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/

Too little too late? – Microsoft publishes a Guide to Windows 8.1

I don’t hate Windows 8.  Ok, admittedly, I was not a big fan when Windows 8 was introduced, but I’m a much bigger fan now that Windows 8.1 is here.  By far the biggest problem I had with Windows 8 was the number of MAJOR DIFFERENCES that Microsoft introduced with this version of Windows.  I think they should have more aggressively created ways to ‘teach’ end users about how to use the new User Interface, but instead they were stuck with a bunch of people wondering – “What do I do?” and “Where is the Start Button?”  Now that version … Continue reading

You CAN setup Windows 8 without creating a Microsoft Account!

I received this email from a listener recently (sent from his iPhone): Hi Dan Just bought a new Toshiba laptop, turn it on started the setup process, up till now I’ve managed very well with out a Microsoft account, and don’t want to put my personal info out there. But now I’m stuck win8 won’t let me go to the next level without putting my Email address and a password, of which I have to many, so how can I get to the point where I can use it?… Help     -Jerry   Contrary to where Microsoft tries to … Continue reading

Backdoor Found in Many Consumer Routers and Wireless Access Points

When’s the last time you updated the firmware in your router?  For almost all of you, the answer will be one of these: Never My router needs updates? What’s a firmware? router? what’s that?  I just connect to the Internet through that thingy over there. I’m still waiting for this whole Internet thing to catch on before I decide to get rid of my 56K dial-up modem (if this is you, stop reading this article now and call an ISP!) If you have wireless Internet or you have the capability of connecting more than one device to the Internet, you … Continue reading

Do you have one of the 154 Million compromised accounts?

There have been many high profile data breaches that have compromised millions of email addresses and their account information. Adobe, Sony, Yahoo!, Gawker… There is now a website that you can go to that will tell you if your email address is one that has been compromised: http://haveibeenpwned.com/ If you have had your account hacked or want to prevent the headache and losses involved with a security breach, give us a call at Discount Computer Service.  We can help secure your digital world!  410-358-7300.

A Windows password does NOT keep your data safe!

If you have any sensitive data on your laptop, please do NOT think that data is safe if you have set up a Windows logon password. If someone steals your laptop (this is and has been a big target for thieves), would you like them to have access to your personal data? There are many relatively easy ways, that anyone with a little technical knowledge, can get access to all of the files on your computer.  For example, another administrative user on the PC can easy gain access to your file, someone could connect your hard drive to another computer … Continue reading

I LOVE this browser Add-On – it blocks Ads!

Adblock Plus AdblockPlus.org is the website. What it does – Lets you surf the web without those annoying and sometimes dangerous ads (blocks banner ads, popups, even video ads). What it is – Available for your favorite browser (Chrome, IE, FireFox, etc), you click on the Install button on their website and it installs a small add-on software program to your browser.  Simple as that. Cost – FREE! Result – Safer, happier web browsing!

Alternatives to iGoogle

As many iGoogle users have noticed, Google has done away with that ‘service’.  iGoogle was a customizable home page that gave you a lot of info right on your browser’s home page.  There are some formidable alternatives to this service that Google shut down effective November 1st (they are now re-directing you to their main Google.com page). igHome.com is one of them Here’s a good article that lists 8 alternatives, descriptions and links: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9243663/There_s_no_place_like_home_page_8_iGoogle_alternatives    

Here’s an easy way to remember ‘cryptic’ passwords

Here’s an example of a complex password that’s easy to remember: Il2TSReS@1 It uses a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation and is fairly long.  But what makes it easy to remember? Easy – Use a sentence! I listen 2 Tech Solutions Radio every Sunday @ 1 Simple as that.  An easy to remember sentence, but use only the first letter of each word (Uppercase letter with each proper noun, symbols or numbers like @ for at and 2 for to…) So come up with your own complex, but easy to remember password and replace your current, easy … Continue reading

What to do with your Windows XP machine once you buy a new one.

So you’ve been putting off upgrading your beloved Windows XP computer for a long time now.  But with support ending for Windows XP, it’s time to upgrade.  But…your old machine still runs fine, so it’s a shame to just toss it away.  Here are a couple ideas for what you can do with that old machine to keep it alive and useful: Give it a Linux makeover For a long time, I have made the suggestion that you could, and maybe should, have a separate ‘secure’ machine for sensitive transacting on the web.  Why not use your old machine for … Continue reading

Tech Solutions Radio 10.20.13

You can find Podcasts of the 4 most recent Tech Solutions Radio shows on the WCBM Podcast Page or older ones on our Podcast Page. Tech Solutions Radio 10/20/13 show topics: Apple announcement day Tue 10/22, new iPads & MacBooks, OS X Mavericks, Delete Windows update files to regain hard disk space, Fake Chrome & Adobe Flash updates, Adobe hacked, 3 million accounts compromised, Windows 8.1 Update released this past week, Windows 7 still available, Toshiba selling Windows 7 for 99% of business sales, power hum from aftermarket laptop adapter, YouTube ads…

Recover lots of Hard Drive space by deleting old Windows Update files

Microsoft recently released an update for Windows 7 SP1 that allows us to remove old Windows Update files that we no longer need or want.  Windows routinely saves a lot of files that will allow us to uninstall some of the Windows updates.  But, except in the rare case that you find a problem that was caused by one of the Updates, it is very rare that you would have a reason to remove the Update(s). This update is actually a plug-in for the Disk Cleanup utility already installed on your computer (Start -All Programs – Accessories – System Tools … Continue reading

Google can use your name and photo alongside online ads

That’s right, Google’s new terms of service, going into effect 11/11/13, by default will opt you in for allowing them to use your name and photo alongside an online ad if you have commented, followed or given a +1 to a product.  You could see your face and comment in those one-line reviews below an ad or listing. The less scary news about that is that they say that your endorsements will only be visible to those that would generally have access to your comments anyway.  Google says they will allow you to opt out of this by un-selecting the … Continue reading


I received an interesting email from Phyllis: “I’m hearing good things about this browser, Disconnect, but wondered if you recommend it over the others?” Hi Phyllis, If we’re talking about the same thing, I don’t believe ‘Disconnect’ is an alternate browser, but rather an ‘extension’ for your current browser that can add speed and privacy. I don’t have much experience with it, but it is very well rated and I wouldn’t hesitate to use  or recommend it (you can find more info about the free Disconnect add-on at their website: https://www.disconnect.me/) Another very good privacy/ad blocking extension I really love is … Continue reading