Tech Tips HAS MOVED

Triona's Tech Tips has MOVED to a new site. Please visit http://www.guidryconsulting.com/techtips for the latest computer news and tips. You can also subscribe to the Tech Tips email list. This site is no longer updated and remains only for archival purposes. All articles can be found on the new site.

See you at the new location!

Posted byTriona Guidry at 4:44 PM 0 comments  

More Scareware On Major News Sites

More reports are coming in of scareware coming from major news sites including The New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

As I mentioned in my previous alert about scareware via Newsweek, it's important to note that these scams can happen anywhere, anytime, even on the most reliable of sites. Please be careful, and bear in mind my recommendations on how to protect yourself from scareware.

Posted byTriona Guidry at 2:31 PM 0 comments  

First Snow Leopard Update Plus Other Mac Security Updates

Apple has released the first update for Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6.1, due to erroneously including an old and vulnerable version of Flash in the original release. This update also includes a few additional fixes.

Even if you're not running Snow Leopard yet, you'll want to use Software Updates under the Apple menu to get your copy of the latest Security Updates for Mac OS X 10.4.11 and 10.5.8.

Posted byTriona Guidry at 5:46 AM 0 comments  

Social Networking: Marketing Your Business Online Seminar On September 24th

Don't miss my upcoming seminar, Social Networking: Marketing Your Business Online, sponsored by the Cary Grove Chamber Of Commerce. It will be held Thursday, September 24th, 2009, from 11:30am-1pm (registration includes box lunch) at the Fox River Grove, Illinois, Village Hall, 305 Illinois St. Click here for downloadable flyer (PDF).

Have you been asked to get LinkedIn? Can you make business contacts through Facebook or MySpace? Should you Twitter your business? Join us for this computer series workshop on using social networking to market your business. To register, contact the Cary Grove Chamber at (847) 639-2800.

For a full list of my computer classes for PC and Mac, please see my events calendar. And be sure to sign up for FREE Tech Tips by email.

Hope to see you there!

Posted byTriona Guidry at 10:13 AM 0 comments  

Newsweek And Other Legit Sites May Contain Scareware

This article caught my attention recently, concerning a scareware scam that is being distributed via Newsweek's web site. I mention this one in particular because it's an example of how bad links sometimes come from good sites.

Scareware is when you receive a popup that insists there's something wrong with your computer. It's a scam to try to get you to click on a link, thus infecting your computer with viruses and possibly also ripping off your credit card. Don't expect your antivirus software to catch this stuff, it often sneaks through. I strongly encourage you to protect yourself through a combination of good computer security, free web site ratings software like McAfee SiteAdvisor or LinkExtend for Firefox, and plain old common sense.

Here are some of my previous articles which may help you out in this situation:

I'll be reprising my class on How To Protect From Cybercrime this November with the Cary Park District if you're looking for further help. See my class schedule for details and registration information.

Posted byTriona Guidry at 3:14 PM 0 comments  

Mac OS X Snow Leopard Software Compatibility List

For those of you exploring the newly released Mac OS X version 10.6 (Snow Leopard), Apple has posted a list of software that is incompatible with the new system. The list comprises mostly older versions of well-known software including Parallels Desktop 2.5 and earlier, McAfee VirusScan 8.6 and earlier, and Norton AntiVirus 11.0.

Other software is listed as "restricted from opening", meaning you can install it but it won't work. This list includes Parallels Desktop 3.0, Intego VirusBarrier 10.4.4 and earlier, SPSS 17, and Adobe Director MX 2004 version 10.2.

Apple recommends checking with your vendor for compatible upgrades. You may also want to browse through the list of compatible printer and scanner software.

Posted byTriona Guidry at 11:31 AM 0 comments  

What I'm Doing With Twitter And Tech Tips

I thought I'd take a moment to explain to my regular readers how I'm using Twitter in relation to Tech Tips.

Most of you already know that I offer Tech Tips in two formats. There is the email version, where I publish my newsletter on the 15th of the month and also provide notification of new blog entries as they become available. My blog is where I add tidbits pertinent to the computer needs of small businesses and consumers.

Some of you may not know that I am a freelance writer as well as a computer consultant. To that end, my Twitter account contains a little of both. In addition to providing computer news and links to relevant articles, I will also be including updates about freelancing, writing, Web 2.0 and my primary genres, science fiction and fantasy.

If you're interested, come join me on Twitter. If you prefer your Tech Tips straight up, you may wish to stick with my blog and email list. Don't forget that email subscribers receive bonus product reviews and other information. As always it's completely FREE, and your email address will never be sold to third parties. You can also find my Twitter updates (tweets) in the upper right-hand corner of the Tech Tips blog.

And if you're curious about Twitter but not sure how to start, come to my Social Networking: Marketing Your Business Online class on September 24th. You're always welcome to follow me on Twitter to get your feet wet. I promise to give you a stress-free introduction to the world of social networking.

Posted byTriona Guidry at 2:58 PM 0 comments  

Microsoft Nixes Special European Version Of Windows 7

I previously wrote about how Microsoft planned to release a special version of Windows 7 in Europe, sans Internet Explorer. Microsoft has since decided not to do so.

To comply with European regulations, Microsoft will offer a "browser ballot" which allows users to select their preferred web browser. I think it's a great idea to allow users to select their own web browsers instead of assuming that everyone will use Internet Explorer unless they happen to be familiar with the reasons why that might not be a good idea. I hope this approach will also be offered in the U.S. because it may encourage users to explore alternate Web browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Opera.

For more computer news, plus bonus product reviews and computer tips, subscribe (free!) to Tech Tips.

Posted byTriona Guidry at 3:46 PM 0 comments  

2009 Parental Control Software Review

Parental control software allows you to keep tabs on what your children are doing online. Some kids view it as invasive, but I see it as no different than a usage policy at a corporation. As long as you are honest with your kids about the fact that they will be monitored, parental controls serve a useful purpose. They allow automatic blocking of known inappropriate sites as well as content and image filtering. They permit you to schedule when the Internet is available (to curb those late-night surfing sessions) and to log instant messages. Some now include monitoring of social networks like MySpace and FaceBook. Such programs typically have trial versions so you can try them before you buy.

  • NetNanny has a new Macintosh version available. Both the Windows and Mac versions provide content filtering, instant message logging, usage reports, remote management and social network monitoring.

  • SafeEyes has also been revamped since last year. It's available for Windows and Mac and also has a version for mobile devices like iPhones. Its features are similar to NetNanny's.

  • CyberPatrol hasn't changed much over the last year. It's only available for Windows and unlike NetNanny and SafeEyes, doesn't provide monitoring of social networking sites.

  • Intego ContentBarrier is a Mac-only program that, like CyberPatrol, is fairly basic and doesn't monitor social networking sites.
Last year I noted that my least favorite antivirus program Norton includes some parental control features. Many antivirus programs are now doing the same, but I don't consider that a substitute for bona fide parental controls.

Don't forget to subscribe to Tech Tips (free!) for the latest computer news, plus bonus tips and product reviews. In September we'll talk about Computer Housekeeping.

Posted byTriona Guidry at 12:35 PM 0 comments  

Internet Safety For Kids

Each year I give you pointers on how to protect your kids from cyberbullies and other Internet dangers. We talked about "acceptable use" policies in 2007 and reviewed basic do's and don'ts in 2008. This year I'd like to introduce you to the Internet Safety Pledge, which I use in my Internet classes for kids.

You can find the Internet Safety Pledge on NetSmartz.org. What I like about the Safety Pledge is that it gives you age-appropriate bullet points you can use as a basis for discussion. No documentation can substitute for sitting down and talking with your kids about online safety, or anything else for that matter. I recommend you review the Safety Pledge with your children and reinforce that they should come to you with concerns or questions.

Of course, maintaining a secure computer is a must with kids in the house. You'll find my four steps to computer security and my security software recommendations here on my blog.

I'll be teaching more classes on Internet Safety For Kids this fall, so if you missed my summer sessions be sure to check my web site for registration details. I'm also happy to sit down with you and your kids during any regular tech support visit.

Don't forget to subscribe to Tech Tips (free!) for the latest computer news, plus bonus tips and product reviews. In September I'll show you how to use the Internet to find employment in Web 2.0 For Job Searches.

Posted byTriona Guidry at 12:30 PM 0 comments