11 tips for social networking safety

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.

  1. 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.)
  2. 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:
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Choose your social network carefully. Evaluate the site that you plan to use and make sure you understand the privacy policy. Find out if the site monitors content that people post. You will be providing personal information to this website, so use the same criteria that you would to select a site where you enter your credit card.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Think twice before you use social networking sites at work. For more information, see Be careful with social networking sites, especially at work.
  11. 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.


Microsoft Training

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

No Internet Connection – WinSock XP Fix

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.

Forget Your Windows XP/VISTA Password????

This is a utility to reset the password of any user that has a valid (local) account on your system.

  • You do not need to know the old password to set a new one.
  • It works offline, that is, you have to shutdown your computer and boot off a floppy disk or CD.
  • The boot disk includes stuff to access NTFS and FAT/FAT32 partitions.
  • Will detect and offer to unlock locked or disabled out user accounts!
  • It is also an almost fully functional registry editor!
  • And the best part? It’s FREE.

    Check it out: http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/


    I have recently updated the Rocktown website. Vince was a pleasure to deal with and very helpful on what he wanted from his website.

    Below are some of the comments i got from Vince about the service i provided him.

    Have you had any positive feedback from the new design from your staff, family or customers??? If so please elaborate what you have heard.
    “Yes the staff think it looks much better, more modern.”

    How would you rate my communication and ability to understand your ideas and implement them into the website?
    “Yes, good. Everything went as we wanted, your reaction was quick.”

    Please check out the website and if you ever need anything music related give Rocktown a call.



    Hard Drive Bulk Order

    Doing a hard drive order again after great successes with the last one. Prices a little bit cheaper this month.

    WD 320Gb SATA2 HDD 16Mb cache $120
    WD 500Gb SATA2 HDD 16Mb cache $140
    WD 750Gb SATA2 HDD 16Mb cache $250
    WD 1Tb SATA2 HDD 16Mb cache $360


    All New with full Manufacturers Warranty

    All orders must be in by Tuesday (20th) evening, hard drives should arrive early the following week.


    Default Router Password Database

    Plenty of times I have been stuck on a job where I cannot remember the default password for a particular router. Recently I have discovered this site and its a absolute godsend that I want to share it with everyone.


    February Special – Monitors

    Samsung 740B 17″ TFT 8ms LCD



    Viewsonic VA1912WB 19″ TFT LCD



    Viewsonic VA2226W 22″ TFT LCD



    Back To School Specials

    Lenovo Desktop PC

    Intel Core Duo 2140 1.6GHz CPU
    2GB DDR2 667
    160GB Western Digital SATA HDD
    Onboard Graphics
    Lenovo DVDRW-DL, LAN, 6 x USB Ports
    Microsoft Vista Premium O/S
    Lenovo 19” LCD
    Lenovo Keyboard and Mouse
    Lenovo Desktop Speakers
    FREE 2Gb Kingston USB2 Flash Drive




    Intel Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7300(2.0 GHz)
    Intel PRO/Wireless 802.11a/b/g 10/100 Bluetooth
    nVidia GeForce Go8400M (128MB VRAM)
    Display 14”WXGA ColourShine
    120GB 5400rpm Harddisk SATA
    1GB DDR2 667MHz
    Super Multi DVD +/-RW
    Vista Business OS
    FREE 2Gb Kingston USB2 Flash Drive



    Microsoft Office Professional 2007 Acedemic Edition

    Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, Outlook




    NT Car Detailers

    Peter from NT Car Detailers approached me to build a website for his company. The objective was to showcase his high quality work to the public. Previously peter showed interested clients a photo album of his work but since the launch of the website Peter can show potential clients his work without organising a meeting.

    We have spoken to peter since the launch of his website and in the first month Peter mentioned that the website had paid for itself.

    We were honored to work with peter and NT Car Detailers in creating them a online portfilio of his work and feel proud to hear its going so well.

    Please feel free to check out the website and if you ever need your car looking better then new give peter a call.


     NT Car Detailers

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