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TechTalk & Personal Computing Guide

How to avoid the 7 deadly mistakes

cdesai12 Goldie
cdesai12
cdesai12

Joined: 18 September 2004
Posts: 1900

Posted: 30 January 2005 at 10:26am | IP Logged

How to avoid the 7 deadly mistakes of computer users
By BILL HUSTED

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
01/28/2005

Computer users make plenty of mistakes, whether on their personal or small-business machines. Let's look at the worst offenses:

Security


Your anti-virus program won't stop all threats. Buy an anti-virus program from Norton, or visit www.safer-networking.org to download SpyBot Search & Destroy for free. Then, install Norton's firewall or use Windows XP's free firewall.

Web

Many people are tempted to download free programs. If you stick to sites such as www.tucows.com and www.download.com, it can be a rewarding experience. But downloading programs from sites you don't know is the easiest way to end up with a computer infected with adware and spyware.

E-mail

I get notes from readers as part of a forwarded mass-mail warning of a nonexistent virus. Others seem to explain that Bill Gates is giving away his fortune. Just forward the message along, it says. No thanks.

Start with the assumption that the virus doesn't exist and that Gates isn't giving away his fortune. Don't add to the problem by forwarding mass mailings. You're spreading bad information and looking a bit naive.

Meanwhile, watch out for official-looking messages that point you to equally official-looking Web sites that pretend to be eBay or EarthLink or Citibank. They ask for personal information, such as passwords and Social Security numbers.

Don't answer them. Every one is from a crook.

Power

Folks who don't think twice about dropping $2,000 for a computer seem to shy away from spending a few extra bucks to protect it. If you don't have an uninterruptible power supply - called a UPS - buy one and start using it today. Even the models selling for $40 can prevent your computer from becoming a paperweight. It's the best money you can spend when it comes to computer accessories.

Protection

Not enough people back up personal data. If you own a computer long enough, your hard drive will crash. Your e-mail addresses, business contacts and financial records will be gone. You don't need to back up programs. You can install them again. But you must make backup copies of the data you create. It's easy and fast with today's CD burners.

Reference

People tend to throw away manuals and discs. If you must be neat, find a filing cabinet or box to store every bit of material that comes with installation discs. It's common for programs to require an activation code before they can be installed.

Password


If it's a name or a word, you're a prime target for hackers. Use a password that contains letters and numbers. There are ways to create and remember a complicated password.

For example, if you have a favorite song, use the first letters from some of the words to form a password. Then, add in four digits from a telephone number you had 15 years ago. And don't use the same password for everything. Sure, it's a hassle. But having your bank account robbed or identity stolen is worse.


Edited by cdesai12 - 30 January 2005 at 10:28am

Morgoth IF-Rockerz
Morgoth
Morgoth

Joined: 01 June 2004
Posts: 6831

Posted: 30 January 2005 at 1:50pm | IP Logged
Great Tips, Cdesai! Thanks!
meghavi IF-Rockerz
meghavi
meghavi

Joined: 21 November 2004
Posts: 8263

Posted: 30 January 2005 at 3:26pm | IP Logged
Thanks Cdesai!!
HUMM IF-Dazzler
HUMM
HUMM

Joined: 06 November 2004
Posts: 2927

Posted: 30 January 2005 at 6:42pm | IP Logged
good info..thanks buddy!ClapClap
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