Lon Hosford, President of the HCC, thanked John Warsinski for his work in organizing the 20th Anniversary celebration of HCC last month.  The gathering was very successful and cost a reasonable $385.  Lon posted pictures from the meeting on the HCC web site as part of the article about the celebration.  Check out the pictures to see who was there.  Since our breakfast meeting was so enjoyable, the club plans to repeat this for future anniversary and Christmas meetings.

Anyone who wants to be in the Yahoo group to receive club messages please contact John Gbur.  He will add your name to the club roster.  A Yahoo ID may be needed to access the site.  New members joining the club should get a Yahoo ID so they can be added to the club list and get the club’s messages.

Lon discussed the fact that nominations for club officers are usually made in September, but this was not done last month.  We were having too much fun talking about the early days of the club.  A nomination was made from the floor to keep the same officers currently in office for the coming year.  The nomination for the current officers to continue in the same office next year was approved.

Q:  Is anyone using Gmail and how is it?

A:  Gmail has a lot of good features, lots of storage, an excellent spam filter, public and private calendars, an ability to search messages for a sender if you can’t remember the name, files archived and stored with labels for future reference, and much more.

Q:  I’ve been getting Java updates.  Can I delete the older messages with the updates in them?

A:  If the updates are cumulative, you may not be able to delete the earlier messages because it may affect the software.  Another member indicated he had been deleting the old Java updates and has not had a problem.  You can try CCleaner which may help clean up the old files.

Q.  When using Firefox and I want to close one window, the software wants to close all  the windows.  What can I do?

A:  Can only run one version of Firefox at a time.  Use tabs instead of opening a second copy of Firefox.  To close a tab on a window, you only need to click the “x” on the tab.  The other tabs will remain open.

Q:  Sometimes when using Firefox, it will open a window but will not allow you to use the “back” arrow to go to an earlier page.

A:  Sometimes it will take you to another tab page in the same screen of Firefox.  You can click the “down” arrow on the back tab and select the page you want to return to.  Can also use the Alt-R or the Alt-L arrows.  This will help you get off the page and back to where you want to go.

Presentation:  “Safe Surfing” by Perry Snyder
Safe surfing is a way to avoid giving away your identity while doing on-line banking or surfing Internet web sites.  Below are Perry’s tips for protecting you and your computer.

1.  Prepare for computer failure:

a.  Record essential information for computer usage, such as online account URLS, usernames, and passwords.  Do not rely on browser histories and/or password managers without a hard or soft copy of account information.

b.  Add essential sites to favorites or bookmarks.  Do not rely on your browser history.  Many items will be cleaned periodically by utility programs.

c.  Back up your email and email addresses.  Learn how to import and export your email address book.

Turn off Javascript.  Also, go to the Privacy option on your computer and uncheck “accept cookies”.  Be sure to write down the web sites you visit frequently.

2.  Obtain external peripherals to back up your data; e.g., flash drives, USB external drives, etc.  Learn how to use your back up software before your system crashes.

3.  Obtain hardware and software to deal with prevention of malware problems, such as a router; software firewall; malware cleaner; spybot search and destroy; host file manager; antivirus software, like Avast, Avira, AVG; history/cache/cookie cleaners, like CCleaner, and Cleanup Now!; sysinternal utilities, like autoruns, tcpview, and procexp.

4.  Consider using portable applications to make moving to your next computer easier; such as OpenOffice, Thunderbird and Firefox.

5.  Browser triage.

To get free software you can depend on, go to www.techsupportalert.com   The site is Gizmo’s tech support and offers many options for cleanup and tuning, home and office, multimedia, and more.

Another excellent site to go to is http://www.malwarebytes.org/ .  This site is dedicated to fighting malware and has developed a variety of tools that can identify and remove malicious software from your computer.  This is one of the few sites that can get rid of certain types of very malicious software.  .

Other recommended software that can be used to check on the security of your system are:

Spinrite.  Spinrite 6 can be found on http://www.grc.com/ .  This software is for hard drive data recovery.  You can also get your computer’s IP address from this website.

PC Health Plan.  This is spyware removal software designed to remove spyware, adware, and other dangerous software from your computer.  You can also get a free test of your computer on this site.  It can be found at http://www.pchealthplan.com/ .  4/6/2009 This entry was removed at the request of Perry Snyder. Perry does not recommend using the pchealthplan.com site. – ALH

Avast! is complete antivirus protection for your computer.  It is free for the home user.  It automatically detects and eliminates all types of viruses, worms, and all kinds of threats.  It will scan your computer before it even opens IE.  Find it at http://www.avast.com/ .ARIN.  This is the American Registry for Internet Numbers and can be found at www.arin.net .  ARIN provides services related to the technical coordination and management of Internet number resources.  This is the place to go to do a reverse IP lookup.

CCleaner.  This software cleans temporary files and is a registry cleaner for IE, Firefox, Opera, and Windows.  It is especially good to use this software to clean your computer after uninstalling programs.  The advanced registry cleaner removes ActiveX controls. ActiveX has the most power to affect your computer and malware can use it to invade your system. CCleaner can be found at http://www.ccleaner.com/ .

AutoRuns.  AutoRuns shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup.  These programs include ones in your startup folder.  You will be amazed to see how many programs start up automatically when you bootup your system.  You can download this software free at the Microsoft TechNet website.

TCPView  This software will show you a detailed listing of all the TCP connections on your system and will resolve all IP addresses to their domain name.  You can get for information about this software at TCPView for Windows .

Portable Apps  Also consider going to the PortableApps.com and downloading the portable freeware from that site to your computer.  It’s open source software that anyone can use.  It is safer because it doesn’t leave any personal information behind on the computer.

Thanks to Perry, we have a lot of new things to consider and try on our computers to protect our privacy and safety when surfing the Internet.  Thanks you, Perry, for a great presentation.


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