I Use CCleaner, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, And Bitdefender Antivirus Free To Keep My PC Safe (and Clean)

April 4, 2016

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-014)

I have been involved with computers for nearly 30 years. I have never installed any “paid” antivirus software products and have solely relied on common sense and the FREE products that are available (and suitable for computers in the home). I have never had a virus on any of my home based computers. As you noticed, I mentioned “common sense” as one of the factors, which may be easier said than done. I do believe that you have to develop that sixth sense (or gut feeling) in knowing when you are entering potentially dangerous territory. On the software side I currently use three products to help keep my computers (at home) safe and clean.

CCleaner – Without a doubt, CCleaner is the number one optimization tool that not only cleans your computer, but also aids in keeping your computer safe. There is a FREE version and a paid version. I have always gotten along just fine with the free version.

Laptop showing the CCleaner interface - 1 billion downloads

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – Detects and removes malware on an infected computer with industry-leading anti-malware, anti-spyware, and anti-rootkit tech. Scans for the newest and most dangerous threats. Safely removes malware. One thing to point out at the start is that the FREE version of Malwarebytes is only a scanning utility and does not provide real-time protection. You can get the real-time protection by purchasing the commercial version of their software. Don’t let this deter you from downloading the FREE version. I use the FREE version and make a habit to manually download the updates and perform routine scans of my computer. If I was going to purchase protection for my computer, I would definitely go with the “paid” version of this software (so that it runs continuously in the background, stopping infections before they happen. Scans automatically and halts attempted attacks).

Malwarebytyes Anti-Malware

Bitdefender Antivirus FREE Edition – What I like about Bitdefender is that it is “smart and silent”. Once you install the FREE version, you will have to register with an email address; then, after that you will not even know it is on your computer. Bitdefender has a great reputation and has been well reviewed. As a reminder, when installing antivirus software; always remove (uninstall) any other antivirus software you have installed on your computer.

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A NEW Tool For The Tech Toolbox – Saw this on betaNews, “Investigate your PC’s RAM use with ATM“… This tool, called ATM performs an in-depth, low-level look at your PC’s system memory use. If you are a troubleshooter, ATM may be right up your alley. Being an old dumb PC Tech, this one was definitely above my level of comprehension (which isn’t much these days)…

ATM

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Easily Control Automatic and Unwanted Windows 7 & 8.1 Upgrading to Windows 10 – Here is a “How To”  @ Tech-for Everyone on using a utility called Never 10 that will disable the Windows 10 Upgrade (wiith just one click). Many folks are sticking to or reverting back to earlier versions of Windows due to the privacy concerns in Windows 10.

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Windows 10 Secret Apps View Basket

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HP Desktop Core 2 Duo 3.00GHZ 4GB 1TB DVD Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit , WIFI ,19″ LCD

HP Desktop Core 2 Duo 3.00GHZ 4GB 1TB DVD Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit , WIFI ,19" LCD

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Is 123456 A Good Password? — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-04)

January 25, 2016

Is 123456 A Good Password? – Apparently many people think that it is. The password “123456” once again reigns as the most commonly used password, as it has since SplashData’s first list in 2011, demonstrating how people’s choices for passwords remain consistently risky. The second most risky password used is; you got it, is the word “password”. To see a listing of the worst passwords for 2015 — CLICK HERE… The whole purpose of this annual publishing of bad passwords is to encourage “we the people” to use stronger passwords in an effort to protect our personal data and to improve internet security.

Worst Passwords

One of the options that I use to protect myself, due to the numerous passwords that I use, is to use a password manager. The password manager that I use and strongly endorse is the S10 Password Vault which is available as a Windows install, portable app (on USB Drive), iPhone app, iPad app, and Android app. Many folks have a tendency to use one of the cloud-based password managers; however, I personally just do not feel comfortable with piping the passwords to my personal accounts into the cloud and not knowing (for absolutely sure) that it will always remain protected. With S10 Password Vault, I at least feel I have some level of control.

MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

How To Create A Bookmark For The Download List In Google Chrome – Open chrome://downloads in your browser. Click the star next to the link and then save it on your bookmarks bar. You can adjust the name of the shortcut to whatever you desire..

Google Chrome

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If You Have Windows 10 And Love Jigsaw Puzzles – Check out Magic Jigsaw Puzzles, a Windows app, that has some FREEBIE options built into it, as well as paid options. Featuring: Lot’s of  beautiful, high-definition puzzles; Downloadable content (including FREE puzzles); Constantly updated pictures gallery; 4 levels of difficulty (up to 280 pieces); Move pieces in groups; Rotation mode for a greater challenge; Create your own puzzles from your pictures; New special picture every day; Work on more than one puzzle at a time and see your progress; Easy-to-operate control and Easy preview. After installing and trying it out, I found there were some ads and a few freebie puzzles. There was an option to buy into a package for $9.99 that makes the ads go away and opens up many options. Nice jigsaw puzzle software (even for $10)…

Magic Jigsaw Puzzles

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Synchronize Your Folders and Drives In A Quick and Easy Way – I have been testing various FREE backup and synchronization software. One that is currently on my computer now that is leading the pack is Synchredible. The standard version is free for private purposes. What I really like about Synchredible is that it has a built in wizard that will walk you through configuring your sync jobs. Once these jobs are setup, performing synchronized backups is as easy as clicking a button.

Synchredible

Synchredible

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A “News Spread” Like No OtherCLICK HERE to see Newsola… I have featured Newsola on here before and decided to throw it out there at you again. Really neat way that the news is presented. You can set Newsola up so that it will auto refresh on a regular basis. Nice cloud based app that you can keep up on the screen when your computer is idle that will keep you up to date on the latest news.

Newsola 

Newsola

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Need A Router? Check This One Out – The TP-LINK TL-WR841N Wireless N300 Home Router is one of those routers I am seeing on Amazon that is inexpensive, but has a great number of customer reviews. At the time of this posting, this router was at the $20 mark.

TP-LINK TL-WR841N Wireless N300 Home Router

TP-Link Router

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-42) FEATURING — An Easy To Use Backup Program — and MORE GREAT STUFF

December 28, 2015

An Easy To Use Backup Program – Nearly every home based computer user that I have encountered do not backup their personal files. Most of what files people have stored on their computers they feel are files that are unimportant; until the moment comes that they lose those files. An example being, many people store family pictures on their computers. At the moment they may seem unimportant; however, when the computer fails (and it will), all of the sudden you realize that you lost precious memories. If you fall into this category, which most likely you do, please take the time to purchase an external hard drive (click here) and establish a backup plan. Finding an external hard drive and connecting it is the easy part. Finding a software solution is another matter. To help you along, a software solution that I use is called

To help you along, a software solution that I use is called Bvckup 2. If you visit the site you will see that it is software that you have to buy; however, to get around that option, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page where the download button is located, you will see “Looking for the last beta?”.  If you click on that link you can download the last beta version of Bvckup, which is FREE. By trying out the beta, you may be encouraged to purchase the software; however, I have found the beta’s of BVCkup 2 to work perfectly fine for our purposes. Bvckup 2 is easy to use (and learn) and it does not compress, encrypt or FTP files. It’s not a two-way sync nor is it a full system backup software. It simply makes a copy of your personal files from your computer to a designated location on the external hard drive; AND, the best part (by default), Bvckup will automatically perform these backups for you in real-time.

Bvckup 2

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Turn Your Android Smartphone Into A Digital Bubble Level – Our smartphones have many other purposes other than making calls and texting. For example, did you know you can turn your smartphone into a bubble level that comes in handy when you need to make sure a picture is hung straight on the wall, or a length of lumber is level, etc… If you search the Google Play store you will many bubble level apps available. The one that I settled for is an app developed by a company who actually makes levels, called Rigid. The app that they have developed is called Rigid Digital Bubble Level. This app features a calibration mode that will allow you to use this app in three views: Bubble View (the standard bubble level you’re used to); Horizon View (a horizon line that twists as you rotate. Enable the camera feature in this view to level things from afar.); and, Flat View (placing the phone on a surface activates this view where an optional beep can indicate how level the surface is without needing to look at the screen.)…

Rigid Digital Bubble Level

Cover art

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A Gizmodo Field Guide To 9 Google Now Voice Commands to Take Control of Your Smartphone – I am sure, if you own a Google based Android phone, you have used the “ok Google” feature where you speak to your phone by saying “ok google” and then tell (speak to) the Google Now Assistant to perform searches, etc… I am still trying to get used to this, but when I do use it I am really amazed of the accuracy and the results. Along with performing searches there are other commands you can give. Gizmodo has put together a nice field guide to “9 Google Now Voice Commands To Take Control Of Your Smartphone” that you need to learn. Commands such as turning your wi-fi on/off; the flashlight on/off; read text messages; etc…

9 Google Now Voice Commands
To Take Control Of Your Smartphone

9 Google Now Voice Commands to Take Control of Your Smartphone

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verykool Sleek, Contemporary Unlocked GSM Phones – I was focused on smartphones when I visited Amazon and what I came across is a smartphone brand that I have never heard of (called verykool). What caught my eye and made me look more than twice was the unbelievable super low pricing. Based on the low number of customer reviews (which, by the way are high ratings), verykool must be a newcomer at Amazon. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this smartphone brand that just may change the whole landscape of things when it comes to smartphones.

 verykool

verykool

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-39) FEATURING — Put All Your Cloud Drives In One Place — and MORE GREAT STUFF

December 7, 2015

Put All Your Cloud Drives In One Place – Thought I would share with you an online service that I use called MultCloud (by AOMEI). This service provides a FREE option (as well as a PAID option) that can help you easily (and safely) manage multiple cloud storage services. For example, I currently manage online drives from Box, Copy, Google, Dropbox, Mediafire and OneDrive ALL from MultCloud. In that mix I also use MultCloud to manage two Google Drives. What MultCloud does is allow you to pull all of those services and manage those services from one location. MultCloud FREE features an online file manager, cross-cloud file transfers, and a countless number of cloud drives. The file transfer speeds for the FREE version are slower than the PAID version and there is a monthly data cap on the FREE version (which is quite high in my opinion). For normal everyday use, the FREE version has worked for me and in the end (after I give this a run for awhile), I may opt to go to the PAID version.

MultCloud 

MultCloud

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Use Your Android Phone (or Tablet) To Convert An Image To Text – Ever heard of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) where you scan a paper document and OCR software that is engineered to recognize the characters in the document then translate (or convert) it into an electronic text version (that you can then edit, insert into documents, etc…)? There is an OCR version for your Android Phone or Tablet called Text Fairy that has the ability to scan for and extract text from an image. From my testing, I found Text Fairy to be quite accurate and the best part is that it is FREE. Some words of advice is when you scan the document is to make sure the images are sharp (with good lighting) and the text is black on a white background.

Text Fairy

 Text Fairy (OCR Text Scanner)- screenshot

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Nothing Gets Old Faster Than The Technology News – Case in point, check out the boredpanda for 15 Vintage Computer Ads That Used To Be Cool.  The ad I have reflected below is my favorite one from the 15 selected. Which is your favorite?

15 Vintage Computer Ads That Used To Be Cool

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How To Disable Login Screen on Windows 10 after Sleep – I have been recently assisting quite a few folks with breaking through the Windows 8.1 barrier to Windows 10. One of the most asked questions that I am receiving is “How do I disable the login screen on Windows 10 after sleep?”. What this means is that Windows 10, by default, will go into a sleep mode when the computer is idle for a prescribed period of time. When the end user comes out the sleep mode, the computer will prompt you for your password. To change this setting, to prevent or disable the login prompt, is actually quite easy and the best way to show you is for you the watch the video below from Simple How To Guide

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This Software May Be Useful When You Sell or Get Rid Of Your Hard Drive (or PC) – Came a across this portable app, called My Disk Wiper, that may be a keeper for the tech toolbox. What this portable app does is securely wipe hard drives, flash drives, SD cards, etc… by overwriting the files with a standard pattern that the developer claims cannot be undeleted or restored. To ensure maximum privacy the file names are wiped before deletion.

My Disk Wiper

My Disk Wiper

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The easiest and fastest outdoor Christmas light solution – no more hanging string lights – My neighbor has one of these and it is awesome (and beautiful). If you are looking for an alternative option to hanging lights for Christmas, take a look at the Star Shower Outdoor Laser Christmas Lights… Plant this thing in the ground, plug it in and you will have up to 600 square feet of green and red lights displayed. The one I have reflected below is the number one best seller at Amazon with a near 5 star rating…

Star Shower Outdoor Laser Christmas Lights

Star Shower

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-32) FEATURING — Beware: A Browser Hijacker That Replaces Your Default Browser — and MORE GREAT STUFF

October 19, 2015

Beware: A Browser Hijacker That Replaces Your Default Browser – Scams, viruses, malware and hijackers are constantly being developed and engineered to make our computing lives a nightmare. Today I want to make you aware of a piece of software, called eFast, that the Malwarebytes research team has determined as being a browser hijacker. What is unique about this browser hijacker is that it does not hijack your existing browser; instead, eFast replaces your existing browser. This hijacker takes control of the file associations for .gif, .htm, .html,.jpeg, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .shtml, .webp, .xht and .xhtml files AND displays numerous advertisements.

Typically eFast will piggyback its’ way onto your computer through third party software installs. Always read what is occurring when you install software.  You can usually tell it is installing (by the install prompts) and from what I getting, eFast is similar in appearance to Google Chrome. If you have been fooled into installing eFast, reflected below are the removal steps. To read more about eFast CLICK HERE

eFast

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can detect and remove this potentially unwanted program.

  1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to your desktop.
  2. Double-click mbam-setup-version.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  3. At the end, be sure a check-mark is placed next to the following:
  4. Enable free trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium
  5. Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  6. Then click Finish.
  7. If an update is found, you will be prompted to download and install the latest version.
  8. Once the program has loaded, select Scan Now. Or select the Threat Scan from the Scan menu.
  9. When the scan is complete, make sure that all Threats are selected, and click Remove Selected.
  10. Restart your computer when prompted to do so.

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A Command-Line To Cleanup Windows – TTC Shelbyville posted Advanced Windows Cleanup using cleanmgr /sageset:50 and cleanmgr /sagerun:50 that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to use these commands to cleanup windows. Note: Do NOT Delete Windows ESD installation files. These files are NEEDED to Reset or Refresh your PC.

1 More Options Cleanup

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Jump Your Car AND Charge Your Devices With This Power Bank – If you get chance, take a look at the BESTEK® 400A Peak Current Portable Car Jump Starter Power Bank that not only can jumpstart a vehicle (up to 16 times); BUT, can be used to charge your portable devices (such as GPS devices, smartphones, tablets, etc.). This power bank has a 11,000 mAh battery capacity that is able to jump start a 3L gas or 2.5L diesel vehicle engine. The neat thing about this is that it is safe and can fit in your glovebox… CHECK IT OUT HERE!

Power Bank

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OW Shredder Is Portable AND FREE File Shredder Software – I came across OW Shredder through reading the article Free File Shredder With Full Drive Eraser, Disk Analyser (@ILoveFreeSoftware) and thought it was well deserving of a post here, as well. What I especially like about this file shredder is that it is portable and has the ability to erase entire volumes.

OW Shredder is an advanced security tool which allows you to completely erase secret data with all drive traces from your hard drives by overwriting it. Individual files, free disk space and entire volumes can by erased. In addition OW Shredder offers various tools to scan, analyze and wipe more drive information and traces. Beside of it OW Shredder supports a desktop widget, a context menu integration and automated recycle bin cleaning. All in all this small and portable application gives private users or even companies the perfect solution to eliminate sensitive data.

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-29) FEATURING — How To Trigger The Windows 10 Upgrade — and MORE GREAT STUFF

October 1, 2015

How To Trigger The Windows 10 Upgrade – I am not out there in the wild, like I used to, when it comes to providing computer assistance (and troubleshooting); however, I still have a good feel for information technology from doing the blog, exposure at work and working with close family. I am getting some feedback that there are many folks out there that have not received their Windows 10 upgrade. You keep waiting and nothing is happening. I know at least 5 people in my circle where this is occurring. As a result, I went on the hunt and found that these people are not alone and that there is a viable easy solution. SuperSite for Windows recently posted, “Where is my Windows 10 update?” (by Fred Langa) that will walk you through the process of jumpstarting your Windows 10 upgrade.  If you follow the steps, your Windows10 upgrade will be exactly the same as if you’d used the Windows Update method. As a word of advice, when you go this route, expect a longer install time and don’t panic if it is taking awhile (like several hours).

WOW – A New Chromecast – Chromecast is a Google device that uses Google Cast Technology to play audio and video content on your TV or home audio system (by directly streaming it via Wi-Fi from the internet or a local network). Google has just released their next generation of Chromecast.  For $35, which is very reasonable in my opinion, this is a tech toy worth taking a look at. Check it out HERE

Chromecast

A Multi-Boot Linux DVD for PC Repair – If you are a PC Tech you may want to take a look at MediCat DVD. This is a Linux based boot disc (developed for Windows PC Repair) that has been put together by a PC Technician that runs his own PC Repair business. I haven’t tried this out yet; however, for you PC Techs out there, this may be worth taking a look at and may be helpful in making your job easier.

[​IMG]

Android Basics On How To Use The Share Menu – I just had a conversation with a friend about the Android smartphones and tablets and how people are truly not using these devices to their fullest capabilities. For example, I approached someone that I know that uses their phone constantly (primarily for texting and Facebook) and asked them, “Do you know how to use the share menu feature on your phone?”. They had not a clue as to what I was talking about. Folks, if you are an Android smartphone or tablet user, the share menu option is a very powerful component of Android that you need to learn about. Once you learn how to use it, you will be going WOW. To learn how to use the feature, I encourage you to read “Android Basics: How to Use the Share Menu” and watch the video …

Camera With Good Reviews Featuring Built-in Wi-Fi technology – The Canon PowerShot S120 (12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and 1080p Full-HD Video Wi-Fi Enabled) is a digital camera that allows you to wirelessly transfer your images to social networking sites through CANON iMAGE GATEWAY… At the time of this posting, this camera was reviewed 185 times and is carrying a near five star rating.

Canon PowerShot S120

Canon S120

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-27) FEATURING — Manage Your Computers Easily With CCleaner In The Cloud — and MORE GREAT STUFF

September 22, 2015

Manage Your Computers Easily With CCleaner In The Cloud – I think everyone knows about CCleaner; even those who are technologically challenged. CCleaner has been around for years, and at one time was called Crap Cleaner. In summary, what this software does is clean out the crap to increase the operational speed of your computer. CCleaner is available as a full install or portable app; AND, NOW you can run CCleaner from the cloud. If you go to CCleaner Cloud, click on the “Signup” button you will receive an invitation via email that will give you access. CCleaner Cloud has been in beta testing for quite awhile and it is now ready for public use and testing. The beauty of the cloud version of CCleaner is that you can run it from any of your Windows based computers, anywhere (without needing to install the software). You can also defrag your drives and perform registry fixes, as well.  Again, go to CCleaner Cloud and signup for your invitation today…

CCleaner Cloud

Microsoft Office 2016 – Released Today – Picked this news up at BetaNews, that gives a good read about the release of Microsoft Office 2016. More about Office 2016 can be found at Microsoft’s Office web site HERE

Microsoft Office 2016

Selfies 12, Sharks 8 – That is the score so far between selfie kills and shark kills.  Read more on this at Pocket-Lint to find out how selfies are the cause to people’s demise (more so than sharks).

Sharks vs. Selfies @ Pocketlint

Want To Learn How To Take A Screenshot On Your Android Phone? – WonderHowTo has posted a great How To article, “Android Basics: How to Take a Screenshot” …  I actually knew how to do this on my Nexus Phone; but, there is a separate way of performing a screenshot on a Samsung phone. What I found out, on my Samsung Tablet, is that this process will work on that too. Taking a screenshot on your phone or tablet is a handy way to capture what you are seeing on the screen (for troubleshooting purposes, to send to someone else, etc…).

This Works On Samsung Devices (as depicted in image below). Other
Android devices visit WonderHowTo to learn more…

Screenshot - Samsung

On Friday, Amazon’s shopping club, Prime, will cost only $67, down $32 from its usual $99 price tag – The sale starts Friday, September 25th ( at 12:00 a.m. ET and ends at 11:59 p.m. PT), and you can sign up here. This is celebrate Transparent winning 5 Emmy Awards.

Transparent

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