any type of telephone solicitation for donations. If you receive such a call, hang up immediately. If you have donated money or provided identifying information to any caller that identified them self as a representative of the Department, please call 806-378-3038 to report the fraud.

Some helpful reminders from the APD Crime Prevention Unit
https://local.nixle.com/alert/5909889/?sub_id=108420

 

 

Please direct any comments to: Lelan@LelanCallaway.com