duminică, 28 iulie 2013

How to Defend Against Penetration Attempts

How to Defend Against Penetration Attempts

There are many reasons someone or some organization out in the Internet might want to penetrate your
Windows computer. Here are a few examples :
- To secretly install software that steals your passwords or financial information
- To enroll your computer as a bot that secretly sends out junk email or spam
- To implant software that tracks your personal web surfing habits
- To destroy programs or data on your PC
Your goals are to:
- Prevent installation of malicious software or malware
- Identify and eliminate any malware that does get installed
- Prevent malware from sending information from your computer out into the web
- Prevent any other secret penetration of your computer

Act Safely Online:

Practice safe web surfing. Handle your email safely. Follow these tips to reduce the chances that outsiders
can penetrate your computer:
- Don’t download free screensavers, wallpaper, games, or toolbars unless you know they're safe.
These often come with embedded malware. If you just can’t pass up freebies, download them to a
directory where you scan them with your anti-virus and anti-malware programs before using them.
- Don’t visit questionable web sites. Hacker sites, sexually explicit sites, and sites that engage in
illegal activity like piracy of music, videos, or software are well known for malware. You could get hit
by a drive-by -- a malicious program that runs just by virtue of your viewing a web page.
- Don’t open email or email attachments from questionable sources. These might install malware on
your system. Dangerous email attachments often present themselves as games, interesting
pictures, electronic greeting cards, or invoices so that you will open them. (If you get too much junk
email, reduce it with these free programs.)
- Don’t click on links provided in emails. These could direct you to a legitimate-looking but bogus web
site designed to steal your personal information. Companies that protect their customers don't
conduct business through embedded links in emails!
- Before you enter your online account name and password into any web site, be sure the web page
is secure. The web page’s address should start with the letters https (rather than http). Most
browsers display a closed lock icon at the bottom of the browser panel to indicate a secure web site
- Don’t give out your full name, address, phone number, or other personal information in chat rooms,
forums, on web forms, or in social networks.

iPhone Secret Tips & Shortcuts

Take a Screenshot - Just press the Home and Sleep buttons at the same time and your curent
screen is saved automatically in your camera roll

Reboot - Hold the Home and Sleep buttons until the screen goes black,and subsequently shows
the Apple logo.This will probably take few seconds.

Save Images - Tap and hold an image to copy the image or save it to the photo gallery.

Get URL Hints -- In Safari,you can press and hold any links in order to see the URL and site
name of the link

Save Battery Power - Turn off Wi-fi,3G and Bluetooth

To create a folder - Press and hold any app until it starts wiggling.Then,drag the app onto
another app that you`d like to include in same folder

Change folder name - Press and hold folder icon

Swipe to delete - Swipe across the email or conversation to get a Delete button

Cut,copy,and paste - Find the text you want to edit in a note,email,web page,or other app.
You can select a word by double-tapping it, and select more or less text by dragging the
grab points.Then tap to cut,copy,or paste.To unde an edit,shake Iphone,then tap the Undo button

How to Improve Your Computer’s Performance

Strategy #1: Clean Your Computer’s Windows Registry

The biggest cause of slow, sluggish PC performance is errors and problems within its Windows registry. Adware, spyware and other threats usually target the registry, damaging or misplacing important files within it. When it comes to PC cleaning, a daily Windows registry cleaning should be at the top of your list of priorities. However, this should never be done manually – there are too many opportunities for major errors that could seriously damage your PC’s operating system. Instead, invest in a high-quality Windows registry cleanup program and configure it to run once per day – you won’t believe the difference that it makes.
Strategy #2: Remove Unneeded Files

Every time you log on to the Internet or otherwise use your computer, temporary files are generated. They are usually only needed once; however, they don’t disappear on their own. Instead, they accumulate over time until they are cluttering up your computer’s file system and affecting its performance. While it’s possible to remove these files one-by-one, it’s much easier and quicker to use a PC cleaning tool that’s designed for the purpose. Try to do so about one time per week to keep your computer humming along with ease.
Strategy #3: Remove Unneeded Programs

Like many people, you probably download and try out many different programs each month. How many of them do you actually end up using on a regular basis? Chances are, not very many of them. By getting into the habit of uninstalling unused and unneeded programs, you can keep your computer’s file system a lot less cluttered. In turn, your PC’s performance will improve dramatically. You can optimize your computer in this way by using its Add/Remove Programs feature. Its location varies by operating system, but you should be able to find it somewhere in the Control Panel.
Strategy #4: Empty the Recycle Bin

When you click “delete” on a file or a program, it doesn’t go away for good – not immediately, anyway. Instead, it sits in a kind of purgatory in your computer’s Recycle Bin. As things pile up in the Recycle Bin, your computer can start exhibiting some very annoying problems. If sluggish startups and frequent crashes are occurring with increasing frequency – and your computer’s recycle bin is very full – go ahead and empty it. From then on, get into the habit of doing so about one time per week. This small but important strategy can make a huge difference.
Strategy #5: Perform a Disk Defragmentation

Windows isn’t very efficient when it comes to storing files. It actually splits them up, depositing them into whatever spaces are available. The more spaced apart the pieces of a file are, the harder your computer has to work to make them run. The Windows disk defragmentation system tune-up utility works to piece all of those files back together again. The process is a long one, though, and only needs to be done about four times per year. Set it up to run automatically once every three months. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep your computer running in tiptop shape.

When it comes to keeping your computer running optimally, small but regular maintenance is the best way to go. Protecting your PC only does so much; even the most careful Internet users in the world unintentionally download malicious software from time to time. By using basic system tune-up tools, cleaning your computer’s Windows registry regularly, performing regular file-cleaning maintenance and otherwise optimizing your PC, you should be able to keep it in like-new condition for a lot longer. Even if your computer has been performing slowly for some time, beginning this regimen is sure to produce results. In the end, you’ll be able to enjoy a computer that flies along – instead of one that spins its wheels.

PC Troubleshooting Tips

Why is My PC Crashing?

Possibility #1: Corrupted System Registry Files

Every Windows-based PC has something called a Windows registry. The registry contains several files that are integral to the performance and operation of your computer. Over time, some of those files can become corrupted, be misplaced or get lost altogether. When that happens, the system registry becomes compromised – and frequent crashes are all-too-common symptoms. The best way to rule this possibility in or out is by running a Windows registry cleaning program. Such programs scan your Windows registry for problems then automatically make repairs. If you run a registry cleaner and the crashes persist, they are probably being caused by a different issue.

Possibility #2: Disorganized Files

Windows operating systems handle file organization in a way that isn’t very intuitive. Basically, they break files up and fit them into gaps in the computer’s memory. As time goes by, these disorganized files can prompt frequent crashes. Luckily, a great optimization solution is built right into Windows-based PCs: the disk defragmentation utility. Although its location on a computer varies, you can generally locate it within the System and Security section inside the Control Panel. By running a defrag once every few months, you may be able to keep those pesky computer crashes at bay.

Possibility #3: Malicious Software

Malicious software can take many different forms. Sometimes, it’s a virus that is accidentally unleashed after opening a strange email; other times, its adware that tags along with other information that is automatically downloaded from a website. Whatever type it is, there’s no question that malicious software can wreak havoc on a computer’s performance. Happily, there are many topnotch programs out there that regularly scan your computer for the presence of such problems – and that help guard against them, too. Buy one, install it and use it regularly; your crash issues may come to an end.

Possibility #4: Too Little Available Memory

When you buy a new computer, it feels like there’s no end to the amount of memory that it has. Of course, this isn’t true at all. As never-ending as the available memory on your PC may initially seem, the fact is that it can be depleted with incredible speed. You can find out for sure by checking the information within “My Computer.” If it appears that your available memory is low, you can use a PC cleanup program to remove unnecessary files; such programs remove things like temporary Internet files and other file debris that can suck away much-needed memory.

Possibility #5: Overheating

If you’ve run through all of the preceding possibilities and continue experiencing frequent crashes, a hardware issue could be to blame. An easy one to rule out is overheating. A computer’s CPU, or central processing unit, includes a fan that is designed to keep it running cool. Sometimes, the fan wears down and doesn’t work as efficiently; other times, it’s just not able to handle the work that your computer has to do. In either case, buying a bigger, better fan isn’t very expensive. If it puts an end to your PC crashing problem, it will have been more than worth it.
Don’t Put Up with Frequent Crashes!

As discussed, frequent computer crashes can be triggered by a wide variety of issues. Luckily, many of these issues are relatively easy to remedy. Work your way through the preceding list; chances are, you’ll be able to pinpoint the problem and put an effective cure to work. Nine times out of ten, a computer simply needs a little bit of routine maintenance to get it back on track again. In the future, keep these points in mind. Any time you buy a new computer, keep up with its basic maintenance right from the get-go. By doing that, you could avoid “blue screen of death” and crashing problems altogether – and that’s something that you’re bound to appreciate!

Tips for using a public computer

Public computers in libraries, Internet cafes, airports, and copy shops can be safe if you follow a few simple rules when you use them.

Read these tips to help keep your work, personal, or financial information private.

Don't save your logon information

Always log out of websites by clicking "log out" on the site. It's not enough to simply close the browser window or type in another address.

Many programs (especially social networking websites, web mail, and instant messenger programs) include automatic login features that will save your user name and password. Disable this option so no one can log in as you.

Don't leave the computer unattended with sensitive information on the screen

If you have to leave the public computer, log out of all programs and close all windows that might display sensitive information.

Erase your tracks

Internet Explorer offers InPrivate browsing that leaves no trace of specific web activity. For more information, see Internet Explorer 9 Features: InPrivate Browsing.

Internet Explorer also keeps a record of your passwords and every page you visit, even after you've closed them and logged out.

Disable the feature that stores passwords

Before you go to the web, turn off the Internet Explorer feature that "remembers" your passwords.

In Internet Explorer, click Tools , and then click Internet Options.

Click the Content tab, and then click Settings, next to AutoComplete.

Click to clear the check box for User names on passwords and forms.

Delete your temporary Internet files and your history

When you finish your use of a public computer, you can help protect your private information by deleting your temporary Internet files. For information on how to delete temporary Internet files see Delete webpage history.

Watch for over-the-shoulder snoops

When you use a public computer, be on the look out for thieves who look over your shoulder or watch as you enter sensitive passwords to collect your information.

Don't enter sensitive information into a public computer

These measures provide some protection against casual hackers who use a public computer after you have.

But keep in mind that an industrious thief might have installed sophisticated software on the public computer that records every keystroke and then emails that information back to the thief.

Then it doesn't matter if you haven't saved your information or if you've erased your tracks. They still have access to this information.

If you really want to be safe, avoid typing your credit card number or any other financial or otherwise sensitive information into any public computer.

Energy Saving Tips for Computers

Energy Saving Tips for Computers

Personal computers and peripherals consume significant amounts of energy. According to the Environmental Protection Agency the average desktop computer wastes up to $75 of electricity annually during times of non-use. With over 1,200 desktop computers on the UIS campus alone, there has never been a better time for users to practice energy-saving computer habits. Best of all, just a few simple and easy tips is all it takes to save energy and money.

NOTE: Tips I and II are intended specifically for desktop computers.

Tip I – Shut down your computer, monitor, and personal printer or place them in a standby mode when you leave the office for more than two hours.
This is ideal for nights, weekends, or other extended periods of time when your computer will not be used. Keep in mind that shutting down your computer is not recommended if:
Another user needs access to a shared folder on your computer
Another user needs access to a printer that is shared by your computer
You need remote access to your computer (with Remote Desktop)

To minimize the need for shared folders stored on a personal computer ITS recommends that departments and users take advantage of eDocs. This will also allow you to access shared files off-campus without the using Remote Desktop. For more information about eDocs, please visit the UIS ITS eDocs homepage.

Tip II – Change your power settings
All modern operating systems have built-in energy management features that automatically manage power settings for the monitor, the hard disks and the system.

To access and change the power settings with Windows 7, simply do the following:

1. Right-click at any point on your desktop (on the wallpaper) and select Personalize.
2. Click on the Screen Saver link in the lower right hand corner.

3. Click on Change Power Settings, and then click Change Plan Settings.

4. The following settings are recommended:
Turn off Display - 20 minute
Put computer to sleep - 2 hours
It is important to note that these settings will NOT affect network storage, network printing, or Remote Desktop functions. If you are unable to shut down your computer due to these reasons, then modifying the power settings is the best option for you.

With Macintosh, use the Sleep pane of Energy Saver preferences, and drag the sliders to set the time for your computer to "go to sleep".

Tip III – Manage your peripherals

In the world of USB cables, Bluetooth, and cluttered desks, it's easy to lose track of all the devices that are connected to a computer. It's important to remember that while these devices may not be in use, they still draw power if they are not turned off. ITS recommends that the following devices be turned off when not in use:
Fax Machines
Speakers and microphones
Do's and Don'ts
DO NOT assume that using your screen saver will conserve energy. Screen savers continue to use the monitor at full power.
DO NOT turn on the printer until you are ready to print your documents.
DO review document drafts and emails onscreen instead of printing them.
DO use double-sided printing functions.
DO use email communications as an alternative to paper memos and faxed documents.

Computer Cleaning Tips

General cleaning Tips

Below is a listing of general tips that should be taken when cleaning any of the components or peripherals of a computer as well as tips to help keep a computer clean.
Never spray or squirt any liquid onto any computer component. If a spray is needed, spray the liquid onto a cloth and then use that cloth to rub down the component.
You can use a vacuum to suck up dirt, dust, or hair around the computer on the outside case. However, do not use a vacuum for the inside of your computer as it generates a lot of static electricity that can damage the internal components of your computer. If you need to use a vacuum to clean the inside of your computer, use a portable battery powered vacuum designed to do this job or try using compressed air.
When cleaning a component or the computer, turn it off before cleaning.
Be cautious when using any cleaning solvents; some individuals may have allergic reactions to chemicals in cleaning solvents and some solvents can even damage the case. Try to always use water or a highly diluted solvent.
When cleaning, be careful not to accidentally adjust any knobs or controls. In addition, when cleaning the back of the computer, if anything is plugged in, make sure not to disconnect any of the plugs.
When cleaning fans, especially the smaller fans within a portable computer or laptop it's suggested that you either hold the fan or place something in-between the fan blades to prevent it from spinning. Spraying compressed air into a fan or cleaning a fan with a vacuum may cause damage or back voltage to be generated.
Never eat or drink around the computer.
Limit smoking around the computer.

Cleaning tools

Although many companies have created products to help improve the process of cleaning your computer and peripherals, users can also use household items to clean their computers and peripherals. Below is a listing of items you may need or want to use while cleaning your computer or computer peripherals.

Keep in mind that some components in your computer may only be able to be cleaned using a product designed for cleaning that component; if this is the case, it will be mentioned in the cleaning tips.
Cloth - A cloth is the best tool used when rubbing down a component; although paper towels can be used with most hardware, we recommend using a cloth when ever possible. Caution: We only suggest you use a cloth when cleaning components such as the outside of the case, a drive, mouse, etc. You should not use a cloth to clean any circuitry such as the RAM or motherboard since they can generate ESD that can damage electronics.
Water or rubbing alcohol - When moistening a cloth, it is best to use water or rubbing alcohol. Other solvents may be bad for the plastics used with your computer.
Portable Vacuum - Sucking the dust, dirt, hair, cigarette particles, and other particles out of a computer can be one of the best methods of cleaning a computer. Over time, these items can restrict the airflow in a computer and cause circuitry to corrode. Do not use a standard vacuum as it can generate a lot of static electricity that can damage your computer.
Cotton swabs - Cotton swaps moistened with rubbing alcohol or water are excellent tools for wiping hard to reach areas in your keyboard, mouse, and other locations.
Foam swabs - Whenever possible, it is better to use lint-free swabs such as foam swabs.

Case cleaning

Why? Keeps the appearance of the computer looking new. During cleaning, if ventilation locations are found, these can be cleaned helping the case keep a steady airflow to the computer, keeping components cool and in good working condition.

Procedure: The plastic case that houses the PC components can be cleaned with a lint-free cloth that has been slightly dampened with water. For stubborn stains, add a little household detergent to the cloth. It is recommended that you never use a solvent cleaner on plastics.

Make sure all vents and air holes are hair and lint free by rubbing a cloth over the holes and vents. It is also helpful to take a vacuum around each of the hole, vents, and crevices on the computer. It is safe to use a standard vacuum when cleaning the outside vents of a computer; however, if you need to clean the inside of the computer, use a portable battery powered vacuum to prevent static electricity.