‘ Computer ’ Posts

Computer Security – IE’s ActiveX Filtering

In light of more and more ‘drive-by virus’ – malware which is loaded onto your computer just by you visiting a website with no action or knowledge on your part – a few weeks ago I sent out an email to friends, family and clients regarding ActiveX and figured I should post it on my blog as well.

This is for anyone using Internet Explorer 9. Previous versions of Internet Explorer do not have the filter function. Firefox, Chrome etc do not use ActiveX.

By default, Internet Explorer allows all Active X content to be run. Active X controls are powerful browser plugins that enable many rich web experiences such as video playback etc… they can however also install malware onto your machine. Internet Explorer contains an “ActiveX Filtering” which puts YOU in control as to what ActiveX content is run on your computer. So if you do not trust the site – simply leave the filtering in place and  the plugin will not be run lessening the chance of possible malware being installed on your computer.

How to turn ActiveX Filtering On

To enable ActiveX Filtering click on the “Tools Menu” and go to:

Tools Tools Menu Icon> Safety > ActiveX Filtering

Make sure there is a check mark next to “ActiveX Filtering” Continue reading “Computer Security – IE’s ActiveX Filtering”

Ever Expanding “Other” on iPod Touch

I had been noticing that the “Other” section of my iPod Touch’s capacity kept expanding in what seemed to be an almost exponential fashion. Looking around the web, I read several times that the “Other” included system files, thumbnails, various cache files etc and that the only way to reign it back into control was to ‘Restore’ the iPod or iPhone.. considering I have all but 5GB of my 64GB touch filled, restore is a long and tedious process which I didn’t particularly want to undertake even though my ‘Other’ had swelled to well over 2GB.

Thinking some more on it last night I though there had to be an easy way for the system to clear these caches. There is a clear internet cache under Settings>Safari but that doesn’t clear everything. Then I figured I’d try shutting it down (Hold down the top button until you see slide to power off) and seeing if a restart would clear things. Sure enough, after the restart I went from 3.6GB free to 5.3GB free. The only change being in the ‘Other’ section. So to bring the ‘Other’ section of your iPod/iPhone capacity down just restart!

Small Bit on Internet Safety

Recently we had one of our credit cards compromised. They only managed to get 11.25 out as I check my accounts online weekly (yes I’m anal). They TRIED to get much more out but that was AFTER I had called the cc company and had the card closed for fraud… so they didn’t get far.

While talking to one of the girls who work in the fraud department, I found out that her department has increased dramatically in just the last few months due to the exponential increase in fraud issues.

I don’t typically get on a ‘soapbox’ and preach computer safety – I tend to stay back and let people who know me just ask as I feel people are more open to changing their ways when they ask than when they are preached too – that said, I’ve received several inquiries from clients, family, friends in regards to strange email receipts from amazon, iTunes etc. Please note these are yet another phishing scheme geared to get you to open the email, click on links etc., log into a false look a like site so they have your password infromation… Don’t do it – if you want to check your amazon or iTunes (or any other) account status go to amazon or iTunes (etc.) and log in there don’t bother opening the email unless you know and are expecting the receipts.

iTunes is being especially hit. A quick search on the internet will turn up people who have lost thousands of dollars by fraudsters charging not only their credit card but running up charges on their PayPal. I highly recommend if you have an iTunes account to remove its connections to PayPal and to any credit card and only use gift cards. They can be bought at many places and I know that BJs and Costco sell them at a discount.

Playing with the iPod touch

Last week I got a very unexpected email telling me I had won an iPod touch during a random drawing from a NAPP member survey. It arrived 5 days later and became the first Apple product I’ve ever owned. I’ve used iMacs before but have a dislike in general of products that are highly proprietary. Thus, my mp3 players of the past have been relatively generic. Ie: no Zunes, no iPods. I’m currently actively using 3 besides the new iPod. I’m going to give a brief rundown of each and then my thoughts on the new iPod.
Continue reading “Playing with the iPod touch”