How to protect your laptop in cargo when you fly

Posted on May 24, 2017. Filed under: Security | Tags: , , , , , |

ZDNet has a post: In this guide, learn about current regulations and how to deal with theft, insurance problems and hardware damage.

Source: How to protect your laptop in cargo when you fly | ZDNet

Basically, any device larger than a smartphone has to be in checked luggage, at least if coming from certain countries.

Also, if you enter/leave the country, you may be required to give your password and have all your data downloaded from any device for any country, not necessarily just overseas.

You might consider a “burner” phone for short term use (such as a pay-as-you-use service phone, available from several sources). If you do not use an app for your online storage, but have to log into it via a browser, then you can limit the access by clearing your browser history and leaving no trace even if you have to give up a disposable password.

A cheap tablet may not be as useful or fast as usual, but if stolen/damaged, using it only with all your data on a USB drive leaves you carrying only the USB drive more securely in a pocket. USB flash “stick” drives are not restricted at this time.

The reasoning for this is discussed in another ZDNet article.

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Outlook and virus prevention

Posted on March 3, 2008. Filed under: Anti-Virus, Email, Microsoft Outlook, Security | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express are popular choices for email and other functions, but they have gained a reputation as primary targets of viruses, trojans, and other malware.  (In fact, ANYTHING from Microsoft tends to be a primary target, since it is the most popular software in many categories, so damage would be done to more users.)

Internet Fixes has advice on avoiding infection while using Outlook Express.   The same precautions will help with regular Outlook.

These include:

  • using the latest, updated version of Outlook or Outlook Express
  • disabling the Preview Pane when using Outlook or Outlook Express
  • sending all messages with attachments to a special folder first, then scanning them with anti-virus software (which you also keep updated!) before opening

REMEMBER: viruses and other malware may steal addresses from a friend and use them to send copies of malware to you.  Just because you got a message from a friend you trust, does not mean that you can trust the message!  Your friend may not even know it was sent to you.

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Kid-safe Internet help

Posted on February 26, 2008. Filed under: Security | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The bad news is, you can’t make the Internet safe, and the worse news is, you have to let your kids use it or they’ll be crippled in school and in life.

So, what do you do?

You talk to them about what they might encounter.  No filter program is safe, and there are too many ways to get around them, so simply demanding that schools and libraries buy some product you heard about isn’t going to do the job.

Social software is needed for more and more assignments at school… but you’ve heard about predators using it too, showing up on the same sites where your child has a page.
So, you teach your kids how to keep safe.  You don’t keep them inside all the time so they don’t get run over — you teach them not to play in the street, to cross at the corner, to look both ways.  This is just another part of parenting.  You teach them to keep some information confidential, to not trust somebody just because they seem nice on the Internet, and you pay attention to what your child is doing on the computer, on that cell phone (yes, they can get to a lot of stuff on cell phones these days), and both at home and at the homes of their friends (whose parents may not be paying attention).

You can set filters on some services, but don’t depend entirely on them.  Kids teach each other how to get around those.

Internet Fixes offers some useful advice and links.

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Scan ’em if you think you’ve got ’em

Posted on December 17, 2007. Filed under: Anti-Virus, Freeware/Shareware, Security | Tags: , , , , , , |

Some web sites offer anti-virus scanning services. These don’t offer continuous protection, and they may or may not let you remove any problems you find, but if you think you’re infected, one of these might confirm it.

McAfee Stinger freeware that finds and removes latest viruses. Not a substitute for an anti-virus program, but useful when it’s too late and you think you’ve already got one. Recommended by PC Annoyances

Trend Micro’s Housecall will scan and clean your system for free. Recommended by PC Annoyances

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Avast! That be pirate talk for anti-virus freeware

Posted on December 17, 2007. Filed under: Anti-Virus, Freeware/Shareware, Security | Tags: , , , , , |

avast! 4 Home Edition is freeware recommended by SmartComputing magazine (April 2006 p. 103), has free automatic updates, covers lots of protection. It is ONLY for personal and non-commercial use — there is another paid version for other users.

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Gizmo’s Guide to Securing Your PC

Posted on December 11, 2007. Filed under: Anti-Virus, Security | Tags: , , |

Gizmo Richards is an eletter (email newsletter) author who is a thorough, knowledgeable and critical writer on computer topics.  His advice ranges from fairly simple for beginners to extremely expert and is a good place to start learning about your computer and software.

An excellent article called Gizmo’s Guide to Securing Your PC covers the basics, up to date as of September 2007. From Gizmo’s Tech Support Alert.

Another method is at Make Windows Invincible! (A tutorial). Offered as an alternative by Gizmo’s Tech Support Alert newsletter.

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