- This tip works on all computer devices: Linux, Windows, Apple, Android, etc
- For avoiding unwanted websites, I like to recommend the Clean Browsing Free Family filter. Info at https://cleanbrowsing.org/articles/opendns-alternatives website. It works by replacing the main index to the internet (the DNS master lookup system - kind of like the phone book into where stuff is on the net) with a cleaned up version omitting where bad stuff is. It can be installed on a single device or (better yet) within your main router to protect all devices - phones, tablets, visitors, etc from accidental access to stupid sites. Instead of pointing DNS lookups to the everything good and bad index you point it at the clean list DNS. Although there are ways to undo or bypass the protection, it will provide good protection for casual family users.
- I can assist you in setting it up on your main router if you like, but the instructions are online at https://cleanbrowsing.org/getting-started .. I suggest you try the Family Filter: "Blocks access to all adult, pornographic and explicit sites. It also blocks proxy and VPN domains that are used to bypass the filters. Mixed content sites (like Reddit) are also blocked. Google, Bing and Youtube are set to the Safe Mode. Malicious and Phishing domains are blocked." The settings for this free service are:
IPv4 address: 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 and/or
IPv6 address: 2a0d:2a00:1:: and 2a0d:2a00:2::
- Best Practice? Install the cleanbrowsing DNS settings on both your home router AND each of your portable devices. That way, when you have visitors in your home wanting to use your internet, you all are protected AND when you or your kids are using the internet outside your home on someone else's internet you and they are also protected there ..
Magrath, AB Steps to keep your Windows 10 computer safe and free from crud.
Magrath, AB Recommended steps to keep your Windows 10 computer safe and free from crud.
Wherever this standard is implemented, public users with have access to MagrathOpen public wifi with only a single pre-shared key required = 'ShopMagrath'. Chamber could promote the service with signage “Free MagrathOpen WIFI Here – password = ShopMagrath – Support your Magrath Chamber!” or similar.
Sure, you don't want anyone else to access and view your email messages and contact information. You need a secure password! But, what happens if you forget it? Many users set it and forget it in their favorite email program or even within their browser. Some write it down on a paper or post it 'hidden' somewhere near their computer, under the keyboard or in a drawer or behind a cupboard door. This case deals with an unfortunate series of events where some forgetful but nice little old ladies with multiple devices and email accounts have happened to all forget their email passwords at the same time .. Enter, Mr Computer Guy.
Assignment: 1) recover email address passwords for everyone in the house. 2) find some way to keep them save from themselves in the future ..
After many years in intensive care, your venerable XP operating system was taken off life support this month by your friends at Microsoft.
Without XP support, many of you are left to ponder, what will become of my poor old computer? As further XP bugs are uncovered, as no further debugging or support will be provided by Mr Microsoft, and as those bugs are eventually exploited by nefarious malware or virus programmers, XP will simply die a slow death and/or eventually just become completely unusable.
What to do? For now, your system may keep plugging on, for a while. Microsoft is banking on you plunking down more money on a new Microsoft Windows product. I propose you consider moving to a free, open source option - Ubuntu Linux works for me!
Why? Well, for one, the Ubuntu installation process is much simpler (and less costly .. can you beat free?) than the one for Windows version xyz. You enter a username and password and timezone and the easy installation automatically takes over and recognizes existing operating systems and gives you the option to install Linux without wiping any of the precious data sitting on your hard drive. Your computer hardware is also automatically detected and updated for you. The available software is open source - free to install and use on any number of computers so no pack of M$ Lawyers will chase you down and make you track licences and installations. It allows you to do all the regular things that you would use in a Windows environment and more via familiar easy to use equivalent programs - Chrome or Firefox vs Internet Explorer, Libre Office vs Microsoft Office, GNU Cash vs Quickbooks, etc. In addition, all programs update with the operating system. Wow! I find that everything I plug in just works. and Ubuntu is much more secure than your poor old Windows systems. Being Linux-based I have yet to see a virus or malware show up on my systems. You don't need expensive and system numbing add-on antivirus solutions, but you can run one is you wish. Any problems that arise are patched right away for free by the Ubuntu developers. My biggest problem has been too much choice .. a myriad of possible favorite software programs to try and use.
You can even just run the LiveCD option to try out Linux on your computer without even installing a thing on your hard drive. Very useful in getting started with Ubuntu or for even for fixing a 'broken XP' system. You can update your system every 6 months to keep on the bleeding edge, or stick with the LTS (Long Term Support) versions that are supported for 5 years! A new LTS version is released every 2 years. There is no extra fee for the LTS version and upgrades to new versions of Ubuntu are and always will be free of charge.
Being ever so customizable, the system can be configured to look and act like your old Windows system, if you cannot live without a start button. You can even install Windows emulation (called Wine). Wine allows you to run many Windows programs on Linux - including Netflix, RootsMagic, Picasa, and Family Search Indexing .. some of my favorites.
Need help? Although it is pretty easy install and get started with Ubuntu, you can also find tons of help online. For example, Mr Robbie Ferguson of Category5.tv has a weekly free tech support show - 1 hour long every Tue evening. You can view past viewer questions and answers or submit your own questions for consideration by phone or video or email. Many enthusiasts, like myself, post tips and helps online to keep you informed and edu-ma-cated.
Need more help? Of course, you can always hire me (or someone very much like me - if you don't live close by) to set you up, get you started and keep you going. Call me ..
Let me say first that I should have known better. I see now how it should have been handled differently and all this could have been avoided. People I truly like and respect have had their feelings and reputations hurt on both sides. However, that is not what was intended. Still, I must apologize.
Background: I maintain a number of websites for various organizations in Magrath - my company, the Lions Club, the Chamber of Commerce and others. Generally things are going well. Valuable information is being provided in a timely and productive manner. Last week I received a letter on a topic of great interest to the Chamber and after removing names posted it to the Chamber news blog.
What I neglected to remember, was that these posts are automatically forwarded to our Facebook page and from there appears as officially sanctioned and approved pronouncements from the entire Magrath Chamber of Commerce.
The letter was never intended to be distributed publicly, even without naming names, and in a small town it was not long before many had seen and passed judgement on the situation, some for one side and some for the other. Again, that was never the intention, and in any case, it was not approved for distribution (even inadvertently) by the Chamber. It was supposed to be simply a letter identifying a general issue that a member wanted to be addressed at some future meeting.
I have personally talked to many of the parties involved, and apologized for the unintended impact.
On the other hand, wow. I often post information (like this apology) and wonder if anyone will ever really see or read it. The feedback received just a day or so after the event makes me realize the awesome power of the social media - with all it's potential warts it also is a powerful tool for good.
So, to summarize:
That, and .. I'm sorry.
Malware: Dodgy Extensions and Toolbars
What to do when everything suddenly goes awry
Ever suddenly noticed a new toolbar appearing on your favorite internet browser window? Have you noticed that your Home page is different or your Search engine 'new and improved'. Slower response than you remember? Popups? Adverts? Dire warnings that 'you already may be infected'? If you have teen users in the house, you are probably used to having all your stuff being re-arranged, desktop backgrounds appearing and getting reset, new programs and features appearing on your computer. When it gets bad enough, try to blame it on them first. Otherwise, there is always your spouse, the neighbor kids, or the family pet to blame**. If you live alone, you could possibly blame it on your computer repair person. Meanwhile, you and your computer have arrived in toolbar purgatory and is most likely infected with some kind of malware as well. Regardless of how it happened, you need help. How do you get rid of the mess?
Some toolbars can be a useful addition to your browser if you happen to use the product that the toolbar integrates with. There may be useful shortcuts, interesting news facts, the weather etc. etc. I have found them rarely to be of much use, and I suspect many have given over to the dark side. My policy is NO TOOLBARS, especially when they install themselves for you.
I suppose chances are that if one of these sorts of toolbars appear, that you or someone you love installed it when loading some other software or update for your particular product. They most likely downloaded it accidently by not paying attention to the very small tick box that said ‘install the “blahblah” whizbang toolbar also’ while rushing along and clicking ‘next’ or 'enter' to make all the popup screens go away and voila, here you are peering through all these toolbars! That said, there are many new malware programs that can install themselves just by browsing to a particular website address or by clicking the wrong link in an email or online .. many just want to stay and visit and catch up on what you have been doing lately. Some are more annoying or destructive.
SO WHAT CAN WE/YOU DO ABOUT IT?
There are a many ways to remove these toolbars and add-ons. Perhaps the quickest way is to reset your browser and if you click on one of the links below you’ll be taken to a page to learn how to reset that particular brower. Tip: If your favorite browser unlisted .. did you think to Google?
Internet Explorer - Mozilla Firefox – Google Chrome
Unless you are a Linux user, you NEED an antivirus program. For Windows, I tend to recommend AVG or AVIRA but you may already have McAfee or Norton installed. One (and only one) of these should be running on your computer whenever you are connected to a live internet connection – even if they tend to 'slow down' the computer. Malwarebytes MBAM anti-malware utility is a great 'get out of jail' type program that can be run, after you are or suspect you are infected, to search and destroy the more pesky malcreants. If you are a Windows user, another easy tool I recommend is ccleaner with a free version available for download and the paid version only $25 or so. Besides being a great tool for removing temporary files building up on your system and an efficient and effective registry cleaner, there is also an easy to use software remover tab. For most anything that has 'Toolbar' in the description, I use ccleaner to find and remove for me. Sweet. Yes, Windows has it's own Add Remove Programs utility, but I much prefer the ccleaner version.
Then again, if reading all the above sounds like 'wah wah, wah wah wah WAH' in your head, you can just hire me or someone like me to pop by and do all this for you. Your computer (and kids) will be happier for it and we really appreciate the business!
** I was called to fix a problem computer once where the icons were 're-arranging' themselves at random times unexpectedly. While onsite discussing the possible causes, their sweet two year old toddled by, reached up and blindly/happily used the mouse to click and drag the screen icons around above her head. Is it possible you just have a house elf problem?
Roger .. the computer guy in Magrath, AB
Mr Robbie Ferguson is amazing. I love to listen in on his weekly videocasts - particularly on topics pertaining to Ubuntu .. but with over 280 weekly episodes there is probably something there for everyone. They just keep getting better and better, eh.
I originally found him on Miro but now-a-days he can just as easily be viewed from his website or even via youtube. The hour long format may seem daunting for some, but I find it time well spent. Recommended! Website(s): category5.tv and youtube.com/user/category5tv or linuxtechshow.com
So .. I decided my old fileserver needs some TLC and since it is currently hosting my ssdirect.com website, well, I thought it best to see if I could move it off the old server and out on the cloud somewhere.
The old version ran under SME Server and Joomla. The new version was put together using Weebly. It took a day or so to cut and paste the old content into the News postings .. could not find a way to automate the migration, unfortunately. The resulting website is to my liking and easy to update online. Joomla required you to sign on to administrator and needed some HTML skills. Weebly is all drag and drop, granted - not quite as much flexibility, unless you have some HTML skills .. so.
With the websites off of my old server, I can play with some other options .. perhaps the new version of SMEServer or Ubuntu Server version. We will see.
Took some time this week to investigate some Google Voice features on my Gmail account ..
This from my G+ post: "testing out google voice options. there is currently some goofy restriction on only activating 'US based' numbers. why? meanwhile, my google voice account uses a MT (406) area code and forwards to my google chat, or to my burner US (406) cell phone, or to my magicjack UT (801) number .. which forwards to my AB (403) home phone .. which can simul-ring to any of my other phones as needed. also places a call-me widget on my ssdirect.com site. I wonder if it is working .."
Meanwhile, it is working a bit .. kind of. This post documents a bit of what it took.