Microsoft Security Essentials offers comprehensive protection against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. You can download it for free. You can also download the free Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.
A great article from Microsoft about Support Scams
Cyber criminals don’t just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites. They might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:
- Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
- Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
- Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
- Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.
Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.
Telephone tech support scams: What you need to know
Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you’re using.
Once they’ve gained your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a website to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information is vulnerable.
Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.
Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:
- Windows Helpdesk
- Windows Service Center
- Microsoft Tech Support
- Microsoft Support
- Windows Technical Department Support Group
- Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)
Report phone scams
Learn about how to report phone fraud in the United States. Outside of the US, contact your local authorities.
How to protect yourself from telephone tech support scams
If someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support calls you:
- Do not purchase any software or services.
- Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the “service.” If there is, hang up.
- Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
- Take the caller’s information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
- Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.
What to do if you already gave information to a tech support person
If you think that you might have downloaded malware from a phone tech support scam website or allowed a cybercriminal to access your computer, take these steps:
- Change your computer’s password, change the password on your main email account, and change the password for any financial accounts, especially your bank and credit card.
- Scan your computer with the Microsoft Safety Scanner to find out if you have malware installed on your computer.
- Install Microsoft Security Essentials. (Microsoft Security Essentials is a free program. If someone calls you to install this product and then charge you for it, this is also a scam.)
Will Microsoft ever call me?
There are some cases where Microsoft will work with your Internet service provider and call you to fix a malware-infected computer—such as during the recent cleanup effort begun in our botnet takedown actions. These calls will be made by someone with whom you can verify you already are a customer. You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.
For more information about how to recognize a phishing scam, see Avoid scams that use the Microsoft name fraudulently.
If you need help with a virus or other security problem, visit the Microsoft Virus and Security Solution Center.
To help protect against viruses and other malicious software, download Microsoft Security Essentials.
Darwin’s Finest Car Detailers has undergone a website redesign. Motivation behind the work was to improve search engine optimisation (SEO), make it look more vibrant and to implement easy updates.
WordPress was used for the back-end implementation with a custom theme created by us at Forward Slash.
The NT Car Detailers upgrade was a great success as the site now ranks in the top 5 for all the key search terms nominated by the client. Its no argument that the website is much better on the eye with its bright and fluid design. and updating the site is so easy Peters wife now does it for him.
Please check out his new site and give Peter a call if you require car detailing, window tinting or just need to remove that annoying stain.
If you would like a website created similar to this for your small business then we would be happy to help. Please contact us for a very reasonable quote.
We know that Microsoft Office is your go-to program for getting everyday home and work tasks accomplished. That’s why, when we heard about the excellent features and improvements packed into Office 2010, we couldn’t wait to update our articles. Our articles now include advice on how to use many of the new features of Office 2010, along with instruction on how to find your favorite, tried-and-true Office tools.
Don’t worry! Our Office 2007 tips are still included—the articles are now packed with even more helpful tips and advice.
Forward Slash would just like to advertise we are getting involved with Darwin Computer Repairs again. We are servicing the local community with issues such as
If your havint troubles with your darwin computer dont hesitate to contact us!
Forward Slash Computer Repairs Darwin
Again another Microsoft document. Dual monitors are getting more and more common and its surprisingly easy to setup. Read below for more information.
Forward Slash are able to supply very affordable monitors. Contact us for quotes.
Two monitors are better than one
You can never have enough screen space, especially when organizing and working on your digital pictures. Instead of buying a larger monitor, if you’re using Windows 7, Vista, or XP, you can buy an inexpensive second monitor and connect it to your computer—instantly doubling your desktop space.
Flat panel LCD monitors look great and will save room on your desk; CRT monitors also work well and can be less expensive.
Two monitors are better than one
There are several different ways you can make use of this extra screen space when working at home or in your office. If you take a lot of digital pictures, some of the advantages to having dual monitors at your work space include:
When browsing your picture library, you can view the thumbnails on one monitor, and use the second monitor to view pictures full screen to check for proper focus and image quality.
When editing photos, you can use one monitor to browse the pictures with Windows Explorer or a photo library program, and use the second monitor to edit the pictures with your photo-editing software.
If you need to stay on top of your email while working, you can keep your inbox open on one monitor and work on your photos on the other.
Set up two monitors on your desktop computer
Many new desktop computers support dual monitors without requiring any additional hardware. To see if you have more than one monitor connection, look at the back of your computer for two Video Graphics Array (VGA) connectors or two Digital Visual Interface (DVI) connectors or one of each.
VGA and DVI connectors for dual monitors
Most new desktop computers include two connectors to support dual monitors
If you only have a single VGA or DVI connector, you will need to install a video adapter. You can either install a second video adapter or replace your current video adapter with one that has two VGA or DVI connections. Installing video adapters can be difficult if you’re not familiar with the inside of your computer, so you may want to seek assistance from a local computer retailer that offers computer upgrade services.
Add a monitor to your laptop computer
If you have a laptop computer made in the last several years, you can almost certainly support an external monitor by connecting it to the VGA or DVI connector on the back of your computer. The external monitor can act as a second display to your laptop’s built-in display. Connect your second monitor. You may have to restart your computer so that it detects the new monitor. After you connect your second monitor, you have to adjust your display settings.
Configuring your displays:
For Windows 7
For Windows Vista
For Windows XP
Troubleshooting: If you do not see two monitor icons, your computer might not support multiple displays. First, make sure that you have Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP installed. Then, visit Microsoft Update, click Custom, and install any available hardware updates. You may also need to visit your computer manufacturer’s website to install an updated display driver. If you still do not see two monitor icons, you may need to install an additional display adapter.
If necessary, drag the monitor icons so that they are arranged in the same way as the monitors on your desk. Click the Identify Monitors button to verify which monitor is 1 and which monitor is 2.
Example of dual monitor setup
A dual monitor setup enables you to view the same image side by side.
Once your monitor is set up, you can use your mouse to grab the title bar of a window and drag it to your new display. If a window does not move when you drag it, double-click the title bar first, and then drag it. Having two monitors will forever change the way you work with your computer. Be creative and experiment with the sizing of application windows and what information you can keep in constant view while doing multiple tasks.
Microsoft have written another great artical about personal computer maintenance. I would highly recommend reading this one and following the instructions. I see so many customers who have oodles of miscellaneous programs that are not used or needed that just slows their systems down.
Do a clean sweep
Like many mothers, Andrea Grace will sit down at her PC to check email, only to find that her kids—Jason, 8, and Rachel, 10—have installed some new programs. “Between those CD-ROM games found in cereal boxes and downloaded Neopets, there are now icons all over the place,” says Grace. “And of course they don’t play half the games. If I ran out of space (on my PC), I wouldn’t know how to delete them,” she admits.
Grace isn’t alone—it’s easy to fill space on a PC’s hard disk with games and other programs we no longer need. In fact, some technology analysts believe that we use less than 10 percent of the programs installed on our computers.
The following instructions describes how to safely—and easily—remove old or unused programs and files from your Windows-based computer.
If you are looking for information on how to eliminate all of the personal files from your computer—before you resell it for example—the directions in our article, Protect and purge your personal files, are sure to help. If you want to make sure that your computer is clean in the “free of viruses and malicious software” sense of the word, the tools available in this guide on the Microsoft Security website are a great place to start.
Decide which programs to purge
The first step is to decide which programs you no longer need. You may want to keep only the programs you use regularly. For example, has it been a year since your child touched that action game? Chances are you still have the original CDs anyway (if you want to reinstall it later), so perhaps it’s time to wipe it off the hard disk.
If you don’t know the purpose of a program that’s on your hard drive, you can always use your favorite search engine (for example, Bing) to see what it is. For example, if you don’t plan to buy a camcorder, remove any preinstalled video-editing software that may have come bundled on your PC.
If it helps, make a list of programs you want to keep and others you can do away with or store on disk.
Delete unused programs, starting from the Start menu
While deleting programs is easy, many novice computer users believe they can be removed by simply deleting the program’s icon from the desktop. This method doesn’t work because the icon is only a shortcut to the real program, which consists of many files.
You can uninstall programs from your computer by using one of two methods, both located on the Start menu.
Uninstall from the All Programs list
Click the Start menu, and then click All Programs (or Program Files), to see a list of programs installed on your computer. Programs installed as part of a program group are identified by a folder icon in the list. When you click the program group, you will usually see an option that enables you to remove or uninstall the program. Click this option, and follow the onscreen wizard to safely remove the program from your PC. You may be asked to restart your computer. Only click to restart after you save any files that are open.
Uninstall from Control Panel
Some programs don’t give you the option to uninstall them from a program group. No problem. In these cases, here’s what you do.
- On the Start menu, click Control Panel, and then under Programs, do the following:
- Windows 7 and Windows Vista users: Click Uninstall a Program.
- Windows XP users: Click Add or Remove Programs.
It may take a few seconds for this page to open, but when it appears, you’ll see a long alphabetical list of installed programs.
- When you see the name of a program you no longer want on your hard disk, click it, and then do the following:
- Windows 7 and Windows Vista users: Click Uninstall.
- Windows XP users: Click the tab to the right of the program, which says Remove or Change/Remove.
- Follow the prompts. A progress bar shows you how long it will take to safely remove the program. When it’s finished, you will see the list again.
Go through the list, but leave those programs that you are unsure of. And don’t remove a program group if you use one of the programs. For example, if you use Microsoft Word, so don’t uninstall Microsoft Office because Word is part of it.
When you uninstall a program, you may also get a message that says that uninstalling the program may remove a file that is shared by another program. To be safe, keep these suggested files on your PC (they shouldn’t take up much room on your hard disk, anyway). When you uninstall a game, the program may ask if you want to keep saved game files (that is, a bookmark of your progress). If you think that you will reinstall and play this game again, you can choose to keep these files.
Your PC automatically creates restore points while you use your computer. That way, if you accidentally delete a program that you want to keep, you can restore your PC back to an earlier time to get the program back. To restore, on the Start menu, click All Programs (or Program Files), click Accessories, and then click System Tools. Click System Restore, and the program will guide you through the steps.
This article focuses on uninstalling entire programs, but it’s even easier to delete individual files. If your musical tastes have changed since you went through that country-and-western stage, you can easily delete downloaded MP3 files, or at least burn them to a CD to free space on your PC.
Once you’re inside (My) Computer or Windows Explorer, simply highlight the files that you no longer want on your hard disk and press the DELETE key, or right-click the file name, and select Delete. This will send all your unwanted files to the Recycle Bin for safekeeping—until you’re sure that you no longer want them. To free space on your computer, you’ll need to empty the Recycle Bin periodically. To empty the Recycle Bin, right-click the icon on your desktop, and click Empty Recycle Bin.
If you’ve downloaded a .zip or .exe file from the Web, and then installed the program on your hard disk, you can delete the original file.
And here’s a final tip for keeping your computer lean. If you want to free even more room on your hard disk, get rid of the temporary files that your computer amasses over time. Go to Computer (or My Computer) or Windows Explorer, and right-click the letter associated with your hard disk (usually C:). Click Properties, and then click Disk Cleanup. For more information, read Optimize your computer for peak performance.
Microsoft has done a great job with this writeup about social networking safety. Its targeted at home users and should be read by all.
11 tips for social networking safety
Social networking websites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live Spaces are services people can use to connect with others to share information like photos, videos, and personal messages.
As the popularity of these social sites grows, so do the risks of using them. Hackers, spammers, virus writers, identity thieves, and other criminals follow the traffic.
Read these tips to help protect yourself when you use social networks.
- Use caution when you click links that you receive in messages from your friends on your social website. Treat links in messages on these sites as you would links in email messages. (For more information, see Approach links in email with caution and Click Fraud: Cybercriminals want you to ‘like’ it.)
- Know what you’ve posted about yourself. A common way that hackers break into financial or other accounts is by clicking the “Forgot your password?” link on the account login page. To break into your account, they search for the answers to your security questions, such as your birthday, home town, high school class, or mother’s middle name. If the site allows, make up your own password questions, and don’t draw them from material anyone could find with a quick search. For more information, see:
- Don’t trust that a message is really from who it says it’s from. Hackers can break into accounts and send messages that look like they’re from your friends, but aren’t. If you suspect that a message is fraudulent, use an alternate method to contact your friend to find out. This includes invitations to join new social networks. For more information, see Scammers exploit Facebook friendships.
- To avoid giving away email addresses of your friends, do not allow social networking services to scan your email address book. When you join a new social network, you might receive an offer to enter your email address and password to find out if your contacts are on the network. The site might use this information to send email messages to everyone in your contact list or even everyone you’ve ever sent an email message to with that email address. Social networking sites should explain that they’re going to do this, but some do not.
- Type the address of your social networking site directly into your browser or use your personal bookmarks. If you click a link to your site through email or another website, you might be entering your account name and password into a fake site where your personal information could be stolen. For more tips about how to avoid phishing scams, see How to reduce the risk of online fraud.
- Be selective about who you accept as a friend on a social network. Identity thieves might create fake profiles in order to get information from you.
- Assume that everything you put on a social networking site is permanent. Even if you can delete your account, anyone on the Internet can easily print photos or text or save images and videos to a computer.
- Be careful about installing extras on your site. Many social networking sites allow you to download third-party applications that let you do more with your personal page. Criminals sometimes use these applications to steal your personal information. To download and use third-party applications safely, take the same safety precautions that you take with any other program or file you download from the web. For more information, see Before you download files, help protect your computer.
- Think twice before you use social networking sites at work. For more information, see Be careful with social networking sites, especially at work.
- Talk to your kids about social networking. If you’re a parent of children who use social networking sites, see How to help your kids use social websites more safely.
Free online safety brochures
These downloadable brochures tell you how to help prevent and correct privacy and online safety issues related to social networking.
Its been a long time since a post was made.
I have been training hard to formalise my IT skills.
During the last 8 months i have been training and completing Microsoft Exams. Below is a snippet of my transcript.
?Microsoft Certification Status
Systems Administrator Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Microsoft Certified IT Professional Enterprise Support Technician
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Microsoft Windows Vista: Configuration
Professional MCP 2.0 — Certified Professional
Microsoft Certification Exams Completed Successfully
70-291 Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
70-622 Pro: Microsoft Desktop Support – ENTERPRISE
70-620 TS: Configuring Microsoft Windows Vista Client
70-290 Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment
70-270 Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
I really enjoyed the study and would highly encourage anyone in the IT field to get certified for their current occupation or to gain a new job/promotion.
To read more about Microsoft Certifications please visit http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/default.aspx
WinSock XP Fix offers a last resort if your Internet connectivity has been corrupted due to invalid or removed registry entries. It can often cure the problem of lost connections after the removal of Adware components or improper uninstall of firewall applications or other tools that modify the XP network and Winsock settings. If you encounter connection problems after removing network related software, Adware or after registry clean-up; and all other ways fail, then give WinSock XP Fix a try. It can create a registry backup of your current settings, so it is fairly safe to use. We actually tested it on a test machine that was having a Winsock problem due to some Adware removal, and after running the utility and rebooting, the connectivity was restored.
Download it here: http://www.snapfiles.com/get/winsockxpfix.html
Honestly, this utility has stopped me from going grey over the years due to hours of troubleshooting network connection issues.