Get Google Earth Pro for Free (it’s really cool and used to be $399/yr)!

Google Earth Pro, which formerly required a $399/yr subscription, has now been opened up to the masses.  It has all the easy-to-use features and detailed imagery of Google Earth, along with advanced tools that help you measure 3D buildings, print high-resolution images for presentations or reports, and record HD movies of your virtual flights around the world.  Pretty cool and now FREE. You can find more info here: https://www.google.com/work/mapsearth/products/earthpro.html The download  here: http://www.google.com/intl/en/earth/download/gep/agree.html Just use the free license code of “GEPFREE”  (no quotes).   Enjoy!  

Make your web pages Print Friendly

When you have a web page to print, you don’t want to print ALL of the headers, footers, banner ads and other ‘stuff’ on the page.  You just want to print the main article you are reading.  Here’s a great web browser add-on that pulls out the main article on the web page, makes it reading friendly (enlarges the fonts, etc.) and allows you to print just what you want.  You can remove images and any text you don’t want to print with just a click! This is a FREE program with more info and download links here: Print Friendly  … Continue reading

Block access to dangerous websites

One way to help stay away from websites that may have malicious content is to use a different DNS (Domain Name System) provider.  By default, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will have you use their DNS Servers, but you can choose your own.  Some DNS providers will make your Internet go faster and/or block known malicious websites.  One of these DNS providers is OpenDNS.  It’s a free service and all you need to do is manually change your DNS settings to use their servers.  You would set your DNS servers to:  208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220.  You can find more info at … Continue reading

One of my new favorite applications! Keep unwanted programs out of your PC.

Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) seem to be plaguing installations everywhere.  When you run the installer for many free applications and updates you download from the Internet, all too often they are bundled with unrelated adware that sometimes is borderline malicious.  Have you ever installed a program, then afterwards discovered that your browser’s homepage has changed and there are a LOT more ads in your webpages? I was thrilled when I heard about this great program that can help keep these pesky PUPs from infesting your computer! Let me introduce you to one of my new best friends …… Unchecky! When … Continue reading

Is my Internet connection ok?

This past week, I was having problems with my home Internet connection.  It seemed slow and sluggish to respond.  Normally, when I type in a website address in my browser, it appears within about a second or so.  This week though, it was taking a few seconds at least for a website to appear.  Here’s some troubleshooting steps I took to figure out where the problem was: 1 – Reboot your computer – Was it just my laptop?  Often a computer reboot can do wonders to solve simple problems.  In this case though, it didn’t help my problem.  After reboot, I … Continue reading

ebay hack drives home need for Password Manager – here’s a good free one

Here’s the problem The bad guys steal a large password list.  ok. no big deal you think if they access my ****.com account.  BUT – Since you use the SAME password on about a few dozen websites, the bad guys now have access to lots of your accounts.  not good. SOLUTION – do NOT RE-USE passwords.  Use a different password for each different website. PROBLEM – How the heck do we remember dozens of different complex passwords and what websites they go to? SOLUTION – Use a password manager.  These programs/services keep your ‘list’ of usernames/passwords and make it easy … Continue reading

Help. I’m stuck in Ukraine and I need you to send me money!

Yesterday I received an email like this: Subject:  Help….Sender’s Name       (the ‘Sender’s name’ is usually someone you know) Good Morning, I hope you get this on time!!!sorry to disturb you but i had to send this message to you due to an unforeseen circumstance that my family and i encountered. My family and i traveled to Yalta (UKRAINE) for a short vacation but unfortunately for us, we had an accident of which i dislocated my right arm and my head got bruised. The driver of the cab passed on due to internal bleeding and the injuries he sustained … Continue reading

How to keep your Windows XP relatively safe when Microsoft stops creating security patches

At least every month, Microsoft creates and releases security ‘patches’ to exploits it finds in it’s various operating systems and applications. April 8, 2014 is the last time Microsoft will release these for Windows XP. If you’re one of the millions of people that are screaming that they’ll have to pry your Windows XP PC “from your cold, dead hands” (ok, I’m probably exaggerating here, but there are many XP die-hards out there), there ARE some steps to take that can keep your computer relatively safe in the post-support era. Will there be any serious exploits found after 4/8/14 (security … Continue reading

What should I do about the end of support for Microsoft Office?

There has been much talk and worry about the end of support for Microsoft Windows XP.  I and most security experts have warned about the potential security problems that could occur after the last patches are released on April 8, 2014. This is a problem that should be taken seriously. Now, you may have also heard that Microsoft will discontinue support for it’s Office 2003 on the same date. Should you seriously worry about this also? In my opinion – NO! When’s the last time you’ve updated Microsoft Office anyway? When’s the last time you heard me (or any other … Continue reading

Don’t buy this brand of laptop/PC.

You have many choices on the shelf if you’re out looking around for a new computer.  Here’s a popular brand you’ll want to avoid, even if you spot a great deal.  Sony recently announced that they’re getting out of the PC business.  They’re selling their VAIO line to a Japanese investment firm and after this spring, you probably won’t see any more laptops from Sony selling outside of Japan.  They say they are doing this to focus on their smartphones and tablets.  Historically, consumers who are in this situation of buying a computer from a company that is no longer … Continue reading

Should you upgrade your older PC to Windows 7?

I received an email from a listener, Doug, about what he should do about the upcoming Windows XP support deadline: “With the pending issues coming down with the discontinuance of support for XP are there options that we can use for older computers (10 yrs)which will enable them to be used for years to come yet not be vulnerable to computer hacking.  Windows 7 is available for a short time to come, but is it worth switching over to it?  Are there benefits to switching as well, like computer is quicker?…” Great question Doug.  There are a LOT of people … Continue reading

Popular OSX (Mac) Antivirus tools tested

Yes, Macs are generally safer than Windows computers in terms of how many viruses are in the wild that target the operating system.  That being said, THERE ARE VIRUSES THAT TARGET MACS (some people mistakenly think that Macs can’t get viruses – they’re wrong!).  Just like with Windows antivirus apps, all are not created equal.  Here’s an article about a recent test/comparison of some of the most popular antivirus apps for Mac and which ones passed the test and which ones to pass on: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57618186-263/popular-antivirus-tools-for-os-x-tested-again/