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Over the last few weeks I've been scrubbing the hard drives and prepping eight used PCs that the non-profit organization where I work weekday afternoons is donating to a neighborhood center that serves the nearby low-income population. Children and adults who need a computer will be given one with the following software installed:

Windows XP Pro SP3 (OEM version)
Drivers for Main Chipset, Networking, Audio and Video
118+ Windows Automatic Updates applied
Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus
AVG Secure Search to guard against zero-day malware attacks
Foxit PDF Reader
Free Commander file manager
Google Chrome with tabs for Gmail, Meadowood Neighborhood Center, and CompuNerds.Net lessons
Google Drive Sync
Google Music Manager
Google Picasa ver. 3.9
Adobe Flash Player
LastPass password vault
LibreOffice 3.5 - compatible with Microsoft Office
PhotoScape ver. 3.6
Apple Quicktime
Real Player

You are totally unique, just like everyone else.

LastPass, Skype and all the Google programs install in the user's account, so I first created a "George" administrator-level account that I will later rename to the person's name who receives the PC, so I installed all the above software in that account. Then I created an "Admin" administrator-level account, and changed "George" to a standard user account. Lastly I created a "Visitor" standard user account so the new owner won't have to let others use his/her own account.

There were only six monitors and no keyboards or mice to go with the eight PCs, so the director of the neighborhood center is searching for these missing parts. Finding recipients who will be able to pay for Internet access and are intelligent enough to learn how to use a computer is the next step. Finally, setting up the PCs in homes, installing routers, connecting to the Internet, and teaching the new owners how to use them will top it off!

Click on Online PC Support for our worldwide help   &   Offsite Backup Services for securing your files!

The Security Blurb:

A very handy program that I've been using at work is the Yankee Clipper III clipboard extender: its outstanding feature in my opinion is "Boilerplates." Working at a help desk, I get several phone calls and emails every day that often relate to the same issues, so I use several different "boilerplates." The most frequent problem is a lost password. My first reply is - "Did you try the 'Forgot your password?' link?" If this didn't solve it for some reason, I often reset their password and then send them an email with the following "boilerplate" text:

"If/when you create or change a password, it should be easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess: not "123456", "qwerty", "password" or "letmein" - some of the most common! Don't use your birthday, your mother's, spouse's or child's name, any nickname, etc. A hacker surfing the web and social networks pretending to be a friend can easily find out those items. This is called "social engineering."

"Don't keep your passwords in plain text in a document file, on a sticky note, or on a piece of paper taped to the bottom of your keyboard: these are the first places that snoops or burglars look. And don't use the same password for multiple websites: once a hacker figures out that password, he will try it on lots of websites.

"We highly recommend free, reputable password vaults like those at www.LastPass.com or www.KeePass.info to accurately and conveniently keep track of your online websites, user-IDs and passwords. They install on your computer, and are as secure as the master password with which they *encrypt* the rest of your passwords, and then you must remember only one password.

"These password vaults can also generate virtually unbreakable passwords for you, and store notes such as security questions and answers. LastPass.com also keeps your information encrypted on its website as well as on your computer, which lets you access it from any computer connected to the Internet. In addition, LastPass can enter your user-ID and password, and log you in automatically."

The tech press reported on a huge security flaw relating to password resets via phone calls to help desks: How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking. Mat Honan, a tech writer for Wired magazine, suddenly found that someone had wiped clean everything stored on his iPhone; his Google account and his Twitter account were also taken over. As it turned out, a teenage hacker had first called Amazon's, then Apple's help desks asking to change a few pieces of information, which then gave the hacker access to all sorts of information. (Very likely, Honan was using the same password for multiple websites.) Help desk policies both at Apple and Amazon were immediately updated!

Another bad-boy trojan has raised up its ugly head over the tech horizon: Microsoft introduces detection for Bafruz trojan relates that Bafruz terminates security processes running on a Windows PC. "Then, alerts appear in the system tray instructing the victim to remove a 'virus' by rebooting their computer. Once the victim does this, the computer will restart in safe mode, allowing Bafruz to disable installed anti-virus software." When the anti-virus software on the PC is disabled, Bafruz downloads additional malware undetected. The Bafruz trojan will now be identified and removed by Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool. So be sure to get this update!

The goal of our CN.Net-News is to share information that we think you'll find helpful as you wrestle with that little monster on your desk or at your side, your computer. And we aim to present this information from a Christian worldview. Thanks for your time!

Best regards,

"Dr. Bob the CompuNerd"

Robert D hoskEN
See the "nerd" in my name? (It helps if you're a little dyslexic!)
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