Category Archives: Security

AVG 8.0

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I always know when AVG release a new version of their fantastic free anti-virus software as it usually results in a torrent of abuse being launched towards me by my readership - “you said this software was free and now it’s asking me for money or it’ll stop working.”

Now, I must admit that it is true that whenever a new version of AVG is released and an old version is discontinued, they do try and push users down the route of buying the more advanced package.I don’t blame them for this as everybody needs to make money, however those that actually bother reading the message will see that there is still a free option available.It is this version, AVG 8, which I will be reviewing today.

I have always pitched AVG as being the anti-virus checker that my readers should be using and amazingly the best thing about this Read the rest

BlueJacking and BlueSnarfing

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One of the guys who works for the computer repair company in one of the offices above Refresh suggested that perhaps I should do an article on the mysterious world of Bluejacking and BlueSnarfing.The motive behind this suggestion was that whilst in a pub last night someone tried to compromise his mobile phone handset; we both agreed this was a danger Click readers should be made aware of.

Bluetooth is a fantastic technology and one of its many applications allows modern day mobile phone handsets to communicate wirelessly and exchange data with each other.Although the technology currently has a theoretical maximum range of up to 100m, it is worth noting that when built into a mobile phone the two devices realistically have to be in the same room to communicate with one another.

The applications for Bluetooth are numerous - one of the most useful and practical use for the Read the rest

Wireless Security

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We’ll start this week with a letter from one of my regular readers and contributors who starts off mentioning my rant last week about how the banks and police deal with credit card fraud.This was an extremely popular feature, with random people literally walking in my shop, shouting ‘good on ya!’ and then walking out again.For those that missed my rant following the poor handling of the situation by my bank when my card details were compromised check out www.computerarticles.co.uk.

I’ll hand over now to Ian MacMillan who makes some interesting points about wireless security.

It was interesting to read your rant about credit card security in this Friday’s Click.Recently there has also been quite a fuss about wireless network security. Nowadays routers are becoming very affordable and most new laptop computers are already equipped with wireless networking cards - This brings with it some risks.Recently the police Read the rest

Online Fraud

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Online security and the way that card fraud is dealt with is an important issue for me, since my primary income comes by taking card transactions online and over the phone.I’d naively like to think that the banks and police work together to track down card fraud and stamp it out so that customers feel safe participating in ‘customer not present’ transactions.

Occasionally I get a chargeback letter from the merchant services department of my bankers telling me that someone has used fraudulent card details on my site and as such the money is recovered from my business bank account and returned to the genuine card holder.I’m assuming that this is the same with all Internet companies, and whilst I’m absolutely fine with the principle I’ve just discovered quite how little is done behind the scenes in order to discourage card fraud in the future.

The catalyst for my rant Read the rest

Protecting yourself while shopping online #2

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I’ve recently received a couple of questions regarding last weeks safe shopping article in which I discussed the bases that you could cover in order to protect yourself whilst shopping online.Below I have printed one such e-mail which raised a couple of unanswered questions:

I recently read your article supporting Internet shopping with interest as I have always feared shopping online because I have had friends whose cards have been “cloned”.You mentioned a couple of interesting points regarding the protection your credit card company will extend to you however I only have a debit card and so in your opinion would this be equally safe to use?

I am myself aware of checking that the site has padlock symbol on the bottom of the toolbar and that its website starts with ‘https’ but are there any other checks which would help?

Seán, Brixham

This is an interesting question and one Read the rest

Protecting yourself while shopping online

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There are still a large number of people that are simply afraid to shop on the Internet which worries me somewhat as my livelihood is completely reliant on people feeling comfortable using their credit card details to order online.Not only is online shopping one of the most secure ways to shop but there are also a number of avenues available to protect you online and minimise the risk presented.

Legislation

There are three pieces of relevant legislation that will protect you when shopping online.

-The Distance Selling Regulations which allow you send goods back for ANY reason whatsoever within seven working days of delivery.You do have to pay for the return of the goods though.

-The Sale Of Goods Act which allows you to obtain a full refund if the goods are not ‘fit for purpose’

-Finally, the Consumer Credit Act which means that if a retailer Read the rest

AVG 7.5

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I’m still genuinely amazed by the number of my readers who are still using paid for anti-virus programs after I have recommended time and time again a completely free solution.I’m assuming the reasoning is that the public believe that a free version of an application as important as a virus checker would be substandard and offer inadequate protection hence why I’m here today to try and change this perception.

I think there’s no better way to change this perception than to ask a home user to look at the typical anti-virus software of choice used by IT professionals.Rather than using the larger commercial applications these people often choose to use products such as AVG and this is for more reasons than simply cost.Many in the industry are very much under whelmed by the quality of many of the larger paid for solutions and without singling out individual products I can Read the rest

DBAN

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My business partner at our webdesign company Refresh Creations recently started talking to me about wiping all data from a computer that I was set to sell on eBay.The computer in question had a fair amount of sensitive information on it and he seemed horrified that I was just going to wipe the hard disk using a Windows format and then sell it on.

For all intensive purposes what I was about to do would have been fine but to be on the safe side he introduced me to a piece of software which does a much more thorough job.I thought it might be prudent for him to talk my Click readers through this program as it could certainly come in useful for anyone looking to sell their computer or hard drive on the second hand market.

With data security becoming a greater issue on a daily basis it’s Read the rest

E-Mail Spoofing

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This week I’m going to reply to an e-mail I received from a reader this week which touches on a subject I’ve have had a fair amount of first hand experience with just recently:

I follow your column in the Herald Express and see you sometimes highlight problems.I have followed your advice and some time ago installed the AVG Grisoft virus check, which I keep fully updated.

I am however being inundated with returned e-mails which did not originate from me but uses the latter part of my e-mail address.I note that they all have attachments which of course I have never opened. As virus checks do not reveal a problem on my computer, can you suggest a possible cure?

John Cadman, via e-mail

As mentioned at the beginning of this article I have encountered this exact problem myself just recently.Unfortunately a number of spammers have been trying to sell Read the rest

Spyware

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One topic that I get asked about more than any other is that of Spyware & Adware – Software installed without the knowledge of the user in order to track your computer usage habits or expose you to advertising.The majority of you are probably fed up with me bleating on about how to scan and remove this software from your computer but it is genuinely amazing that even with all the programs available in the marketplace today quite how many machines are still infected.I’d say that the majority of computers that I ever sit in front of have at least a couple of pieces of this pesky software installed without the users knowledge so it is important that even if you think your system is clean that you follow my advice today anyway.

The primary problem with Spyware is that whilst the majority of it does no serious harm it Read the rest

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