Today’s Geek Squeaks – October 2, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1 – (A Set Of Over 20 Software Utilities) – The number of optimization suites out there are numerous. Some you pay for; others are simply FREE. Today’s featured suite is Puran’s Utilities. You can download these FREE utilities individually or as a suite. Puran’s Utilities carries with it good ratings and reviews (SEE BELOW);

Squeak #2 – (Did you know that as PC Users we have a tendency to overlook the power supply?) –  Tips4PC has a great article up about choosing the right power supply. I know from my own personal experience that the power supply is a major component in our PC and is the most overlooked. The manufacturers, when they sell us a PC, often are guilty of this, as well; and, will sell us an underpowered unit (SEE BELOW);

Squeak #3 – (Google’s Good To Know Site): Many of us use the services and products that Google has developed. To help keep you safe and secure online, Google has created a “Good To Know” site that talks about security, privacy, identity theft, and how you can protect yourself (SEE BELOW); and,

Squeak #4 – (Microsoft Office As A Subscription): Many folks out there do not realize that you can purchase Microsoft Office as a yearly subscription (SEE BELOW)…

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Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!

See An Endless Stream Of Geek Squeaks’ [ HERE ]


Puran Utilities

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A set of more than 20 software utilities including but not limited to utilities that can help you get the best performance out of your computer. It also provides an automatic and a one click solution to keep your computer clean and error free… GET IT HERE


Choosing the Right Computer Power Supply

@ Tips4PC

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Power supply is one of the most ignored parts of computers. The average computer user will discuss configuration details of main memory, RAM, motherboard etc before purchasing a new or used PC, but ignore the importance of having a good power supply… READ MORE


Good To Know –
A Guide To Staying Safe and Security Online

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  • Explore quick tips and how-to’s that explain what you can do to stay safe and secure on the web.
  • Get advice from parents at Google and family safety experts on how to help your family safely surf the web.
  • Google works hard to protect you whenever you use the web.
  • What is a browser anyway? Find out how to chat online, search effectively and more.

MORE HERE


Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium 1yr Subscription

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Office 365 Home Premium has all the Microsoft applications, plus cloud services. Just sign in and you can get to your Office files, applications, and settings when you are not at home.

The 2013 versions of familiar Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint include new features that help you create, communicate and work efficiently from virtually anywhere… CHECK IT OUT HERE


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Second Testing Cycle In A Row – Microsoft Security Essentials Has Failed Certification As An Effective Security Application

The title of this post tells it all; AND, as a matter of fact it is a direct quote from Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts where his article “Microsoft Security Essentials – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – But, It’s Over; You’re Gone” quickly opened my sleepy eyes this morning.

Microsoft Security Essentials – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – But, It’s Over; You’re Gone

I had been reading inklings here and there where Microsoft Security Essentials (also called Microsoft Defender on Windows 8) has been faltering here of late and I shrugged it off, thinking the software giant was on top of it; however, Bill’s article was the kick in the butt that I needed.

It is really concerning to me that my main level defense on my PC may be lacking and further concerning (and a lesson to be learned) that even the giant can have weaknesses.  As a matter of fact, I can remember many, many, many, many moon’s ago where Microsoft developed their own antivirus software and they eventually dropped the product. I sure hope that we are not heading in that direction again and history is going to repeat itself.

After reading Bill’s article, I have decided to take his advice and take a look at AVG AntiVirus Free 2013. When I was managing a network, years back, AVG was my antivirus (and anti-malware) software of choice; however, AVG even took a dip there for awhile; BUT, they are back in full tilt, as Bill’s article will highlight.

As blogger’s we can make a difference and I am sure once Microsoft starts to see these articles, we may see a change that will open the sleepy eyes of the giant.

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Provide Real-Time FREE Protection For Your Home Or Small Business PC

If you are looking for a security software option, that is FREE; that is easy to understand and use; that uses minimal system resources; and is engineered by a company that we are all familiar with, then Microsoft Security Essentials is a good choice.

You will see me here on the blog pushing this software on a regular basis. It is a layer of defense that I have installed on all of my PCs; not because it is FREE, but because it does the job.

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up-to-date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology.

Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so you’re free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times.

Before installing Microsoft Security Essentials, we recommend that you uninstall other antivirus software already running on your PC. Running more than one antivirus program at the same time can potentially cause conflicts that affect PC performance.

** IMPORTANT **  –  When changing security software on your PC from one brand to another, it is very important that you completely uninstall the security software you intend to remove. The uninstaller built into windows will not cut it. I highly recommend you either visit the software maker’s site to get information to uninstall the product or use a third party uninstaller such as AppRemover.

The free AppRemover utility enables the thorough uninstallation of security applications like antivirus and antispyware from your computer. Remove computer stress. Simply, cleanly and effectively.

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A Huge List of FREE Computer Security Products and Services

One of my favorite tech sites is Gizmo’s – The Best Freeware…  Today, during a visit I came across a huge list of FREE computer security products and services that is maintained on their site. The list is not a list of specific recommendations, but is a “comprehensive documentation of the security products available”…

I can tell you a lot of work went into compiling this list.  So, if you are looking at a solution for virus or malware protection, encryption, backup, to name a few; hit this list first. It will definitely save you a considerable amount of time and I can tell you, being familiar with software, the selections they have made have been tried, true and tested.  Great job Gizmos’s…

Gizmo's - Huge List of Security Products

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Infographic Depicting The Growth of the Internet In The Past Ten Years

I came across this infographic titled “The Internet – A Decade Later” (at Best Education Sites) that depicts where we were in 2002 in comparison to now (2012). I was an IT Manager at the time when networks and the internet were just ramping up to what it is today (and wireless technology’s was only a dream). I can remember being quite excited over it all, at the time.

Where were you and the internet in 2002?

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GEEK SQUEAK: Why You Should Use Bcc In Your Email

Bcc = Blind Carbon Copy

Did you know that if you use the Bcc field in your email client to address and send an email to multiple users, the recipients will not see whom you sent the email to?

Many know this trick; however, I still find that many do not. When using the Bccfield to send your emails, the people receiving the email will not know who the other recipients are. It is not a trick of hidden magic. It is that the addresses of the other recipients are simply not shared.

I often receive forwarded chain emails; usually consisting of jokes, humorous movies, prayer requests, etc… Occasionally I will find one of these emails humorous or important enough that I will pass it on; HOWEVER, prior to doing this I perform some housecleaning steps.

I will remove any “FWD” text (usually in the subject line) and will remove any email addresses I find in the body of the email that reflects the email addresses of recipients who have already received the email. After performing these housecleaning steps, I will enter into the the Bcc field, in my email client, the recipient’s email addresses, from my address book, to send (or forward) the email. If the email client requires at least one entry in the “To” field, I simply enter my own email address.

The benefits of using the Bcc field is simply this. You are protecting the privacy of other people. Currently I have approximately (5)-five email accounts that I use for specific purposes, from a variety of email services, with one of those accounts being my primary email account. I am very protective of that primary email account address and do not want it thrown about for the spammers to get hold of or for strangers to see. For example, I have found people’s email addresses in forwarded emails that I know and have not seen for years. They are very surprised when I contact them; and, will often ask, “How did you get my email?”. I explain that I simply pulled it from a forwarded email.

Be courteous to others and learn to use the Bcc field in your email; AND, when possible avoid chain emails all together.

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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: An Internet Security Blog For Home Based Computer Users and Experts Alike

As a retired Information Technology Manager, that was surrounded by people in a State Government healthcare setting, at a time when networks and the internet were just starting to ramp up, there was a very valuable lesson that I learned along the way.

I learned to never talk over the heads of my user base by using computer, internet, or network terms (or lingo) to suppress their learning or make them feel I was above their level of comprehension. I looked at the job as; I was the coach and my user base was the team. When the internet and my network started to mature, the lessons (and education to my users and myself) paid off and actually served as a physical layer of protection to keep my network safe.

Following my career as an IT Manager, my user base changed to that of the home computer user (i.e. readers of this blog, friends and family) where explaining things to people, in understandable terms, is even more important.

One of the hardest topics out there today to explain is internet security and cybercrime. It is a topic that is not easily comprehended, unless you have expertise; and, explaining internet security and cybercrime to others (such as the home computer user) is something that is very challenging to do.

Internet Security

Myself, I have learned to depend on blogs such as Bill Mullin’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts and Tech Paul’s –Tech for Everyone to keep myself aware and alert. You will find that bloggers, such as these, make it personal and have that ability to get it across in teaching you how to protect your computer and yourself.

There is another blog, that I intentionally did not mention above, that now exclusively specializes in internet security and cybercrime. The reason for that is that the name of the blog, authored by Paul Lubic, Jr, has changed from Paul’s Home Computing Blog to the more appropriate title of Paul’s Internet Security Blog. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you bookmark this site.

Paul initially started out his blog by specializing in sharing tips, techniques and advice on home computers and the home computing environment. His blog eventually evolved into what his real specialty is and that is the topic of Internet Security. Paul has been in the technology field for over 40 years and has held positions as programmer, IT Security Manager, and Chief Information Officer. His great love is in cyber-security where he worked with the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia in the area of cyber-terror prevention and preparedness.

DO NOT let his credentials lead you to believe that he is going to talk over your head when it comes to internet security and cybercrime. It is quite the contrary. Paul Lubic, Jr. possesses the same traits that myself, Bill Mullins’, and Tech Paul possess; and, that is to explain things in a manner that you can understand and that you will ultimately will benefit from.  NOTE:  Be sure to check out Paul’s ever growing List of Terms .

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