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Spyware, VISTA and Windows XP. What OS do you need?

If you insist Apple / Mac is not prone to viruses or that OSX can not be hacked here is proof... <click here>, <click here> ^.^

For the past couple of years there has been a new threat introduced to your computer that anti virus software does not as of yet remove. This software is developed to track your movements on the Internet, create statistics of what you do on your computer, or even worse, actually hijack your web connections to direct you to pages that you did not ask for. These types of Malware are called Spyware, Browser Hijackers, and Dialers. Malware is the generic category of any programs that perform a detrimental effect on your computer without your knowledge or permission. Other more notorious types of Malware are viruses, trojans, worms, and backdoors.

For more information the complete article makes for a very good read <click here>


About Spywares:

You may have inadvertently invited a spy into your computer.
There you are, shopping on line and little did you know it you caught a spy or two.

The spy is known by a few names "spyware, adware, trojans".
Whatever it is called, what it does, once it's in your computer,
is start taking statistical information as you travel the Internet.
It may also send you pop-up ads and slow down your computer.
Wired.com mentioned it "could even collect your credit card information" <click here>
According to Optout one spyware program attacks your e-mail signature file. <click here>



How did you invite the spy?

Maybe you've gone to a website you knew and enjoyed only to
find that it was purposefully purchased by a pornography site.
The new company may have imbedded "spyware" or "adware"
into that new home page and now, in many cases
without your knowledge, it's on your computer, too.

Maybe you've downloaded a free or paid program and as part
of the package you were provided with an added bonus a spyware program.

Maybe you even agreed to it!
You could have downloaded a program and checked the box that allows that program to take
statistics from you "for their own use".

If you experience excessive pop-up advertisements, see new toolbars in Internet Explorer that you didn't install, face frequent web browser crashes, or if your browser's home page has changed without your consent, your computer is most likely infected with spyware.

Anyone who uses a computer is susceptible to spyware infection.
In fact, four(4) out of five(5) Internet-connected PCs are infected with spyware, adware and other unwanted programs that can:
* Open your PC to identity theft
* Expose your personal information and private accounts
* Corrupt your hard drive
* Share your passwords and user names


Spyware describes any application that may track your online or offline PC activity. It can save or transmit those findings to third parties. Spyware is stealthy and often attaches itself to your computer without your knowledge or appropriate consent. Many nefarious spyware programs can record keystrokes to steal your social security number, bank account information and credit card numbers, or hijack your modem to dial expensive, pornographic phone numbers.

Adware is a different type of program that lets companies track your online activities and tailor pop-up ads based on your choices.

Keylogger is a type of system monitor that has the ability to record all keystrokes on your computer. Therefore, a keylogger can record and log your e-mail conversations, chat room conversations, instant messages, and any other typed material. They have the ability to run in the background, hiding their presence.

Home Page Hijacker (or Browser Hijacker) have the ability to change your Internet Explorer settings, redirect your Web searches through their own search engines, redirect mistyped or incomplete URLs, and change your default home page. They may redirect your searches to "pay-per-search" Web sites which are very often pornographic Web sites.

Spywares can be installed on your computer without your knowledge or consent.
Spywares may allow companies to monitor and report on your Internet activity, and adware is usually responsible for excessive pop-up advertisements or changes in your web browser. While most computer users are familiar with freeware, shareware, media players, interactive content, file-sharing, and cookies, what PC users may not realize is that some of those files may contain code or components that allow the developers of these files to collect information about its users.

Through these files, companies may track your web surfing habits, abuse your Internet connection by sending this data to a third party, profile your shopping preferences, change your web browser settings, and alter important system files all without your knowledge or consent. Activity like this can compromise the security and privacy of any system or network.

Spyware comes in many forms including adware, keyloggers, Trojans, system monitors, browser hijackers, and dialers. It ranges from benign - adware tracking cookies, which let online companies to track your activities on a Web site and tailor pop-up advertising messages based on your choices - to more nefarious spyware programs like Trojans, keyloggers and system monitors, which are capable of capturing keystrokes, online screenshots, and personally identifiable information like your social security number, bank account numbers, logins and passwords, or credit card numbers.

Ultimately, your identity and private information can be compromised by these malicious programs. On a corporate level, spyware can compromise network and data security, corporate assets and trade secrets.

for more information about spywares please visit the link <click here>

You can check if your computer is infected by Spywares by downloading spyware removal tools.
Microsoft(TM) Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) <click here>

Spyware Remover: <click here>

Webroot <click here>

Lavasoft <click here>

Spybot <click here>

Given the headache of spywares, personally we dediced to stop using Internet explorer and shifted to Mozilla firefox.
Works like Internet Explorer with less the head-ache.
You may download Firefox for FREE at this site <click here>


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WINDOWS VISTA SERVICE PACK 1 Now Available(March 19, 2008)
For download site: <click here>

VISTA Service Pack 1 is now available to grab from either Windows Update or the Microsoft Update site.
You may visit the Microsoft website for the list of improvements. <click here>

Notice from Trusted Reviews website: "There are also a few security fixes, two of which close holes that allowed unofficial and non-activated copies of Vista to be used illicitly. We don't condone or encourage piracy here but as there will doubtless be someone reading this using pirated Vista the fixes are as such: An exploit allowing users to convince Vista it was a legit OEM copy by tweaking the BIOS, and the well known Grace Timer exploit that set the usual 30-day ‘trial' use period to a much longer time. So if you're running Vista using either of these and install the update, you'll find yourself locked out of your PC." <click here>

For everyone else, I cannot stress enough how much you need to grab this update. Subjectively it makes Vista a much more pleasant experience and the speed enhancements are definitely noticeable.



MICROSOFT WINDOWS VISTA INTRODUCED:




For the last 30-days we have been experimenting with the different versions of VISTA.
Let us just say we have not become converts for the following reasons:
1. There is nothing in VISTA that can not be done in Windows XP
- there is nothing you can do in VISTA that you can not do in XP
2. VISTA is uses too much resources that you need to 2GB to enjoy the new Operating System
-2GB of RAM will cost you around P10,000.00 upgrade cost from 1GB
3. A lot of Games will not play on VISTA. <click here>

Reality is 8/10 customers who have bought VISTA systems have asked us to
downgrade the software to Windows XP until VISTA becomes less of resource hog.
Downgrading from VISTA to Windows XP will make you realize how VISTA can slow down you system
VISTA is an eye candy - The graphics are really impressive.
but the system becomes slow because of all the graphics.

Why then would you want to buy a system with VISTA pre-loaded.
Well, for future preparation.
You can buy a vista equipped system now and ask us to downgrade to Windows XP.
Keep your vista software and license until such time that the Vista System improves
then reinstall VISTA when there becomes a need. (2 years maybe)

One advantage from buying from CoolTOYZ is we offer you the option to purchase VISTA
and downgrade to XP... but keep that a secret between us.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Microsoft WINDOWS XP Software... whats the diff? Updated Nov. 2

The basic three: Features Compared.




Xp-Home:
Windows XP Home Edition is the most commonly used version of Windows XP. It delivers most of the basic features you need: Wireless & home networking, compatability with most newer programs, multiple user accounts, and all of the spiffy new GUI enhancements. Home is probably sufficient for the average user, and is much less expensive than other versions.

Opinion: Are you a pro? There's a myth out there that Windows XP Pro is "more secure." The average home PC user gets nothing but $150 poorer by using it.

From the outset, XP Pro had very few features that Home lacked, but they were important features. The most important one has always been the ability to log into a Windows domain. The others of importance are support for EFS (Encrypted File System) and the ability to act as a server for Remote Desktop Connection.

As of the 2005 Edition, Windows XP Media Center Edition has EFS and Remote Desktop. EFS is certainly a security feature, although not one frequently useful for home PCs, even for home notebooks. As much as I like Remote Desktop, I have to engage in some serious sophistry to call it a security feature. There are a number of other feature differences, mostly obscure or very high-end... <click here>



Xp-Professional:
WinXP Pro is the standard version of Windows used in business. It features advanced security, better performance, and multiple processor support. Windows XP Professional is required to access a domain-based network. But do you really need it?

Every feature found in Home Edition should be found in Pro, but since Pro is designed primarily for corporate networking it expands on many features found in Home. Since it is designed for business use, the user interface in Pro is different (PRO wears a suit and tie while HOME wears jeans with a T-shirt :-)) XP Home is just that—a version designed especially for Home users. XP Pro, meanwhile, is geared toward business and "advanced" networking (you can create a network with XP Home, but you don't have as much control as Pro)


The following features are not present in Windows XP Home Edition <click here>

1. Encrypting File System - protects sensitive data in files that are stored on disk using the NTFS file system. The Encrypting File System, only in Windows XP Professional, provides an additional level of file protection from hackers and data theft by transparently encrypting files with a randomly generated key. If your laptop gets stolen or lost, unauthorized users should not be able to read or view your confidential files.

2. Access Contro – restrict access to selected files, applications, and other resources.Windows XP Home does not have file access control, so all users of the machine have access to all files in the same way as on Windows 98. Under Windows XP Professional access can be restricted so that users can only see their own files

3.Xp-Pro is Designed to work with Microsoft Windows Servers and management solutions!

4. Offline Files and Folders - access to files & folders on a network share when disconnected from the server. Windows XP Professional has a development of the "Briefcase" and "Offline Folders" technology seen in earlier versions of Windows which allows people using laptops to automatically "download" their files from a server, work on them while disconnected from the network, and then have them automatically upload when they next connect so that their work is kept sychronised and available both on- and offline automatically. Windows XP Home does not have this.

5. Multi-lingual User Interface (MUI) add-on - change the user interface language to get localized dialog boxes, menus, help files, dictionaries, and proofing tools etc.

6. Remote Desktop – remotely access your Windows XP Professional PC, from another Windows PC, so you can work with all of your data and applications while away from your office.

7. Internet Information Services (IIS) version 5.1 – host your own Web site on the Internet or your intranet.

8. Scalable processor support – up to two-way multi-processor support

9. Group Policy - simplifies the administration of groups of users or computers.

10. Software Installation and Maintenance – automatically install, configure, repair, or remove software applications.

11. Roaming User Profiles - access to all your documents and settings no matter where you log on.

12. Remote Installation Service (RIS) – support for remote operating system installations where desktops can be installed across the network.


Xp Professional x64:
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is the "more power" version of WinXP Pro. This new release is rarely available from the manufacturer on home PCs and personal-use notebooks; however, it features full 64-bit and dual-core processor support, allowing you to get the most out of that shiny new Athlon 64 x2 or Pentium-D. On notebooks, it's slightly more limited in usefulness, but you should look at x64 if you have an Athlon 64 or Turion, a bit of cash to burn, and an insatiable thirst for the best performance possible. As a warning, a lot of hardawre may not have drivers compatable with x64 yet, and the upgrade therefore usually voids your warranty.

Media Center(MCE):
- see above for details

Tablet PC (included with tablet PCs):
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is useful only if you have - well, a tablet PC or a convertable. Installing it on a standard laptop or desktop will only casuse compatability issues and choke performance. Also good to know is that Tablet PC Edition is the same as Windows XP Pro but with the added Tablet OS functionality.

Deciding which edition to buy is simple: Peruse the above list and decide whether you can live without any of these features. If you can't, then you're going to want to get Professional

Problem encountered related to Windows Xp Sp2
After you install Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), some programs may seem not to work. By default, Windows Firewall is enabled and blocks unsolicited connections to your computer. This article discusses how to make an exception and enable a program to run by adding it to the list of exceptions. This procedure permits the program to work as it did before the service pack was installed.

To work correctly, some programs and games must receive information over the network. The information enters your computer through an inbound port. For Windows Firewall to permit this information to enter, the correct inbound port must be open on your computer. To enable a program to communicate like it did before Windows XP SP2 was installed, and to enable programs that you want to run, use one of the following methods.
for more details please visit <click here>


June 2005 Second Tuesday "Critical" Windows Patch<click here>
It's Tuesday, June 14, 2005 and that means it's time for another round of security patches. According to Microsoft, seven security bulletins and fixes will be released today and one of them carries a "Critical" rating. There will also be a new version of the Malicious Software Removal Tool released today. If you don't have Windows Update set to automatically take care of the update process, remember to visit Windows Update and see if you want to install the scheduled patches.


Google reveals what Pinoys are fond of… <click here>
could not help but laugh!